After a tight race that took three weeks to become official, it all came down to three votes. Democrat Tim Tenke was ultimately declared the winner in the mayoral election and will become the next mayor of the City of Glen Cove in January. The initial ballot count on Election Day, as well as the absentee ballot count 10 days later, put Mayor Reggie Spinello slightly ahead; however, 64 of the absentee and affidavit ballots were challenged and reviewed by a State Supreme Court judge on Tuesday, Nov. 28. The review put the final numbers at 2,784 votes for Tenke and 2,781 for Spinello.
“This was an extremely close race. My reaction to the results of this election are humility and gratitude,” said Tenke. “My greatest satisfaction was that all the votes cast in the election were ultimately counted. The Board of Elections made sure that the bipartisan process of counting votes was done openly and fairly.”
Republican attorneys had requested a hand count of all ballots but the judge denied the request the next day, allowing the Nassau County Board of Elections to certify the results.
“I was very surprised and it goes without saying, disappointed,” said Spinello, an Independence Party member who ran on the GOP line and had been 13 votes ahead before the final count.
He attributed his loss to poor voter turnout as a well as voter apathy.
“I received a number of calls from residents apologizing for not voting as they were sure that I would win based on what I accomplished over the past four years,” said Spinello. “This is a harsh reminder to the many people that supported my agenda that every vote counts.”
As for next year, he said, “I will continue to be engaged in the city’s business as a very concerned taxpayer, be a resource to my slate’s council people if they have questions and I will explore new leadership opportunities.”
He added, “I have received many calls from residents who are very concerned about our city’s future under the new leadership. They fear the return to an administration that raised taxes 65 percent prior to my taking office.”
Five out of the six seats for Glen Cove City Council were won by candidates on the Republican ticket with Spinello, including incumbents Pamela Panzenbeck, Joseph Capobianco and Nick DiLeo, Jr. as well as Michael Zangari and Kevin Maccarone. Democrat Marsha Silverman gained the last seat over Matthew Connolly.
“I’m thrilled about the results, for myself as well as for Tim,” said Silverman. “It’s bittersweet, but I’m happy to have the opportunity to work for the people. People have said to me, ‘you must be so happy, you’re life will be easier now,’ but it’s really not about me. I really believe the city will be better off with Tim in the position.”
Of her win as the sole Democrat, she said, “It comes down to the fact that I have a proven record of speaking up for the public.”
She said her grass roots effort, especially prior to the September primary, made her a bit of an outsider, which she feels could have given her an advantage: “I’m truly in it for public service, to make Glen Cove a better place for everyone.”
“I look forward to working with the council to assure a smooth transition of administrations,” said Tenke. “I welcome a cooperative spirit among all who were elected as we move forward in serving our city. Over the next several weeks I will be meeting with the council members individually and with each department head. I am confident that any changes will be done promptly and in an open and transparent fashion.”