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New Berlin voters decisively opt for new mayor in Ament

Dave Ament watches election results come in with supporters at the New Berlin VFW post.

Dave Ament watches election results come in with supporters at the New Berlin VFW post. Photo By C.T. Kruger

April 2, 2013

New Berlin - Two-term Mayor Jack Chiovatero was defeated in Tuesday's election by 7th District Alderman David Ament by nearly a 3-2 margin.

In winning the four-year term, Ament captured about 58.2 percent of the vote to Chiovatero's 41.5 percent, according to unofficial results. There were 22 write-in votes. About 36 percent of eligle voters turned out.

Unofficial results are:

David Ament 6,105

Jack Chiovatero (i) 4,351

Election results remain unofficial until they are certified by the board of canvassers.

Asked if he expected the vote to be so lopsided, Ament said, "We had good responses from people going door to door. We had a good feeling.

"I guess the biggest thing, as I'm standing looking at a room of volunteers (at his victory party) who worked on it, (is that) these people took the message and made it their own message," Ament said late Tuesday.

Accepting outcome

Chiovatero was stoic about the outcome.

"Nobody has ever gotten a third term (as mayor) in New Berlin," Chiovatero said. "My kids didn't know if I should be running a third time."

Despite the outcome he was optimistic.

"This will be a new adventure in life. God will put me where I should be," Chiovatero said. "I'll move on. … I'll be back in private life and not in a fish bowl."

Chiovatero said he has a lot to be proud of in his 14 years of service to the city as alderman and mayor.

"I can walk out with my head up," he said.

New mayor, new page

Looking forward to his first term as mayor, Ament said, "It's time to turn a page and get our dignity, our pride and our reputation back," referring to the tarnished image New Berlin got in a bruising battle over low- and moderate-income housing coming to the New Berlin City Center.

Ament's message of hope and prudent government spending resonated with voters, he said.

"It was a message that government supplying services doesn't have to raise taxes," he said. "You can find ways of saving, just like you do with a business and with a home."

In his 12 years as alderman, the city made major improvements and still kept property tax increases close to zero, he said.

So, it can be done, he said, adding "You need a good plan."

There are savings to be had without hurting employees, Ament said.

"New Berlin has darn good employees," he said, and they can be integral in finding ways to save.

"It's like running a business," Ament said, explaining that a leader must recognize talent and build trust. 'And once that happens, the talent all comes gushing out."

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