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Middletown Transcript
  • Meet the candidates for Middletown Town Council

  • Middletown voters will head to the polls for the second time in three months on May 15, this time for a special election to fill the seat left vacant by former councilman David Fisher’s recent resignation.
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  • Middletown voters will head to the polls for the second time in three months on May 15, this time for a special election to fill the seat left vacant by former councilman David Fisher’s recent resignation.
    Four candidates are running to complete the remaining 10 months on Fisher’s two-year term, including recent town council candidate Richard “Rick” Catterton Jr., local chiropractor Andrew Chas, banker Isaac Daniels and Middletown Area Chamber of Commerce board member David Rich.
    Voting will take place in the council chambers of Town Hall at 18 W. Green St. from noon to 8 p.m.
    Any Middletown resident 18 and older is eligible to cast a ballot, but must be able to show proof of residency on the day of the election.
    Absentee ballots are available at Town Hall or online under the “Election Information” tab at www.middletownde.org.
    Affidavits must be filed by noon on May 14, while absentee ballots must be received by the town before the polls close.
    The following are Q&A interviews with each of the candidates:
    RICHARD “RICK” CATTERTON
    AGE 43
    YEARS IN MIDDLETOWN 16
    FAMILY Mother, Shirley Fleenor; Daughter, Jessica Catterton
    EDUCATION Calvert High School in Prince Frederick, Md., Class of 1989
    WORK HISTORY Eleven years as Parts and Service Director at Willis Ford in Smyrna
    PRIOR POLITICAL EXPERIENCE None
    Q Why are you running for a seat on Middletown Town Council?
    A I am running to bring new ideas and thoughts to the council and help improve our town.
    Q What do you see as the most pressing issues the town will face in the three years?
    A Traffic is one of the biggest concerns I see around town. We also need to look at ways to save money and get our credit rating back in good standing.
    Q What would you do as a council member to address those issues?
    A The town needs to work with DelDOT and find a way to divert traffic from the heart of town. We also need to work with credit lenders and see what needs to be done to get our rating back in good standing. And we need to look at cost-saving ideas and other ways to decrease our bills. Some ideas would be to look into solar energy and possibly wind mills to save and generate money.
    Page 2 of 4 - --------------------------------------
    ANDREW CHAS
    AGE 31
    YEARS IN MIDDLETOWN 31
    FAMILY Parents, Joe and Kathy Chas; Sister, Amanda Chas; Brother-in-Law Jaspal Singh; Wife, Amy Chas; Twin daugthers, Delaney and Kallie
    EDUCATION Middletown High School, Class of 2011; bachelor’s degree in business management from Wilmington University, Class of 2005; doctorate in chiropractic from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, Class of 2009
    WORK HISTORY Chiropractor at Camp Chiropractic in Middletown, 2009 to present; co-owner of 1861 Restaurant in Middletown, 2011 to present
    PRIOR POLITICAL EXPERIENCE None
    Q Why are you running for a seat on Middletown Town Council?
    A As a lifelong member of the Middletown community, I have participated in and led many area functions. While living and working within Middletown, I have also attended council meetings in an effort to remain aware of the businesses, growth and operations within our town over the past four years. My compassion combined with my awareness of the community would be an asset to the future of Middletown. I am excited for the possibility to synergize with the current council members to ensure that the town is a good place to socialize, make a living, and raise a family.
    Q What do you see as the three most pressing issues the town will face in the three years?
    A With the upcoming expansion of Route 299, from Route 1 to Catherine Street, I feel that the increased traffic within town will somewhat improve; however, the issue of traffic will remain. With the growing population, it is becoming increasingly important to utilize the various parks within town.  As a child, it was important to me to have clean and safe parks.  Now as a father, I continue to value the importance of areas to remain active, maintain a healthy lifestyle, strengthen family bonds, and make memories with friends. Lastly, another possible challenge Middletown may face within the next three years is economic development.
