BERRIEN SPRINGS — A five-way race for three seats on the Berrien Springs Village Council ended with three current council members retaining their seats while another longtime incumbent and a newcomer lost.
Incumbents Zach Fedoruk, Lonna Johnson, Sheila Snyder and Sandra Swartz vied for the three four-year seats along with newcomer Jason Ramtahal. The election featured four incumbents for three seats as Fedoruk decided to run for the full four-year term instead of the rest of the partial term he was appointed to earlier this year.
Oronoko Township Clerk Suzanne Renton said Snyder, who was appointed to the council in early 2021, was the top vote getter in unofficial results. Snyder received 303 votes, followed by Fedoruk with 246 and Johnson with 237. Swartz came in fourth with 235 votes and Ramtahal received 203 votes.
Swartz had been the longest serving person on the current council. She has served since 2000. Johnson has been on the council since 2012, while Barry Gravitt, who won the village president term unopposed Tuesday, has been on the council since late 2009 and has been president since February.
Swartz said Tuesday she had been honored and humbled to be allowed to serve the village for 22 years.
Johnson said Tuesday she plans to continue to push for the revitalization of the downtown and would like to see some retail stores and maybe a winery or brewery tasting room open in the village.
Although the results won’t be official until the County Board of Canvassers meets, Renton said write-in candidate Mark Vandevere will get the partial term. He was the only person to meet the Oct. 28 deadline to file a declaration of intent to run as a write-in for the partial term.