by Terry Rogers
Todd Culotte owns and operates Bay Pro Contracting, which focuses on restaurant buildouts and residential remodeling and renovations. For more than 15 years, Mr. Culotta had a successful career in technology sales and project management. Mr. Culotta is a 1991 graduate of Milford High School. He holds an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management and a B.A. in Communications from California University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Culotta has also served in the United States Marine Corps. Several years ago, Mr. Culotta moved back to Milford with his wife, Kalle as they purchased and remodeled a historic home in downtown Milford.
What is your background – family, education, occupation, civic organization membership?
For over 15 years, I have had a successful career in technology sales and project management. I started my career traveling the country building the internet backbone for companies such as Verizon Business, MCI WorldCom, and Level 3 Communications. I also managed high traffic web sites of well-known sports entities for IMG Media. I am a 1991 graduate of Milford High School and hold an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management and a B.A. in Communications from California University of Pennsylvania. I am also a United States Marine. I am a member of the Milford Lions Club, a board member of the Milford Museum and the Milford Historical Society, and a past member of the Milford Historic Preservation Group.
Why are you running for mayor?
I grew up here and it holds very special place for me. I look forward to leveraging my life and career experience to lead Milford in maximizing that potential through effective growth strategies and infrastructure support.
What experience do you plan to draw on in order to successfully serve as Mayor?
I have had a successful career in technology and now run my own small business. I have managed very complex projects on a global scale and understand what it takes to inspire people to accomplish a common goal. Milford is at a very pivotal time right now and it will need the proper leadership to take it to that next level.
What are the most important issues Milford faces over the next two years, and how would you address them?
With the new hospital opening soon, Milford is going to see the need to accommodate more new residents and employees. The Milford City Government and City Operations will be vital in helping everyone accomplish their goals. I look forward to helping businesses get set up and operate with as much speed and ease as possible. Milford is also a very historic city which means many properties are aging and in need to both cosmetic and structural repair. Often times, coming into Milford, you can see some houses that need attention. I hope to first improve the local economy to stimulate investment into those properties and the city overall, thereby improving the appearance of our wonderful city.
Do you see Milford’s City government as responsive to the needs of the community? What could it do better?
Yes, I do think our City Government is responsive to the community and our needs. However, sometimes I think we can get tripped up on process and competing priorities. I think it’s up to the Mayor and the City Council to set the mandate, and carry it out with City operations and support.
I feel that the administrative process to get approvals is slow and can be improved. Also, I think, often times, city government can take a one size fits all approach to situations, and not take into account, things that have an impact on certain situations. I think Milford leadership could learn to work with business and home owners to accommodate their particular issues.
Do you see Milford as a good place to start a small business? Why, and how could it improve?
Yes, I do think Milford is a good place to start a small business. The low cost of entry for things such as commercial real estate and housing make it easier to invest in a business idea. It’s important that City leadership understand what it takes to invest in a business and not overburden business owners with unnecessary fees and taxes that hinder growth.
What would your economic development strategy be as Mayor? How can we add quality jobs to the Milford area?
I think Milford, along with much of Sussex County, is seeing an influx of retirees and senior citizens from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic metro areas. It will be vital to provide these residents the services they will need to live comfortably. Healthcare is the primary one, and what I believe will be our main industry going forward. I hope to build Milford’s economy on this. The Bayhealth facility is the very start of this movement. I anticipate over a billion dollars of investment in our community over the next few years as health services in many specialties come here to meet the needs of residents. We have the space to grow, the geographic location that is ideal for retirement, and our proximity to the beach combine to make it a really wonderful place. Let me say that again, that’s billion with a “B”.
How is Milford handling its’ long-term growth, and what could be done better to manage growth?
I think Milford is doing a pretty good job with long term growth. I think it’s always a balance between having enough housing but not overdeveloping and so far it seems okay. I know there a few thousand lots approved to residential construction, so I think we are okay for the time being.
What do you hope to accomplish as Mayor?
I hope as Mayor, we can set a course and a vision for Milford that improves the economy for years to come. Allowing companies to set up operations in Milford and making that process as simple and streamlined as possible will allow for economic growth like never before. This will improve our infrastructure, downtown, schools and neighborhoods and allow everyone to live a better quality of life.
*The City election will be held Saturday, April 28 from 12 Noon until 8 PM. Voters must be registered with the City of Milford in order to vote in the election. *
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