See profiles of candidates Aaron Blythe, James Carns, Drew Chas and James Royston along with voting information in this story.

The profiles of Middletown Council candidates Aaron Blythe, James Carns, Drew Chas and James Royston are listed in alphabetical order.

Aaron T. Blythe

Age: 42

Years lived in Middletown: 13

Family: Wife, Jessica; son, Chase

Education: Graduate of Concord High School in Wilmington, Class of 1994; Studied business administration at the University of Delaware and human resource management at Wilmington University

Occupation: Senior vice president at Bank of America 

Leadership experience:  Founding member and current president of the Willow Grove Mill Homeowners Association;

Executive vice president, division coordinator, facilities manager, and coach for M.O.T. Little League;

Represented Middletown on the New Castle County Parks Task Force, serving as co-chair of the Park Amenities Sub-Committee which made final amenity recommendations for a proposed regional park in Southern New Castle County.

What are the two most important issues in Middletown and how would you propose handling them? 

Improved traffic flow in and around Middletown is everyone’s number one concern. While the completion of U.S. 301 and the upcoming widening of Route 299 will provide welcomed relief, taking interim steps to reduce congestion is a continuous process. With the New Castle County Library and the Middletown YMCA both coming to the area, development of alternate routes across town are even more critical. A viable transportation plan should not only include additional east/west roads, but also a mix of expanded local DART bus routes and interconnected bike and pedestrian paths to help ease the stress on local road infrastructure. 

Of equal importance to residents is ensuring responsible growth in Middletown. Keeping utility costs low and providing access to affordable housing must remain a priority. However, there must be a balance between residential and commercial density across the developed areas of town. An ongoing dialogue between the community, developers, and town government is critical to making sure we keep that small town feel.

What are two of your main goals if elected? 

As councilman, I will ensure openness and transparency in town government. To help stay in touch with the community, I plan to increase public participation through a mix of community forums and direct engagement with local civic and homeowners associations. In addition, expansion of the town’s online presence could serve as a valuable tool to invite additional engagement. 

As Middletown’s growth continues, I will be a champion for the protection of Middletown’s parks and open spaces, making sure existing park amenities meet community needs. To further that goal, I will continue to partner with New Castle County to finish the work of the parks task force and bring a district or regional park to the Middletown area.

What qualities, characteristics and/or experience do you have that will help the town if elected? 

As a resident and community volunteer for the last 13 years, I know first hand that the Middletown community demands strong leadership, openness, transparency, and regular engagement.  My experience in the community and the private sector gives me the unique perspective to meet those demands as councilman.

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R. James Carns

Age: 42

Years lived in Middletown: 3

Family: Married with four children – three teens and one age 7.

Education: Associate’s degree from Chesapeake Bible College; working on bachelor's degree.

Occupation: Pest elimination for Ecolab

Leadership experience: management for Verizon wireless

What are the two most important issues in Middletown and how would you propose handling them?

East and west traffic – Consider finding a way to have one way roads, knowing that the railroad may be in the way of some of that.

Business – Continue family friendly businesses.

What are two of your main goals if elected?

Traffic and being sure we continue to be family friendly without having to apologize for things done in bad taste.

What qualities, characteristics and/or experience do you have that will help the town if elected?

I do very well with verbal communication and helping to come to a compromise that helps all parties understand and to be happy with the end result.

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Andrew “Drew” Chas

Age: 35

Years lived in Middletown: 35, a lifetime resident of Middletown

Family: Wife, Amy; three daughters, Delaney, Kallie and Finley; parents, Joe and Kathy Chas; sister, Amanda Chas

Education: Middletown High School, Class of 2001; Wilmington University, bachelor of business management, 2005; Palmer School of Chiropractic, doctor of chiropractic, 2009

Occupation: Chiropractor, Camp Chiropractic, 2009-present

Leadership experience: Middletown Town Councilman, March 2014-present; current council member of Finance and Billing Department.

What are the two most important issues in Middletown and how would you propose handling them?

With all of the recent changes and growth within Middletown, a number of challenges present themselves. With the current expansion of Route 299, from Route 1 to Catherine Street, I feel that the increased traffic within town will improve along with the recent opening of 301. As councilman, I will remain cognizant of possible congestion and continue to consider possible solutions.

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. Middletown will continue to strive to keep our parks clean, determine ways to effectively utilize the spaces, and provide opportunities for safe functions, such as sports for all ages, movies under the stars and fundraising events and gatherings.

