Greenbelt's City Council election Tuesday night held few surprises, with all four incumbents reelected.
Ed Putens was elected to fill the fifth council seat, vacated by retiring Councilman Richard Schwan.
The only surprise, a minor one, was that Councilman Richard Castaldi was the biggest vote-getter, surpassing Mayor Gil Weidenfeld by 39 votes.
The candidate who accumulates the highest number of votes is traditionally the new mayor, although the chief executive will be chosen officially at a special council meeting next Tuesday.
"I am extremely shocked by the result," Castaldi said. "I worked very hard but never expected to get this many votes."
Weidenfeld came in second with 1,216 votes, compared to Castaldi's 1,255. The unoffocial number of voters was 1,811 of the 3,500 Greenbelt residents registered. City Clerk Gudrun Mills said this was a smaller turnout than in past elections, which he attributed to heavy rainfall during the evening voting hours.
Putens, the only new council member, said he was surprised and pleased by his election and added he would "work for closer relations between city government and the community."
The tallies for the other winners were: Richard Pilski, 1,185 votes; Thomas White, 1,074; and Putens, 804.
The unsuccessful challengers were Richard Ott, with 699 votes; Robert Zugby, with 608; and Ed James, with 520.
All Greenbelt council members serve at-large. --