Traditionally I have never really been in the practice of endorsing any candidates, but this year with so many great contenders I thought adding my personal opinion might benefit many of you out there who have not had time to do the research or watch the debate videos.
Hard as it is to believe the election is only a few days away, and soon thousands of Milfordites will be storming in the voting booths and voting for their candidates. To help ease the anxiety of looking at a voter card with a bunch of faceless names, I am going to give you my thoughts on each of the candidates.
Before I begin it is important for me to give you my disclaimer, currently I am on the ballot in the First district as the Independent candidate for the board of education. However, my views and opinions are based solely on my own research and personal attendance of the mayoral debates, personally speaking with every candidate, and reading what local newspapers represented about each of them.
My assessment is as Follows:
Genevieve Salvatore: She is a relatively new citizen here in Milford, and many people do not yet really know her very well. Genevieve serves on the Economic Development Commission and practices law here in town.
Genevieve won an overwhelming vote from her party over longtime resident Tim Chaucer and received the endorsement from our U.S. Representative Rosa Delauro. Salvatore was also recently endorsed by the New Haven Reigister over Incumbent Mayor Jim Richetelli.
Her views are very favorable toward a local green economy, and has pledged a policy of zero based budgeting to keep taxes affordable on our cities struggling people. These two views are also complimented by Spalthoff.
Problems I personally have with Ms. Salvatore is her newcomer status, but more grave than that is her friendship with Rosa Delauro and Chris Dodd. In the coming years Milford and the state of Connecticut are expected to have a challenging relationship with a failing federal government. Dodd was recently ostracized over his banking relationships and Delauro has been pushing a bill "The Food Modernization and Safety Act" that would put all our local farms under Corporate and Federal control.
The Democratic Party, has also been involved in the negative and misleading campaign that borders on the actions of an impish spectacle. Their theatrical engagement of the Republicans has not sat well with many people who are concerned about the issues in town.
For these reasons, and even though I think Genevieve is a stellar person, I will always have some discomfort over her parties negative influence, in tandem with her ability to challenge Federal Democratic leaders, especially in a crisis situation.
Jim Richetelli: Last Election I supported Richetelli and had a sign of his on my lawn. He has been our mayor for many terms, and in the past has done a great job in leading our city. Personally I would like to thank him and acknowledge up front all of the great work he has done. However, we vote in the present and we look to the future. The very fact that Jim lost the endorsement of the Register, a paper that endorsed him so many times before was a testament as to the political climate that exists today.
This year Jim has been called out time again over Taxes, educational cuts, historical preservation, business audits, absenteeism, and contract negotiations. Two of the three debates I have been to (in my opinion) have not been very favorable for Richetelli. (You are free to view them on this site just refer to the archives.)
The latest challenge our Mayor experienced was the Democrats and the Republicans engagement of an intensely negative campaign whereby voters are being deliberately confused and misinformed with negative information about their opponents.
Voters I believe have grown tired of this practice and just want to hear the issues and the facts. Jim being the incumbent has a terrific re-election advantage this year, but I personally believe that advantage has been diminished.
Tim Chaucer:Tim is a lifelong resident of Milford, he worked tirelessly trying to support and protect our cities historic properties and open space. Chaucer has been very critical of the destruction of the Cadley House, and the development of the property next to the Milford Library.
Personally I have spoke with Tim and found him to be a sincere person, however, in my opinion, he has a narrow view of interests in our town. Tim is also running as an "Unaffiliated" candidate since he lost the support of his primary political party to Genevieve Salvatore.
Tim took the loss in my view too easily, early on he struggled with the idea of a primary and then opted out instead of standing by his convictions that he was treated unfairly by his party.
Personally I found Chaucer to be a great person with much to offer Milford and even though I think he is the weakest candidate I sincerely hope that he stays involved and continues to fight along with us for what he believes in.
His views on open land purchasing, historic preservation and city planning are supported by all candidates across the board and we will need his expertise on future committees and at council meetings, should he not prevail.
Chaucer can certainly be a unifying force with his broad knowledge on keeping Milford's growth in harmony with our history. Personally I would look forward to Tim's continued involvement in those areas as his message was well received and he certainly proved himself as an asset to our city.
Peter Spalthoff: Peter is my personal favorite, not because he is an Independent but because of his selfless nature, investment in our community, and financial background in understanding debt, contracts, loans and financial instruments.
Of all the candidates in the running Peter has run a very ethical and honest campaign. Peter has pledged transparency in government, and adopted a policy that puts "people first." Every week new letters arrive to our local newspapers in support of Peter. His candidacy as an Independent has been larger than any that I remember in recent memory.
Peter also represents a realistic new choice for the growing number of people in town who have become despondent with the two party system. Peter's list of endorsements is also impressive, and he is the only mayor in CT to receive the official endorsement of the state Independent Party and the Independent American Party.
Peter's skills will be needed in the coming years especially with the 110 Million in financing that will be needed for our school improvements. Peter is also very open minded and works well with others. His most recent post in a political party was the chairman of the Republican Town Committee, but due to his own disappointment with the Republican party decided to reinvigorate the ranks of the Independents here in Milford.
When Peter Made his campaign announcement on the green early this year, he invoked the spirit of the late Charles Iovino. Iovino was the only Independent mayoral candidate in Connecticut's history to win a Mayoral election as a write in candidate.
Your vote this election will count more than before, and I personally hope you will lend that support to Peter Spalthoff My choice for this years Mayor.
Rocco J. Frank Jr.
Milford Daily Blog Contributor