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Guía de Votantes

Middletown (DE) Mayor

Town of Middletown Elections are held the first Monday in March. The Mayor of Middletown, Delaware is up for election every two years, on the odd years. Citizens 18 years or older living within the town limits can vote. Proof of residency such as an ID card, or multiple bills or statements showing the voter's name and address is required. Absentee ballots are available.Per the town charter, the Mayor together with the Town Council of Middletown have many duties, including but not limited toproviding public services like parks, roads, water and sewer service, police and fire protectioncreating an annual budget and assessing property taxes and lodging taxes to meet expenditurescreating town ordinances and prescribing penalties for violationsregulating activities such as building, hazardous materials storage, and animal control within town limitsMeetings of the Mayor and Town Council of Middletown are held the first Monday of every month at at the Town Hall on W. Green St. The Mayor presides over council meetings but only votes in case of a tie. The Mayor of Middletown approves or vetoes all Town Council actions. The Mayor countersigns all checks from the town treasury, and appoints committees such as the Planning & Zoning Commission and the Board of Adjustment, as well as positions like the Vice Mayor and the Town Manager (subject to approval from the council).

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  • Candidate picture

    Kenneth L Branner Jr

  • Candidate picture

    Joseph D Pontak Sr

Información Biográfica

What motivates you to seek or continue in this office?

If elected, what will your top priorities be for the coming term?

How will you maintain an open line of communication with your constituents?

What are the key points you'd like the voters to know about you?

Briefly stated, what do you like best and least about your city or town?

Last edit date: Published 2/14/2021
Residence (neighborhood/area): Laurel Creek
Campaign Phone: (302) 299-9343
Brief background bio (a single paragraph): A lifelong Middletown resident, he attended East Carolina University and served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Today, he is the Director of Development for Artesian Water Co. In 2007, he retired as a chemist with the DuPont Co. after 40 years of service. Prior to becoming Mayor, he was a member of the Town’s Planning and Zoning Commission for 10 years, eight years as its chair. In his free time, he serves on the board of directors of the M.O.T. Senior Center and for the M.O.T. Little League as treasurer. On the state level, he has served on the Board of Directors for the Delaware League of Local Governments for eight years, two years as its President. He has also coached and served on the board for the M.O.T. Youth Football League. He served as Chief of the Volunteer Hose Company for four years and is a Life Member of the department. He and his wife Nancy have two grown children and four granddaughters.
Website or social media link: http://middletown.delaware.gov/meet-the-mayor
I have been Mayor of this great Town since March 6, 1989. Since that time, along with many dedicated members of Town Council, I have helped guide the Town of Middletown into the growing and evolving, yet close-knit community it is today. I like to believe we have had a hand in keeping the small-town feeling alive here, even though the size of the town has grown. With our growth, we now have many of the amenities nearby that we once had to travel to other towns to have – great restaurants, stores and services like doctors’ offices and hospitals for rehabilitation and emergencies. And, we have been able to provide all of these things without ever raising taxes – and we have the lowest utility rates of towns our size who provide the services we do.
I am running for Mayor to continue to do the work I’ve done for 32 years. There are many projects I am working on for the town regarding bringing new employers and big jobs to Middletown and the surrounding area, and I want to see those into fruition. In addition, a lot of big changes are happening around the United States within police departments to work on diversity on the force and improving community relations between residents and police. I, with the support of Town Council, appointed a Police Advisory Board at the end of 2020 and I want to be able to help them move forward and make Middletown become a model of community relations for other towns throughout the state and country as a whole.
I have an open door policy at my office and at the Town Council meetings, and I am interested in hearing from anyone who has good ideas for the Town. I pride myself on being accessible to anyone who lives in town to call me or email me and I make it a priority of myself and my staff to get answers to people. Even if they might not be happy with what I have to say, people deserve an answer. Every decision Mayor and Council make is done on the floor at our monthly Council meetings whether it is small or large. This gives our residents confidence that whatever decision we make is done on the floor at a “public” meeting and if they want to be a part of it, they can.
I would like voters to know I have many years of service as Mayor because I love the job. I love the challenge of making Middletown better every day and working toward smart growth in our Comprehensive Plan. I know every nook and cranny of the town, even where the water and sewer pipes are located, and where our electricity connects to the grid. Because I have this knowledge, I am able to help make the tough decisions about which projects need to be done now, and which can happen later. Also, in my work over 20 years with the Delaware League of Local Governments, I have many contacts with officials up and down the state who I can contact at any time to discuss issues that all towns face. Being in Delaware, we are a part of a contingency of lawmakers who share information and work together on many projects, and I believe these partnerships are invaluable to our residents. I want to continue to build on our reputation of low taxes, low utility rates and a friendly business climate.
I love living in Middletown. I have lived here my entire life and have no desire to ever leave. The only time I left Middletown was to go to college and to serve in the United States Marine Corps. As the Town has grown, we have not done so without “always” having input from our residents. There is really only one thing that bothers me. It is when people rush, or make judgement on something, without gathering all of the facts. In today’s climate, with social media, it fuels misinformation.
Last edit date: Submitted 2/17/2021
Residence (neighborhood/area): Main Street in the middle of Town
Campaign email: PontakForMayor@gmail.com
Brief background bio (a single paragraph): I grew up in Bear, Delaware until I was 20. At that point, I then moved to Baltimore and became a security specialist. After a period of time, I ended up in Boston for a while playing semi pro rugby. Six years ago, I moved to Middletown due to my mother’s illness. At this time, I became a general manager of a couple restaurants which was an incredible job because I was able to speak and interact with many individuals. One year ago, I was given an offer that I could not refuse driving a boom truck for Newark Wholesale. Throughout my life I have done quite a bit of volunteer work including several years with Habitat for Humanity. I am currently on the Zoning and Planning committee in Middletown. I am married with a stepdaughter and a son.
When I moved into Middletown 6 years ago, the main thing that I noticed was that there was very little, if any, communication between the Mayor, the town council, and the community. The Mayor is the one who should be talking to the people and finding out what they want, as well as their opinions on items they feel that should be addressed. I want to be that Mayor. I love this town and I have since I was a kid. The reason I want to be the Mayor is so that I can keep Middletown the friendly town that it has always been.
A few key items that will be my focus will be Public Safety, Traffic, Transparency and Stricter Development Infrastructure Approvals. One of the main things that I want the people to know is that I am not political. I am doing this for the people. I am here for them, The People. It is their town, and it is their Town Hall. They need to know what is going on behind closed doors. I am very passionate about the transparency.
As I have already demonstrated, open and honest communication are at the forefront of my campaign. I believe in total transparency with the people in my town. Due to this, I have already made a new email just for the residents so they can contact me with any issues or questions that the people may have. I also will post the minutes from town meetings on my Mayoral Facebook page. As Mayor, I would be at my towns disposal 24/7.
I am a family man and someone that has been to many states and cities through my career. I have seen several different ways that towns and cities have been managed over several years and I would love to bring that knowledge to Town Hall here in Middletown, Delaware. I will not claim to a party as I am here for the people and not a political party. I want what is best for the town and the people.
The thing that I really love most about Middletown is the people. There is always someone smiling at you or talking to you and that is what makes this town so wonderful. The thing that I like least about this town is the way that it was built up so quickly. We lost vast amounts of farm land and gained many issues, including major traffic problems.