City of Milford Mayor, Joseph “Ronnie” Rogers, announced his retirement in January, after serving the city for more than three decades. Mayor Rogers said that his decision was based on many factors, including advice from his doctor that it was time to slow down.
“I had a stroke in January,” Mayor Rogers explained. “The doctor told me it was time to slow down, so I decided it was time to step down. This was more on doctor’s orders than anything, but will look forward to some relaxation.”
Mayor Rogers, who graduated from Milford High School in 1956, was first elected to city government in 1972 as a councilman representing the First Ward. Today, that ward is represented by Garrett L. Grier III and Bryan Shupe, who recently announced his candidacy for the Mayor’s position. Mayor Rogers was first elected to lead the city in 1982, a position he held until 2008 when he was defeated by Daniel Marabello by only seven votes. Mr. Marabello served two years as mayor when Mayor Rogers was reelected in 2010. Prior to losing the election in 2008, Mayor Rogers was the longest serving mayor in the state.
“I have been a mayor for a long time, and we have done a lot in the city,” Mayor Rogers said. “Honestly, my best accomplishment was that things ran smoothly, and the city is in very good financial shape. We have done a lot of things, and I have had the support of some great council people and tremendous support from the citizens as well.”
Mayor Rogers said the city also faced some tough times as well.
“In the 1980s, we faced a huge decision regarding electric, as Delmarva Power attempted to get us to sell our system,” Mayor Rogers said. “The city refused and it was an excellent decision on our part. We have faced issues with water and sewer, but we resolved those problems by working together as a unit and making the decisions necessary for the people of the town.”
Although the mayor saw many challenges as the leader of the city, one of the biggest challenges he faced was personal. Mayor Rogers and his wife, Ruth, lost a daughter in April of his first year in office, and in July the same year, lost a son. He credits the citizens of Milford with getting the family through those difficult times, and today, the couple credits the support they received in the community and their faith in God for getting them through a difficult personal tragedy.
Mayor Rogers says that there is always “something in the mill” when running a town the size of Milford, but with the cooperation of the council and the citizens, the right decisions can be made.
“My only advice to the person who takes my seat in May is to make decisions based on what you know, not what you hear,” Mayor Rogers said. “Milford is a good, sound city, and by listening, answering questions and finding out, on your own, what the truth is, the new mayor will keep it a good, sound city.”
The deadline to file to run for mayor in the City of Milford is Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 4 pm. Candidates must be a citizen of the United States and a resident of the City of Milford. Residence must be for a period of two years prior to the day of the election and be at least 18 on Election Day. A criminal background check is necessary, and the candidate may not have been convicted of a felony or a crime of moral turpitude. Packets are available in the City Clerk’s Office at Milford City Hall.
The election will be held on Saturday, April 26, 2014 from Noon until 8 PM. Voters must be registered to vote in the city, and registration in county, state or federal elections does not qualify voters to cast ballots in Milford elections. Voters must register at City Hall during normal business hours or at the following special voter registration times at the city office: Tuesday, February 4 from 4:30 until 8 PM; Saturday, February 22 from 10 AM until 2 PM; Wednesday, March 5 from 4:30 until 8 PM; and Saturday March 22 from 10 AM until 2 PM. Registration must take place 30 days prior to the election. Absentee ballots are also available at the City Clerk’s Office.