Trustee Bert Rosenberg has been re-elected to the Arlington Heights village board by 20 votes, according to official election results certified Tuesday by the Cook County clerk's office.
The contest for the fourth and final village board seat at stake in the April 9 election came down to the wire between Rosenberg and Trustee Norm Breyer, where at one point on Election Night only four votes separated them.
According to final results, which include absentee votes, Breyer got 6,520 votes while Rosenberg had 6,540. Incumbents Joseph Farwell and Thomas Glasgow and newcomer Jim Tinaglia were easily elected, all with more than 7,000 votes each.
"It's been kind of nerve-wracking the last few weeks not knowing what the final outcome would be, but I'm happy," Rosenberg said. "I'm happy the citizens voted the way they did and it really shows that in an election this close every vote counts."
Rosenberg, who works as a CPA, said he hopes to keep contributing to the board over the next four years by keeping a close eye on expenses and tax levies.
"I am disappointed with the results," Breyer said on Tuesday, adding that he'll decide in the next few days whether to ask for a recount. "I suppose it means they only love (Rosenberg) a drop more than me."
Breyer was voted out of office once before. He first was elected in 1993 but lost a bid for re-election in 1997. He was elected to the board again in 2005 and re-elected in 2009.
Breyer, who will be 73 by the 2015 election, said this time he won't be running again. Newly elected Village President Tom Hayes, who will have his own seat on the village board to fill when he is sworn in as mayor, has said he will not appoint the losing trustee.
Breyer said the parts of elected life that he will miss most are meeting and being involved with the citizens, as well as speaking up on issues that he fears would otherwise go unaddressed.
"That's just me. You're not there to be a wallflower, just because people are afraid to be politically incorrect," he said.
The county clerk's office has certified the results to the State Board of Elections, but Breyer is within his rights to pursue a recount, he is within 5 percent of Rosenberg's total. He has until Monday, May 6 to request a discovery recount, said Courtney Greve, spokeswoman for the clerk's office.
A discovery recount is not a legal proceeding, but would allow the clerk's office to recount the votes in a quarter of the precincts, which would be 16 precincts in Arlington Heights, Greve said. The recount costs $10 per precinct and would take a few hours to complete, she said.
The results of a discovery recount wouldn't automatically change the election outcome, but would give Breyer evidence for a court challenge, Greve said. She said in the 2009 consolidated election there were 10 discovery recounts in suburban Cook County, but none of them went to court or changed the election outcome, Greve said.
Breyer said he hasn't talked to Rosenberg about the recent results and that a recount wouldn't be a personal attack against his fellow trustee.
"I don't have hard feelings, but I don't like the result," he said.