This year’s City of Milford Elections will be held on Saturday, April 28. The polls will be open from 12 noon to 8pm at the Milford Middle School, located at 612 Lakeview Ave, Milford, Delaware. Council’s First Ward race will see incumbent Garrett Grier challenged by former city councilman Michael Spillane.
Local business owner Mr. Grier has been a member of City Council since 2010 and is currently Chairman of Economic Development Committee and member of the Finance Committee. Garrett is a lifelong resident of Milford, graduating from Milford High in 1999 and Elon University in 2003 with a Bachelors in Business Administration with a concentration in Business Management.
1. Why are you running for City Council?
I ran for city council two years ago knowing the importance of having both youth and business experience on city council. I hoped to bring a more positive mindset to the table as apposed to what at that time was representing my seat. Two years later I still feel the same way, but even more inspired to continue the work we have started. Milford is the community I grew up in and the community I plan to spend the rest of my life. I strive to help Milford in its attempt to become the best community it can be to both live and work.
2. What past experiences will you draw on to assist you in the position of City Councilman if you are elected?
I will draw on both my professional work experience as well as the valuable experience I have gained over the past two year as a councilperson. As a businessperson I have the knowledge and experience of running a small business and understand some of the challenges businesses face. As a councilperson I have been fortunate enough to be a member of the Finance Committee as well as Chairman of the Economic Development Committee. I have learned a great deal on both these committees and feel we have made some great accomplishments. I will continue to use the experience and knowledge I have gained over the past two years and build on it.
3. What are specific issues that face the City of Milford in 2012?
The biggest issue facing the City of Milford in 2012 is the water tower project on the south east part of town. It’s a project that has been in the works since 2008 and needs to be completed. Also, the city is in desperate need of a new police station. We will continue to work hard in 2012 to make this happen. We continue to work on job creation within the city. This is an extremely important issue which we are currently addressing through our commitment to economic development.
4. What are specific issues that face Ward I in 2012?
There are two major projects taking place within the first ward in 2012. Currently we are working on a new water tower project and deciding on the proper location. Either way the tower will be located within the first ward. This project is a priority and I will make sure we decide on the proper location while making the best use of the taxpayer’s money. The Rt 30 and Wilkins road overpass is also projected to begin construction during 2012 which will be a major change to the first ward.
5. What is the greatest success Milford has had as a city in the last two years?
Over the past two years we have created a balanced budget during some very tough economic times. Some tough decisions were made during the process, but I feel we are still providing a great service. The only increase we have made over the past two years is $1.50 for trash service, while all other utilities and taxes remained the same. My hope is to continue this trend. I’m sure the next budget will provide its challenges but I look forward to another balanced budget. We have also made great strides on the economic development front. We have established a strategic plan for the city to act as a road map to future economic growth. We have provided business with incentives to hire, develop, and grow here in Milford. We have also provided a decrease to our electric rates for business and residents within the past few months which is a step in the right direction. The funding of the South Washington Street water project has been another major accomplishment for the city. We were able to obtain very reasonable funding, with low interest loans, and $1.8million in principle forgiveness for the project.
6. With the national economic recession still present, what will you do to facilitate a positive direction moving forward in the City of Milford?
Times are tough anywhere you go, but I believe we have to continue to be proactive in our approach to staying successful. The City of Milford is not much different than running any other business. We have to focus on our city as a whole and make sure we continue to stay as healthy as possible, while making sure or citizens and businesses are receiving the best possible service. We have put a great deal of emphasis on economic development over the past two years and will continue to do so as long as I’m in office. We have to continue to provide incentives to businesses to come to Milford. We need to continue to offer incentives to our current businesses to hire more employees. We have to focus on our utility rates on a regular basis to make sure they are as competitive as possible. While sticking to the strategic plan we adopted in 2010, and a council committed to economic development, we will continue to stay ahead of the curve during these tough economic times.
7. What do you hope to have accomplished by the end of your next term if you are elected?
I most importantly hope to have a completed water tower project on the south east side of town. I also hope to have established and funded a department for economic development with its own budget. I hope to help in attracting many businesses to town both big and small. I will continue to evaluate our utility rates to maintain their affordability and become more attractive to future investors within the city. I also hope to have begun construction on a much needed police station by the end of my next term if elected.
8. Why should voters pull the lever for you on April 28?
The voters should vote for me on April 28th because of my commitment and dedication to the city. I enjoy being a councilperson because I believe I can make a difference. As I mentioned before, I live here, I have a business here, and I plan to live here for the rest of my life. I want Milford to continue to improve and be the best possible place it can be. I feel my experience and my commitment make me the best possible candidate for the First Ward on election day.