Bob Conley, vice president of the Madison Area YMCA, beat incumbent mayor Mary-Anna Holden in Tuesday's election by an unofficial margin of a little more than 200 votes.
It is a triumph for Conley, who was very thankful on Tuesday night for the volunteer efforts that boosted the Democrat's presence in Madison throughout the campaign.
"I think the biggest part was that we had a tremendous volunteer effort behind us, from the pieces we got out in the mail and really got our message across and from going door to door," Conley said. "I think we had the right message, and that’s obviously key. If it’s the wrong one, it’s not gonna work."
Conley was also very complimentary of Holden for her years of service to the borough.
"Mary-Anna has given Madison 14 years of dedicated service, and she deserves credit for everything she’s done," Conley said.
Holden was gracious in defeat, pledging to make for an easy transition as Conley prepares to take office in January.
"I've served the community very well, and I've accomplished everything I’ve wanted to do. I've moved an agenda of things that haven’t been done since 1992," Holden said. "I leave Mr. Conley with a clean slate, and I'll be happy to make this a smooth transition for him."
One of Holden's running mates, Bob Landrigan, won his bid for township council, while Democrat Carmela Vitale received three less votes and earned the other open council seat, according to Tuesday night's unofficial results.
"First of all, I just want to say this was very bittersweet," Landrigan said. "I’m happy I won, but I feel bad for my other two running mates that did not (Holden and council candidate Martin Barbato), because they’re very good people. I’m glad for Bob Conley and Carmela Vitale, but I feel bad for my running mates."
Nonetheless, Landrigan pledged to work in cohesion with his fellow council members when he takes office.
"As far as I’m concerened going forward, everybody should have the same focus. Madison, right now, is a tough challenge," Landrigan said. "The country’s in pretty rough economic shape right now. Madison has to do right thing by its citizens, and the council has to work together to do that. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or Republican; we have to make sure we take care of our town."
Vitale, as the other new member of the council, is ecstatic at the chance to serve again.
"I am so excited, and I am so happy," Vitale said. "I’m looking forward to working with Bob Conley again and getting back on that council. I’m excited, very excited."
The first challenges for the mayor-elect and his council involve shared services, as well as making sure everyone in the community has an equal voice at borough council meetings.
"We’ll start working before Jan. 1, but (the first task) will be developing shared services. We need a long-range strategic plan for the borough in order to survive in this tough economy under tough fiscal constraints," Conley said. "(We will also be) changing the demeanor of council meetings, where residents can come in, speak and be listened to. We haven’t had a whole lot of that."
Tuesday night's unofficial general election results for Madison Borough are below.