PEABODY — The incumbents prevailed in Tuesday's election, with sitting city officials fending off challengers in a number of contested races.
In Ward 4, Ed Charest, 54, defeated challenger Bukia "Kia" Chalvire, 41, for another two-year term on the City Council.
"I feel great. I'm surrounded by neighbors and (close) supporters," said Charest Tuesday night. "It makes me feel good, it reminds me of why I do this."
"There are more things I want to accomplish and there will probably be more in two years from now, too," he said. "I believe it was a strong message that the constituents of Ward 4 sent — they appreciate what I can do and want to see what more I can do."
Charest, a former school board member, was running for his second term on the council. Chalvire, a first-time candidate, is the chairwoman of the Peabody Republican City Committee.
Other contested races Tuesday were in Ward 5 and 6 on the council as well as at-large, and School Committee.
In the at-large race, there were two open seats out of five with longtime councilor Mike Garabedian not seeking re-election and state Rep. Tom Walsh relinquishing his seat on the council.
Incumbents Tom Gould, 62, Anne Manning-Martin, 51, and Dave Gravel, 61, all won new terms, with Tom Rossignoll, 47, and Ryan Melville, 32, joining them on the council. Rossignoll is a former school board member. They defeated first-time candidate Stephen Collins III, 26, and Peter Bakula, 47, and Russ Donovan, 68. Bakula and Donovan have run unsuccessfully in the past.
"I'm very pleased that the citizens of Peabody have the confidence in me to send me back in for another term," said Manning-Martin, a former school board member who won her sixth term on the council. "It's an honor to serve and I'm looking forward to continuing to pay attention to the details, have healthy debates regarding the future of our city and to work with my colleagues to move the city forward."
In Ward 5, incumbent Joel Saslaw, 54, will serve a third term on the council, defeating challenger James Jeffery. Jeffery, 54, a foreman for Sunrise Erectors, said he ran against Saslaw because he felt constituents have been placed on the back burner.
"One-on-one races are a very intense battle and it can get personal at times, but at the end of the day we all win because we all want the best for the city of Peabody," Saslaw said. "I want to thank my family and my supporters."
Mark O'Neill defeated Michael Geomelos — both first-time candidates — in Ward 6 to succeed longtime councilor Barry Sinewitz, who chose not to run again.
O'Neill, 50, is the assistant vice president of Lexington Insurance Company, while Geomelos, 54, is the co-owner of Travel Leather Company.
On the School Committee, longtime member Beverley Griffin Dunne, 59, topped the race, followed by Andrew Arnotis, 23, and incumbent Jarrod Hochman, 47.
Arnotis is a legislative aide to Walsh who finished just out of the running two years ago for a seat on the committee.
"I'm excited. I'm humbled. I'm very, very grateful to the people of Peabody for giving me this opportunity and I look forward to working my heart out for them, I really do," Arnotis said.
Laurence Aiello, 78, a former elementary school principal, and Linda Quadros Lopez, 38, a Peabody parent, finished out of the running Tuesday.
Municipal Light Commissioners Bill Alyward and Thomas D'Amato also won re-election over Raymond Melvin and Laurence Olcott.
The new slate of library trustees are Kate O'Brien, Tom Pappas, Frances Gallugi, Sandra Fecteau and Dianne Caputo.
Mayor Ted Bettencourt, Ward 1 Councilor Jon Turco, Ward 2 Councilor Peter McGinn and Ward 3 Councilor Jim Moutsoulas, did not face any challengers this year and each won new terms Tuesday.
City election officials also tested out an electronic poll pad in two locations — the McCarthy Elementary School and Our Lady of Fatima Church. A small percentage of the city's 35,673 registered voters scanned a barcode on the back of their driver's licenses for the regular check-in and check-out at the polls, streamlining the process.
"It's a field test we're doing to see if we want to use them next year," City Clerk Tim Spanos said. "A lot of people like them, I think. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback."
The electronic devices were used for early voting last year as well. The Board of Registrars wanted to try them out for Election Day, and LHS Associates of Salem, New Hampshire, conducted the free trial to help make a decision on whether or not to lease them for each polling site next year. The city still used paper voting as the official record.
Mary Markos may be contacted at 978-338-2660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.