    Q What would you do as a council member to address those issues?
    A As councilmen, I will remain cognizant of possible congestion and continue to consider possible solutions. I will strive to keep our parks clean, determine ways to effectively utilize the spaces, and provide opportunities for safe functions.  While strengthening the economics within Middletown, protecting the current businesses, and allowing for future growth, a balance must be maintained to ensure that Middletown does not lose our small town feeling.
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    ISAAC DANIELS
    AGE 37
    Page 3 of 4 - YEARS IN MIDDLETOWN 5
    FAMILY Daughters, Amina and Naima
    EDUCATION Master’s degree from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, Class of 2004
    WORK HISTORY Currently an officer with Citibank Transaction Services; previously a management analyst for State of Delaware
    PRIOR POLITICAL EXPERIENCE None
    Q Why are you running for a seat on Middletown Town Council?
    A I am seeking to become the voice and advocate of town residents who would like to express their needs, wants and opinions that they feel will further assist the mayor and council with providing sound management of the most promising community in Delaware.  I want to work to have your voices heard.
    Q What do you see as the three most pressing issues the town will face in the three years?
    A Street traffic, walkability of town streets and beautification of Silver Lake Park
    Q What would you do as a council member to address those issues?
    A Due to our town’s increasing growth rate, I would encourage town management to revisit our current roadway plans and consider employing more innovative ways to eliminate bottlenecks in high traffic areas. I would recommend administering an assessment that measures the current use and future need of pedestrian walkways. This assessment will assist us with implementing a plan to make the town more walker friendly. Community walkability will have many health, environmental, and economic benefits for our residents and business owners. I would collaborate with our public works team, community volunteer groups and all other residents and sponsors that would be willing to assist us with revitalizing Silver Lake Park. With Silver Lake’s athletic courts and fields, pool, playgrounds, track and skate park, it certainly has the potential to be a great venue for athletic and festive spring and summer activities. It is comparable to Glasgow Park but with the hometown feel. I consider Silver Lake Park to be a diamond in the rough waiting to become one of Middletown's treasures.
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    DAVID RICH
    AGE 54
    YEARS IN MIDDLETOWN 13
    FAMILY Wife, Veronica; Son, Mustafa; Daughter, Chundell; Son, David II
    EDUCATION Attended high school at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Lenox, Mass.; bachelor’s degree in business marketing from La Salle University in Philadelphia
    WORK HISTORY Retired as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force/Delaware Air National Guard after 26 years of service; Currently employed as state director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service; Owner of the motivational speaking company B. Rich International
    Page 4 of 4 - PRIOR POLITICAL EXPERIENCE None
    Q Why are you running for a seat on Middletown Town Council?
    A I believe, as a citizen, serving our community is the right thing to do. Throughout the 13 years since I moved to Middletown, I have been heavily involved in the community and I believe with my professional and leadership background, I can continue to serve the community as a town council member. I truly love this town and look forward to being able to serve the town as it continues to grow. I always believe if you want to make a difference then stand up and make a difference. Public service should never be a lifetime career. However, I believe that as a citizen it is my responsibility to serve the community in which I live. Middletown, being such a small community, makes it easy for individuals to play a significant role in the progress and growth of the town.
    Q What do you see as the three most pressing issues the town will face in the three years?
    A The roads and traffic are a major concern, as well as equality and fairness in the hiring and employment of town employees and responsible government that takes into consideration all the residents.
    Q What would you do as a council member to address those issues?
    A Due to the growth of the town, the roads and traffic are merely by-products. We simply must maintain a responsible and considerate approach to how we continue to expand. Equality and fairness in hiring and employment is to simply do that – be fair and good stewards of the positions. I have very serious concerns as it pertains to the hiring practices of the town. As a council member, we need to be very responsible to all of the citizens of the town, not just those who vote us into office. I will outreach to the community to ensure everyone’s concerns are being heard and addressed to the best of my ability.
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