“It sounds like I’m going to be a member of a new regime and I’m not sure what to expect. I am excited and I would have been excited either way, but I’m excited just to be part of it.”— Bob Tieman, Peru First Ward Alderman-elect
With Election Day in the rear, officials and voters in Peru will now prepare for what lies ahead.
For the residents of Peru, in particular, this means welcoming three new faces to the City Council.
Most notably Ken Kolowski soon will take over as mayor after he defeated incumbent Scott Harl.
In the First Ward, newly elected Bob Tieman will take over the seat previously held by Alderman Tony Ferrari, who decided not to seek re-election. Jason Edgcomb will assume the Second Ward responsibility from Alderman Mike Radtke, who also decided not to seek re-election.
Tieman and Edgcomb will join fellow Aldermen Jeff Ballard, Tom Payton, Dave Waldorf, Jim Lukosus and Aaron Buffo on Peru City Council. Incumbent Mike Sapienza also will join them, as he holds a 365-259 vote lead, meaning he is all but assured to be elected to the council.
For the three new faces of the Peru city government, the position will come with a learning curve as this will be the first city office for the newcomers.
“Obviously for me being new and going in is going to be a big chance for the city,” Edgcomb said. “Obviously every time you get a brand new mayor coming into the position, (Kolowski) has said himself that there will be a learning curve for him and there’ll be a learning curve for me.”
The transition period will begin after the La Salle County’s Clerk’s Office certifies the results. This process will include determining the validity of provisional ballots and mailed absentee ballots that are postmarked before Election Day and received by the office for a period up to 14 days after the election.
The clerk will then count and validate the total number of votes and the La Salle County Canvassing Board will conduct a canvas to determine the official winners.
After the certification takes place in the next two weeks the new office holders will then be sworn-in. Peru officials believe this swearing-in will more than likely take place at either the April 26 or May 10 council meeting.
These new faces will have the task of getting to know and work with each other while coming into an established council that will more than likely feature six returning aldermen.
“I’m going to do my absolute best not to let anyone down,” Kolowski said in a Facebook post on his campaign page following Tuesday’s victory. “I worked pretty hard for 2 1/2 years for this adventure to work out, and I’m going to work harder now.”
The added factor of the ongoing pandemic may also play a part in limiting some of the face-to-face contact these colleagues might normally be afforded. The new leaders seem to be ready for the challenge.
“It sounds like I’m going to be a member of a new regime and I’m not sure what to expect,” Tieman said. “I am excited and I would have been excited either way, but I’m excited just to be part of it.”
Regardless of political beliefs during the campaign season, the newly-elected mayor and aldermen are looking ahead to how best to make policy for the city.
“It’s just making sure that we all get in together and we make sure we can do the certain things that we need to do for the city and to make sure that we keep progressing in the way that we’ve been going over the last several years,” Edgcomb said. “Doing everything that’s best for the citizens and the city.”