The City of Milford will hold a Special Election on Tuesday, September 1 as residents of Ward II go to the polls to determine who will represent them on City Council. The seat was previously held by Councilman S. Allen “Skip” Pikus before he passed away in July.
Between the hours of 7am and 7pm eligible City of Milford voters can cast their vote at Milford City Hall at 201 S Walnut Street. Qualified Persons in the 2nd Ward voting in the City of Milford Special Election must have registered at Milford City Hall by Aug 3, 2015. Residents are reminded that having registered through the State of Delaware, Kent County or Sussex County Department of Elections does not qualify individuals to vote in a City of Milford Election. To be eligible, individuals must have registered at Milford City Hall. To determine if you are registered to vote, residents can contact City of Milford at 302-424-3712.
Any qualified 2nd Ward elector, who is unavailable on the day of the election, may fill out an absentee ballot before this election. Voters can call 302-424-3712 for information on how to obtain an absentee ballet. Voters can file affidavits and cast their vote in person at city hall up to noon on August 31.
Stephen C. Walter
I moved to Milford, Delaware in 1993 with my mom and step-dad, Charles and Suzanne Donovan. I graduated from Milford High School in 1997. In 1999, I started the Culinary Arts program at Delaware Technical & Community College. Finishing that in 2001, with an Associate’s Degree, I continued for one more year to achieve my Associates Degree in Food Service Management. My career has had many stops along the road to where I am now. From spending 13 years at Meding & Son Seafood, a two year stint at Harrington Raceway & Casino as the Quality Assurance Manager of Food & Beverage and onto Ruby Tuesday where I joined them as a Culinary Manager to be promoted to General Manager after 6 months. I am currently the General Manager of Ruby Tuesday of Rehoboth Beach. In 2002, I was fortunate to meet Miss Tiffany N. Donovan (no relation to Donovan’s previously mentioned) who, after some courting, agreed to be my wife on February 5, 2005. We have a beautiful daughter Isabelle, who will be 8 in September, and twin boys, William and Benjamin, who just turned 5. Even though the life of a restaurant manager is a busy one, I always find time to volunteer in the community. I have served as the Food Tent coordinator for the Milford Hospital Fair after working alongside my friend Gerry Swain for many years. I am a member of the Culinary Arts Advisory Board at the Delaware Technical & Community College, Terry Campus; and most especially I am a Freemason. Carrying on the tradition of my grandfathers, I became a Freemason on March 23, 2010 and was installed as Worshipful Master of Temple Lodge No. 9 in Milford in June of this year. I am proud to carry on the rich legacy of Temple Lodge No. 9, which has served this community for over 200 years. I have been a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Milford since 1993 and I am happy to say that this is the place where Tiffany and I met.
Why are you running for City Council?
I have had, for a few years now, a desire to do something more for my community. The Milford community is a caring one, and I want to work to see that it continues to be. The opportunity for this particular seat to be open was, for me, completely unexpected. Skip was a great man who loved this community as do I. I think Skip’s service embodies a quote from Bruce Wayne that says, “It’s not who we are, but what we do that defines us.” I couldn’t stand by this quote more and that is why I am running for City Council.
What do you see as the major challenges in the City of Milford during your first term in office?
The first major challenge I see for City Council is to find a new City Manager who is capable and committed to this City, as we are. This need to be a person that can run the daily operations of the City, under the direction of the Mayor and Council. This person needs to not only be competent in the managing aspects, but should also share the passion of the community. Secondly, I think that the Council has a responsibility to bridge the gap between the community and the Milford School District. There is a direct correlation between community stability and the well-being of our schools.
What do you see as the major opportunities for the City of Milford during your first term in office?
Milford has some opportunity for new business, both in downtown and in other areas. I am excited to see and hear plans for locations like the old Wilmington Trust and the Armory, but we can’t forget about buildings like the Old Fire Hall. While it sounds great to keep Milford blossoming, we also need to be mindful of infrastructure needs as it pertains to growth. I would like to see Milford be able to provide more job opportunities for our residents so that we can all live, work, play and support Milford.
Downtown is located in Ward II. What do you see as the future of downtown and what do you see as your role?
The future of Downtown Milford is bright. With phenomenal organizations like Downtown Milford Inc. and the Riverwalk Farmer’s Market, people are pumped up to go downtown on a regular basis. From newer events like the Roaring 20’s party and the Eat in the Street to the Milford Community Parade and the Riverwalk Freedom Festival, we offer an ample amount of events that target young and old, from new residents to residents whose families are deeply rooted in Milford’s History. Milford is a community in every sense of the word. We enjoy supporting and participating in as many events as we can and will continue to do so. I will lend my leadership and organizational skills to everyone and anyone who asks.
Bayhealth Medical Center plans to build a new health campus on Route 1 and repurpose the use of the current hospital on Clarke Avenue in Ward II. What do you see as the future of this site and what do you see as your role?
This is NOT the first time the Milford Hospital has moved. The grounds of the hospital once located on N.W. Front Street were repurposed into profitable small businesses. Every property owner in Ward II has a vested interest in what happens not only with the grounds of the hospital, but also the former middle school, as well. I feel it is important to get the pulse of the community and listen to proposals for future site plans from Trammell Crow. It sounds to me like Bayhealth realizes their responsibility in repurposing the site and I look forward to being present at the workshops starting this fall.
Why should residents vote for you on September, 1st?
My twenty years’ experience in the food service industry has taught me the necessary skills and lessons to being a successful leader not only in business, but in volunteer roles. When an individual understands the importance of humility through service to others, it helps you to see the bigger picture and not lose the forest for the trees. I have a great support system at home, at work and in the community. I believe this community genuinely wants the same things I do, to see Milford grow.