SOUTH HAVEN — Former city council member Jeff Arnold defeated newcomer Nadine Newman for the Second Ward seat in South Haven in Tuesday’s election, while Third Ward incumbent Steve Schlack won by just four votes over Liji Hanny, according to unofficial results.

Arnold soundly defeated Newman 212-120, while Schlack narrowly retained his seat by a 209-205 margin.

When interviewed after results were counted, Hanny said it was too early to tell whether he will seek a recount.

He thanked voters for their support. “It (a recount) is something I’m considering but it’s too early to say.”

Schlack, 52, is finishing his first four-year term on the city council. He said he sought re-election to make sure the concerns of Ward 3 residents, many of whom are second homeowners, are heard.

“I have worked very hard to protect the rights and make sure Ward 3 has a voice when they personally may not be up to date on current events,” he said. Creating housing options for city residents is an issue high on Schlack’s list of goals for the city.

“I have constantly voiced my opinion that the surrounding townships and the city need to work together solving affordable housing opportunities for younger families starting out in life,” he said.

“I am grateful to city staff to see this really starting to come to light with making some progress with South Haven Township and the Housing Commission with continued work sessions.”

Arnold, 51, will succeed Clark Gruber, who was term limited from office.

Arnold is a teacher at South Haven High School. A previous city council member, he currently serves on the South Haven Housing Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Like Schlack, Arnold said the city needs to address housing and job issues.

“The issues are linked, so improvements in one will help the other,” he said.

“I think the city staff has a good start in these areas and I hope that my past experience and my willingness to listen to the voters in Ward 2 can help the city speed the process along.”