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Middletown Transcript
  • KNOW YOUR CANDIDATES: 3 Townsend council seats up for election Saturday

  • Five candidates are vying for three seats on Townsend Town Council in the May 4 municipal election.
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  • Five candidates are vying for three seats on Townsend Town Council in Saturday's municipal election.
    The top three vote-getters in the contest will win a two-year, unpaid term on council.
    Voters can cast their ballots from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Town Hall at 661 South Street.
    The following are each candidate's response to a questionnaire the Middletown Transcript distributed last month.
    Profiles of candidates Lorraine Gorman, John Ness and Rudolph "Rudy" Sutton Jr. ran in last week's Middletown Transcript, while Sandra Sturgis' profile ran this week.
    Incumbent Dwain Haines did not respond.
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    Lorraine Gorman
    AGE 59
    HOMETOWN Old Bridge Township, Middlesex County, New Jersey
    FAMILY Husband, Richard; Mother, Rose (Shovlin); Daughter Dana (Riley); Son-in-law, Matthew (Riley); Grandchildren, Shane (8), Gabriella (6) and Brennan (2)
    EDUCATION Cedar Ridge High School, Class of 1971
    OCCUPATION Current – Right-of-way agent for New Castle County since 2011; Previous –right-of-way agent for Verizon New Jersey Inc. for 33 years
    PRIOR POLITICAL EXPERIENCE None
    FAVORITE TV SHOW "N.C.I.S."
    HOBBIES Sewing, Crafting, avid baseball fan, spending time with grandchildren
    Q Why do you want to be on Townsend Town Council?
    A I have enjoyed volunteering at various town events and participating in the monthly town meetings over the past several years, and have found it to be a very rewarding experience. I want to be able to contribute more – and serving on Town Council would enable me to do so. Townsend has so much potential – and I want to be part of the team that helps to develop this potential.
    Q What do you see as the three most pressing issues facing Townsend in the next two years?
    A The economy has had a dramatic effect on new construction everywhere. Our newer subdivisions, Townsend Village I and II, are far from complete. We need to keep pressure on the developers to maintain vacant lots, roadways and common areas. "Curb appeal" is critical at these developments not only to attract new buyers but to ensure that existing homes are not devalued by the appearance of their surroundings.
    Our town's population has grown from a few hundred to over two thousand over the past several years, but we have not had a growth in businesses. Attracting new business to Townsend would not only support our population growth, but would also be a new source of revenue for the town.
    Page 2 of 5 - The town needs to spend money wisely and carefully monitor expenses. New revenue will be key to our town's growth, as we should not rely solely on impact fees to carry the town.
    Q What do you believe makes Townsend a great community to live, work and raise a family?
    A Townsend is centrally located between Delaware's major cities with easy access to major highways. Children attend schools within the Appoquinimink School District, which has an excellent reputation. M.O.T. offers fantastic sports programs and an active senior center. Even with the benefits of our location, we are still able to maintain our rural setting and friendly, small-town atmosphere. Having lived here for five years, I can honestly say that the greatest resource of Townsend is its residents – who I am proud to call my neighbors.
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    John Ness
    AGE 52
    HOMETOWN Linden, N.J.
    FAMILY Wife, Margie
    EDUCATION Linden High School, Class of 1979; bachelor's degree in math/oceanography from Rutgers University, 1984; associate degree in computer science from Chubb Institute, 1995
    OCCUPATION Current – Applications programmer-project manager at JPMorgan Chase for seven years; Previous – Applications programmer-production support manager at Deutsche Bank for seven years; applications programmer at Bankers Trust Co. for 3 years
    PRIOR POLITICAL EXPERIENCE Townsend Town Councilman - four years
    FAVORITE MOVIE "The Godfather"
    HOBBIES Cycling, playing guitar playing, soccer, being a grandparent
    Q Why do you want to be on Townsend Town Council?
    A I want to continue to serve the residents of Townsend. I consider it an honor and take the responsibility seriously. I want to ensure the growth of Townsend is controlled, while staying within budget limits and spending taxpayer money wisely. Since moving to Townsend six years ago, I attended Townsend Town Council meetings on a regular basis. I then ran for, and was elected to, Town Council because I wanted to be involved in what happens in the town I live in. The best way to do this is to continue to represent the residents, make a difference, and have a positive impact on council. Over the past four years I have made myself available to and responded quickly to all residents' concerns. I will continue to do so as long as residents allow me.
    Q What do you see as the three most pressing issues facing Townsend in the next two years?
    A Encourage development and growth of Townsend and minimize impacts to the town infrastructure while maintaining Townsend's quality of life. We need to seek out other sources so we don't just rely on home building for growth.
