East Aurora has a new mayor -- a Buffalo police officer who campaigned hard against the idea of dissolving village government.
Village Trustee Allan A. Kasprzak, who often butted heads with Mayor Clark W. Crook over the last few months over Crook's push for dissolution, won a tight race in Tuesday's village election, topping Crook by 46 votes. Kasprzak, who has served on the Village Board for two years, received 701 votes to Crook's 655.
In Village Board results, former Trustee Patrick Shea, who served from 2003-05, was the top vote-getter in the trustee race, with 679 votes, followed by incumbent Ernest Scheer, with 667 votes, and newcomer Randy West, a village Planning Commission member for eight years, with 665 votes.
Losing his bid for re-election was Patrick McDonnell, a 10-year board veteran, who logged the fewest votes with 623. Also losing was David Foley, with 635 votes, who was closely aligned with Crook, and works for him at Synergy Global Solutions in Amherst.
Kasprzak, who entered the race because of Crook's push for dissolution, was at Tantalus Restaurant not far from Village Hall when the results were announced just before 10 p.m. Tuesday.
"I took a gamble and stepped up here because of what I believed in," Kasprzak said in an interview.
"I think people are happy the Village of East Aurora exists," Kasprzak said.
"I am surprised," he added. "I had a feeling the race was going to be a race. . . . This is a brand-new venture for me, but I feel confident I can do it."
Crook, who with his family waited for an hour at Village Hall for the results to be announced, called the election "a great, great victory for democracy and our village."
"I am so proud of this village, and I can't say more than that," he said.
"We relied on the people's sense of duty and obligation to vote for a very important issue," said West referring to the debate over dissolution. "This was a very positive step for the preservation of East Aurora
In North Collins, 35-year-old newcomer Paul Carozzi was the top vote-getter in a three-way race for two four-year terms on the Village Board.
Carozzi, running for public office for the first time, received 152 votes. Incumbents Jennie Alessi and Beverly Boltz garnered 106 and 76, respectively.
Every other village election in Erie County was uncontested.
* In Alden, Robert F. Woods was unopposed for a four-year term as village justice.
* Farnham voters elected Virginia Schilling and Jere Hoisington to four-year term on the Village Board.
* Hamburg Mayor Thomas Moses; Trustees Mark Colmerauer and Thomas Tallman; and Justice Andrew Fleming all were elected to four year terms.
* Orchard Park Trustee Stephen Bray was elected to a one-year term on the Village Board.
* Springville voters elected William Krebs to a four-year term as mayor and Gerald Lohrey and Terry Skelton to four-year terms on the Village Board.
News Staff Reporter Dale Anderson contributed to this report.