Timm wins recount for Niles city council
NILES — Niles City Council candidate Travis Timm will officially represent the 2nd Ward, following a recount for the tie votes.
Tuesday, Berrien County officials tallied votes in the recount. Newcomer Timm challenged long-term incumbent and former mayor pro tem Robert Durm.
The official tally from election night was 377 to 377. As per state law, Timm and Durm drew from a hat last week to determine the winner. Timm won the tie breaking draw. Candidates were then allowed to request a recount, which took place Tuesday.
After Tuesday’s recount, the tally remained 377 to 377, which meant Timm remains the council member elect.
Though Timm and Durm were not in attendance at the recount, Timm later shared his eagerness to get started on the city council.
“Things have been exciting and I’m just glad that we finished up with the recount and we can move on from here,” he said. “I’m feeling good about all of it.”
Niles mayor Nick Shelton was present for the recount, and shared his insight to the results of the race, as well as the character of the candidates.
“I expected it to be a tie. It shows that our systems work correctly,” Shelton said. “People want to have faith in the system we participate in. This race goes to show, despite the cliché, that every vote really does count.”
Shelton pointed to the major selling points of both candidates, which he believed influenced the closeness of the race.
“It was a close race because Bob has a lot of support. He’s been our councilman for 23 years,” Shelton said. “He knows a lot of people, he’s built good relationships and he’s done a lot of really good things for the city.”
Timm attributed his ability to get as many votes as the incumbent to many voters looking forward to change.
“I think it’s got a lot to do with the fact that a lot of people in Niles are looking forward to something different — a new fresh face,” he said.
Shelton noted his gratefulness of Durm’s years of service to Niles.
“I want to give Bob a lot of credit. He served for 23 years, and he ran several times when nobody else would step up to the plate to run for that seat,” the mayor said. “I admire that because he served when no one else would do it.”
Timm echoed the sentiment, thanking Durm for his service to the council.
Shelton also shared why he believes Timm was able to tie the longtime incumbent.
“Travis has made his campaign promise to bring new ideas to the council, but to really do his part to listen to the people in his ward, and I think that resonated with the voters in Ward 2,” he said.
The mayor indicated he looks forward to working with someone new to the council.
Berrien County Clerk Sharon Tyler noted her relief with the accuracy of the voting tabulators, and also the importance of counting every vote.
“On a whole, our tabulators are very exact,” Tyler said. “It’s very important that everybody gets their vote out because they have a voice when decisions are made. … This shows that every vote does count.”
Timm and fellow newcomer Jessica Nelson will be sworn in at Monday’s city council meeting.
“Ultimately I’m really just looking forward to getting to work and I want to do every single thing I can do to do the work that people would like to have done,” Timm said. “I’m just trying to serve the community.”