    Page 3 of 5 - Working with Town Council and the mayor to ensure that the council responds quickly to residents' concerns. We hired a town manager that is able to provide quick response in many cases. We want to improve on the level of service provided to residents.
    Working to improve the safety of residents and ensuring that police patrols are sufficient and ensure adequate coverage while staying within budget.
    Q What do you believe makes Townsend a great community to live, work and raise a family?
    A Townsend is a quiet town in a county with a good school system and nice neighbors. It is an affordable community that attracts different groups to live and work. They have diverse backgrounds, but all see that Townsend is a growing community with access to a good school system, relatively low taxes, and proximity to attractions, museums and other features. My grandkids remind me to say that they love the Townsend Municipal Park. My wife and I take them to play there every chance we get.
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    Sandra Sturgis
    AGE 47
    HOMETOWN Grew outside of Bear
    FAMILY Husband, John; Son, T.J.; Daughter, Brittany; Niece, Melissa
    EDUCATION Christiana High School, Class of 1983; completed college courses at Delaware Technical Community College
    OCCUPATION Training to sell life insurance
    PRIOR POLITICAL EXPERIENCE Three terms on Townsend Town Council
    FAVORITE TV SHOW Any comedy
    HOBBIES Spending time with my family, gardening and reading
    Q Why do you want to be on Townsend Town Council?
    A I was previously on council and enjoyed being part of a team that worked on keeping our town at operating efficiently. Unfortunately, I needed to step down after my last term due to personal reasons. I didn't feel as though I could give the attention required to do the job properly at that time. I feel that I am able to do so now, and believe that if the residents of Townsend put their faith in you by electing you, you should have the dedication, commitment, time and attention to give to the position.
    Q What do you see as the three most pressing issues facing Townsend in the next two years?
    A The three issues I feel require attention are continuing to be diligent with our budget to keep our community operating in a fiscally sound manner; working on getting the charter updated; and continuing to work with the residents to keep our town small and quaint, yet attract business to help us grow financially. I believe the new additions to council, who were elected in 2012, have helped to bring our community together as one. Hopefully, soon we will be able to connect one of the two roads from Townsend Village II into the center of town.
    Page 4 of 5 - Q What do you believe makes Townsend a great community to live, work and raise a family?
    A I originally moved to Townsend because of the school district and loved the idea of living in a small town. I moved from the same place I had grown up, which as a child was farm fields and no traffic. However, that is not the case today with all the developing going on. This is why I love our town, and although we have had growth in the eight years I've been here, it has been done in such a way as to keep that small town charm. I love knowing my neighbors. I believe that it makes it safer for our children when you live in a small community.
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    Rudolph "Rudy" Sutton Jr.
    AGE 36
    HOMETOWN New Castle
    FAMILY Wife, Keisha; Children, Tre (14), Kamren (12) and Kayla (9)
    EDUCATION Delcastle Technical High School, Class of 1994; Completed a three-year state apprentice program to become a journeyman carpenter, 2002
    OCCUPATION Owner of Contracting Plus in New Castle
    PRIOR POLITICAL EXPERIENCE None
    FAVORITE BOOK "The Power of a Praying Husband" by Stormie Omartian
    HOBBIES Building things, spending time with family
    Q Why do you want to be on Townsend Town Council?
    A In 2006, we were fortunate enough to build a new home in Townsend. As our neighbors began to move in, I realized that we all moved into this community because we share common goals.
    Townsend has the charm of an old town yet with new construction. I would like to be a Townsend council member to be a voice for the people's concerns. With the new leadership in place I feel that Townsend is moving in the right direction and I would like to be a part of that.
    Q What do you see as the three most pressing issues facing Townsend in the next two years?
    A I believe that one of the most pressing issues will be to amend some of the broken promises that were made to some of the residents during the housing boom. Many of us, including myself, were victims to some of these promises. We cannot change what happened in the past, but as residents, we play a major role in the future.
    Secondly, maintaining the family atmosphere is my focus for the town.
    Finally, is the financial stability of our town, along with economic growth. The cost of living along with the small-town feel has lured families to Townsend. I feel that we must come up with a way to increase economic growth by making Townsend more attractive to new businesses.
    Page 5 of 5 - Q What do you believe makes Townsend a great community to live, work and raise a family?
    A The family atmosphere. As a husband and father of three children, it gives me great pride to come home to a town that I feel is a great place to raise my family. From the time I hit Pine Tree Road, I begin to release all the weight that the day has put on me.
    I have been blessed with being able to work in the community in which I live. Working throughout the town has allowed me to grow good relationships in Townsend. As a result of those relationships, I've became more enthused in representing the town in which I live.
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