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. This year will host two contested races including elections for the Mayor of Milford and the First Ward seat for Milford City Council. For the mayoral race, incumbent Mayor Ronnie Rogers is being challenged by former city councilman James Oeschler.
Mayor Rogers has a long history with the City of Milford. The 1956 graduate of Milford High School was first elected to city government in 1972 as the representative for the 1st Ward. He served as Councilman until 1982 when he was elected the Mayor of Milford that year. His term lasted until 2008 when he was defeated by Daniel Marabello. Mr. Rogers ran for Mayor in 2010 and was re-elected to the position. Mayor Rogers is currently the longest serving Mayor in the State of Delaware.
1.Why are you running for City Council?
Being mayor of Milford has become apart of my life. I realize that I’ve got to hang my hat up eventually, but for the next two years I think I can be useful to folks in Milford. This is not the time for someone to be mayor who does not have the experience or the firsthand knowledge to get done what must be done.
2. What past experiences will you draw on to assist you in the position of City Councilman if you are elected?
Find anyone who has more experience than I do. Twenty- six years as mayor gives me an understanding of city operations, city stafl city budget, and I have established contacts with other communities, state legislators, and even our U.S. representatives. I think my most important experience is my experience with our own councilpersons. Milford’s Charter describes our governing body as a council-manager form of government. That means council legislates, and the manager is in charge of operations. The mayor presides over meetings, votes in a tie situation, represents the crty at official functions, and signs all agreements and documents approved by council. The mayor must maintain a good working relationship with the council or nothing gets accomplished. I understand the limitations of my power, and without the support of council a mayor could never move the city forward.
3. What are specific issues that face the City of Milford in 2012?
Jobs have to be a priority, but delivering services to our citizens is always high on my list. We have lowered electric rates to all classes of customers, and I intend to make every effort to reduce them even more. Without a doubt an issue that must be addressed is our aging water system. We have millions of dollars of projects that our city manager is working on every day. Our police department has seriously outgrown its headquarters. We must move this forward as quickly as we can. Just daily operations have become more an issue than in the past. Doing more with less is what we must do, and we have done it.
4. What is the greatest success Milford has had as a city in the last two years?
I think a great success has been that the mayor and council have established a great working relationship. When business meetings are nothing but people arguing or trying to move personal agendas forward by using the strength of the city, nothing good occurs. For several years few things were accomplished because of the unwillingness of a couple of people to work together. Being able to conduct the city’s business in a professional manner is success. I believe our obtaining funding at very favorable rates for our infrastructure projects is a success.
5. With the national economic recession still present, what will you do to facilitate a positive direction moving forward in the City of Milford?
We have established an economic development panel that is working to bring opportunities for work and play to Milford. We are hiring an economic development director, and I think with that person working with the mayor and council, our panel, and our businesses we will experience see improvement across the board. As I said we will also be working to reduce our rates and provide economic incentives to entice growth.
6. What do you hope to have accomplished by the end of your next term if you are elected?
I have listed in my answers to question 3 some of the things that have to be accomplished, and I would say those challenges will keep us all busy.
7. Why should voters pull the lever for you on April 28?
I love being their mayor. I have the experience and ability to do the job of mayor by working with my council, staff, and citizens allowing Milford to not lose a step in moving forward. I also think after the support our voters gave me two years ago, I have performed my duties in a way they expected. So I ask they consider letting me serve them for two more years.