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Three residents file to run for Milton mayor

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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Five candidates on ballot for council

Milton residents heading to the polls Saturday, March 5, will have to choose among numerous candidates vying for the mayoral seat and two council positions.

Three candidates, including incumbent Mayor Marion Jones, have filed to run for mayor, while five candidates, including two incumbents, seek two open council seats. All positions serve three-year terms.

Jones will run against current Councilman Ted Kanakos and former Mayor Cliff Newlands for the mayoral seat.

Jones has lived in Milton for 23 years and was elected to her first term as mayor in 2013. Jones has also served on the town's board of adjustment, historic preservation commission, economic development committee and town council.

"I am motivated to seek a second term because I care deeply about the Town of Milton and would appreciate the opportunity to continue the progress we have seen in the past three years," she said. "My administration has already demonstrated accountability, experience, consistency, stability and respect for all."

Kanakos, 70, has lived in Milton for 13 years and was elected to town council in March 2015. He has also served on the town's planning and zoning commission and historical preservation commission.

"I'm running to ensure we have competent oversight in the the form of a town manager and a police chief," he said. "After that, it will be getting a grip on our taxes, repealing unnecessary ordinances and punitive fees, addressing questionable hiring practices and generally upgrading the municipal services to the town, including fixing the sidewalks."

Newlands, 64, has lived in Milton for nearly 10 years and served as the town's mayor from 2010 to 2013. "I want to give the town back to the people," he said. "The current administration is over-regulating this town like crazy. We need to stop doing that, and let the people decide what needs to be done, and I can bring a lot of management experience and a lot of time."

Two council seats, five candidates

Two council seats, held by Treasurer Michael Cote and Secretary Sam Garde, also are on the ballot. The two incumbents have filed to keep their positions on council; they will face longtime residents John "Jack" Bushey and Charlie Fleetwood, as well as former planning and zoning commission Chair Ginny Weeks.

Cote, 67, became a full-time resident of Milton in 2011, after owning a home in town since 2008. For the past three years, Cote has served as treasurer on

Milton Town Council.

"As evidenced by the fiscal year 2010 audit report from the Delaware state auditor, Milton has had some serious financial reporting issues," he said. "As a retired CPA, I feel it is important that at least one council member have financial/accounting training and background. As a councilperson, I will provide a significant oversight role in maintaining the solid financial standards established and continuing as a result of the 2010 audit report."

Garde, 73, permanently moved to Milton in 2009 and was appointed to town council in November 2014, filling the seat of former Councilman John Collier, who resigned to pursue employment with the town. Prior to his appointment, Garde served on the town charter and ordinance committee and water committee.

"I'm running for council because I think I'm doing a good job right now, and I think I can continue to do a good job by coming to meetings prepared and keeping an open mind while listening to the concerns of the residents in the Town of Milton," he said.

Bushey, 69, has lived in Milton since 1950, serving 18 years on Milton Town Council starting in the early 1970s, followed by several terms as the mayor from 1996 to 2006. He currently serves as secretary at the Milton Fire Department.

"I'm running because I have more time for public service, and I think I have a lot to contribute," he said, adding that he has extensive experience in Milton history and government.

Fleetwood, 67, has lived in Milton since 1979. Shortly after becoming a Milton resident, Fleetwood served Milton Town Council for about 20 years, beginning in the early 1980s. He also served as a planning and zoning commission member, before the commission was officially C. Fleetwood formed, as the president of the Milton Chamber of Commerce, charter president of the Friends of the Milton Library, charter president of the Milton Community Foundation, president of the Milton Historical Society, and has organized the Music in the Park events for about 16 years.

"I'm running because I'm still interested, and I still live here," he said. "I want to be part of the community. I think I've got experience in doing it 20 years. I still think I can get some stuff done, good things."

Weeks, 70, moved to Milton 11 years ago, and formerly served as chair of the town's planning and zoning commission, on the zoning ordinance review committee and the process review committee, and was a member of the founding board of the Milton Community Foundation.

"I'm running because Milton's coming up at a time when there are a lot of big decisions to be made," she said. "We'll be looking at the comprehensive plan; we have to hire a new town manager, and those are just for start. We need to have people who bring different ideas to the council so there is more to choose from for Milton's future."

Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, March 5, at Milton Town Hall.

Residents must register to vote by 5 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 4.

For more information, call 302-684-4110 or go to milton.delaware.gov.



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Original Publication Date: January 8, 2016



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