Valentine defeats Tesar for Salem chairwoman

Linda Valentine and supporters watch early results come in.

Linda Valentine and supporters watch early results come in.


 Eighteen-year Salem town board veteran Diann Tesar lost her chairman seat to challenger Linda Valentine in a tight race by 88 votes.

“I leave with my head held high,” Tesar said in a telephone interview April 7.

The final tally was Valentine 673 with Tesar garnering 585 votes. This was Valentine’s first bid for public office.

“People want some change,” said Valentine. “It’s just the beginning to make some minor changes that will impact the community in a big way.”

Tesar served the town as supervisor in 1991 and held that position until being elected chairman, a seat she has had for the past four years. “It hasn’t hit me. Yet, there is always that chance,” she commented on the results. Although Tesar said she will “probably not run again” for an elected position, Valentine hopes she “keeps involved in Salem politics,” particularly in planning and zoning.

Tesar’s accomplishments include the widening of Highway 83, consolidation of three fire departments and open communications with the school districts.

Communications, however, is what Valentine feels the town is lacking. Valentine also ran as a write-in candidate for a Salem supervisor position, which brought her 200 votes. “This shows that people want some change. It’s a confirmation that says, ‘Let’s change how we communicate.’”

Valentine would like to see more information on the town’s Web site such as a board meeting agenda and minutes of meetings. “Let people know what’s happening.”

During her campaign, Valentine heard from constituents who felt they were not well represented. “If elected people do not represent the people, they are not doing their job,” she said.

Valentine said she is considering proposing the Town of Salem be incorporated into a village. “We should investigate,” Valentine said of the concept, since a village would have more control over determining districts.

Tesar disagrees, citing the extra funding needed to run a village verses a town.

“Hopefully, the town will be OK,” she concluded.

 Also, incumbent Supervisors Joseph Meier and Patrick O’Connell were returned to office.

Photo by Diane Jahnke


One Comment

  1. I will start by honestly confessing that Diane Jahnke is my beloved aunt, so I may be a little biased. Nonethless, I welcome her return to the world of journalism with great excitement, because she has a lot of talent.

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