What are two of your main goals if re-elected?

My vision is that Middletown will continue to be a community that surrounding areas will be eager to visit. I anticipate the continuation of diverse job opportunities as future businesses join in the economic development of Middletown. Middletown will continue to lead the way with innovative ideas while maintaining the integrity of the current town dynamics. It is important for the current council, along with new members, to have a collaborative effort to provide the community with reliable services as previous administrations have developed. I look forward to possible challenges and will work towards determining the best and most effective solutions. Middletown will be a welcoming, economically stable and safe community that we all will be proud to call home.

While strengthening the economics within Middletown, including the continued development of West Town, protecting the current businesses and allowing for future growth is of utmost importance. A balance must be maintained to ensure that Middletown does not lose our small town feeling.

What qualities, characteristics and/or experience do you have that will help the town if elected?

As a member of the current council, I have had the opportunity to learn the operations of the town in an effort to understand the growth, both economically and safety. As new businesses have joined the town, we are pleased with the jobs they provide – allowing families to grow in Middletown. I am proud of the daily operations in Middletown, providing safe, clean parks and streets and reliable electric services. We, as a council, can continue to improve on our efficiencies in each department.

My compassion, combined with my awareness of the community, will continue to help the future success of Middletown. As an elected council member, I will continue to ensure that the town is a good place to socialize, make a living, and raise a family. As Middletown continues to grow, our awareness of safety must continue to increase as well. We are proud that the Middletown Police Department continues to recruit and train new officers while maintaining seasoned veterans that do an outstanding job of keeping our community safe. We are pleased with the recent hire of the new MPD Chief Kracyla and look forward to his innovative ideas for the current department.

I hope the community can feel my passion and understand the efforts I have, and will continue to, put forth for the next two years.

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James D. Royston

Age: 56

Years lived in Middletown: 18

Family: Four children, Mike, Sarah, Samantha and Hannah

Education: Bachelor of Science degree, University of Delaware

Occupation: Worldwide account manager, FedEx Healthcare Solutions, responsible for $80 million in annual sales revenue

Leadership experience: Operations manager, FedEx Express, 13 years, managed 20-30 employees;

Currently on Middletown Planning and Zoning Committee, 8 years total;

Current president, Middletown High School All Sports Boosters;

Former board member, MOT Youth Football and Cheerleading;

1st Impressions Ministry, Connection Community Church.

What are the two most important issues in Middletown and how would you propose handling them?

Middletown has evolved over the past decade and continues to have a vibrant job market, retail area and restaurant selection. The residential growth in Middletown is a result of the tremendous school district, town policies, and safe healthy lifestyles for families and continued community pride of calling Middletown home. With growth comes new opportunities to improve. One opportunity I believe Middletown can improve upon is continued traffic congestion through town. I will work with local elected officials, developers and DelDot to look at viable solution to reduce traffic congestion through town. The widening of 299 and completion of the 301 bypass should relieve some traffic flow through town. All options should include solutions for safe foot and bike traffic in and out of downtown. It is vitally important to review all forms of traffic through town to support the many small businesses, arts community and maintain the small town feel.

Another opportunity is to continue to attract sustainable businesses that will bring quality jobs to Middletown. With my background in healthcare solutions, I will work with mayor, council members and the healthcare industry to recruit sustainable, good paying jobs for Middletown residents. The expansion of jobs in healthcare/life sciences industries would benefit local businesses and members of the Middletown community.

What are two of your main goals if elected?

My goals if elected to Middletown Town Council are to continue to look for sustainable business opportunities to support Middletown’s Main Street area. Middletown’s Main Street is the heart and soul of our community. A vibrant main street with diverse businesses and restaurants will be great to see.

Along with business and residential growth comes the safety and security of Middletown residents. I want to ensure the Middletown police department has the manpower and resources necessary to ensure our businesses can operate and our residents can enjoy a safe, secure and healthy place to live.

What qualities, characteristics and/or experience do you have that will help the town if elected?

I believe my work leadership and sales experiences, community involvement and serving as a current member of the Middletown Planning and Zoning Committee have prepared me to serve and lead on town council. I believe the diversity of the residents in the Middletown community is an advantage that we must utilize to strengthen our community and make out town a better place to live and raise a family. Lastly, I look forward to embracing the many innovative and creative ideas of the residents in Middletown to make our community the best place to live, work and maintain a healthy lifestyle.