WAYNESBORO, Pa. — A Waynesboro Borough Council member might have lost his seat in Tuesday’s municipal election, according to complete, but unofficial results from the Franklin County (Pa.) Elections Board.
Councilman Ronnie Martin, who is finishing his first four-year term, appeared on ballots Tuesday in an uncontested race for the First Ward seat. However, Martin received 82 votes, compared to 171 cast for write-in candidates.
Waynesboro businessman Michael Cermak Sr. ran a quiet write-in campaign that he said only gained momentum the day before the election.
Although write-in votes won’t be accumulated and certified for another two weeks, Cermak believes he secured enough votes to win the seat.
“I just think it is time for some new ideas,” Cermak said Wednesday.
Martin said he appreciates that the residents of the First Ward allowed him to represent them. He said he accepts the decision made Tuesday.
“It always works out for the best,” Martin said, saying he’ll have more time for his wife, family and traveling.
In an interview earlier in the week, county Deputy Chief Clerk Jean Byers said the elections board will accumulate write-in votes next week. Once that work is done, the candidate has five days to file a petition asking that various spellings of his or her name be combined.
Cermak previously owned Accredited Services Inc., a company that serves as the borough’s contracted building inspector. He said he transferred ownership of the business to his wife, Sandie, this summer.
When asked about the business’ contract and his potential position as a borough councilman, Cermak said he’s now an employee of the business. He said the borough does not financially compensate Accredited Services Inc., only authorizes it to do building inspection services as required by law.
“I don’t see any conflict,” Cermak said.
Cermak, 66, has lived on East Second Street for 20 years, after previously living in Zullinger, Pa., and Chambersburg, Pa. He has two sons and two grandchildren.
Cermak, who talked to voters Tuesday outside the Presbyterian Church of Waynesboro, said he “wasn’t convinced it was going to work” when he tackled a last-minute write-in campaign.
“By only approaching voters one day in advance, I was able to keep costs to a minimum and not put signs out. I didn’t think a negative campaign would do the community any good,” Cermak said, noting that he called friends and asked them to call friends.
Some ongoing issues in the borough need to be resolved, Cermak said. The council is busy, but some items need to be decided and taken off their plates, he said.
“In business, I like to see things move along at a reasonable pace, and some things seem to drag on and on,” Cermak said.
Of concern are improvements to Rotary Parking Lot and a fire service agreement with neighboring Quincy Township, Pa., according to Cermak.