Another mayoral hopeful is poised to throw his hat into the ring: Local historian Tim Chaucer said this week that he plans to seek the Democratic nomination to run for mayor in November.
Chaucer, who has been involved in historical and land preservation issues for years in Milford, makes mayoral hopeful number five for the 2009 election.
Incumbent Mayor James Richetelli Jr., a Republican, has announced he plans to seek another term. Former Board of Aldermen Chairman Tom Beirne has announced that he’d like to run on the GOP ticket.
Peter Spalthoff, a former Republican Town Committee chairman who joined the Milford Independent Party, plans to run on the Independent ticket.
Democrats already seemed to be lining up behind Genevieve Salvatore, a lawyer and relative newcomer to the Milford political scene, who announced her intention to run on the Democratic ticket. Last week, Chaucer penned a letter to the Democratic Town Committee stating his interest in seeking the party nomination.
“I want to run because I think I can do the best job for the city of Milford,” Chaucer said. “I’ve lived in Milford my entire adult life. I’ve always said it’s a city worth saving.”
Chaucer said he identifies with the city’s historic beauty.
“Sometimes the chief executives we’ve had don’t get the real historic significance of the city,” Chaucer said. “I think people love Milford who live here because of the beauty, the beaches, the green, the woodlands, the wetlands, and yet we see these being chipped away. There ought to be more efforts to preserve the beauty.”
Chaucer also said taxes are a huge issue for him, especially because he had to sell his Gulf Pond home because taxes soared.
“I have many questions about the assessor’s office, and I know for a fact that there are people who live on direct waterfront in Milford who pay nothing in real estate taxes,” Chaucer wrote in a letter to Democratic Town Committee Chairman Rich Smith. “I know of other cases where people pay too much or too little.”
Early this week, the head of the Democratic Town Committee said he hadn’t read Chaucer’s letter of intent yet.
“He made overtures months ago,” Smith said. “I’d have to talk to Tim and see what he thinks the issues are. I’ve not had an opportunity to have that conversation yet.”
Smith said the nomination process is fairly straightforward. The Democratic Town Committee will vote for a nominee at a convention July 22. “Whoever has the most votes of the delegates will win the nomination,” Smith said.
Chaucer said he would primary for the nomination if the committee chooses Salvatore.
Chaucer notes that he has lived in Milford all his life, while Salvatore has not, and he is a life-long Democrat, while Salvatore was a Republican until about four years ago.
Salvatore says it’s true she is a relative newcomer to Milford — she’s been here since 2002 — but she doesn’t see that as a negative.
“Many people are new to Milford like me,” she said, “and the fact is that I chose Milford as the place I wanted to raise my son. So I feel I’m as vested as anyone.”
On being a fairly new Democrat, she said she became disenchanted with the Republican Party both nationally and locally.
“I said I need to make a change,” Salvatore said. “I wanted to make sure my political affiliation was aligned with where my heart was.”
Salvatore is chairman of the Milford Economic Development Commission and has said she wants to seek the party nomination because she sees “substantive opportunities to improve the way our city government functions, to break out of the business as usual cycle and introduce new, most cost effective and efficient ways to manage our city government.”
She has said the public sector has not been as innovative as the private sector in streamlining and improving the way it does business.
“Over the past eight years, the city’s budget has grown at an astronomic rate,” Salvatore said when she announced her intentions about a month ago. “Much of this, I believe, could have been avoided by more prudent and purposeful focus on driving the cost of doing business down while at the same time improving services.”
Story a reprint from Milford Mirror