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Townsend (DE) Town Council {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

The Town of Townsend will be having its Town Council Election on May 1, 2021. There are three (3) Council seats open, and four (4) candidates have filed to run.Annual municipal elections for the Town Council are held on the first Saturday in May each year. Three Town Council member seats are up for election on the odd years, and two Town Council member seats are up for election on the even years. Once the newly elected Council is installed every year, their first task is to vote on which of them will serve as Mayor until the next election.Residents within town limits are eligible to vote if they are at least 18 years old on election day, have lived in Townsend for 30 days prior to the election, and have registered to vote with the State of Delaware by two weeks prior to the election (by April 17th, in 2021).Polls are open at the Town Hall, 141 Main Street on Saturday, May 1, 2021, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm. You must have proof of residency and photo ID to vote. Absentee ballots are available upon request from Town Hall or the town website, https://townsend.delaware.gov

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  • Candidate picture

    Eschalla Clarke

  • Candidate picture

    Gerald Dove

  • Candidate picture

    Scott Lobdell

  • Candidate picture

    Joshua Mertz

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?

Residence (neighborhood/area): Townsend Village
Campaign Phone: (302) 760-9562
Brief background bio (a single paragraph): Employed by the State of Delaware, I serve as a Senior Administrator overseeing social service programs, and contributing to the delivery of higher education, healthcare, transportation, and public safety across the state. In this capacity, I manage boards, committees and workgroups; currently siting on the Overdose System of Care Rural Subcommittee and chairing the Medication Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) Workgroup. As a passionate volunteer, I work with underserved veterans in Delaware and dedicated the past five years to helping children in Foster Care have a voice inside courtrooms. I sit on an Appoquinimink public school Parent Teacher Association (PTA), is a Townsend based entrepreneur providing transformational consulting services, and advocates for women's rights.
The demographics have changed – the town’s population peaked in 1940 at 544 residents. Then in 2007 the population exploded to 1,101. Now, there are almost 3,000 residents in Townsend, and there are further plans to expand the town's growth, with strategic intentions to increase the population and geographic boundaries through residential developments and annexations.

Of the 10 homes surrounding our house in TV II, 8 are owned by African/Black Americans and 2 are Caucasian/White Americans. The existing Council consists of 5 White males.

While this isn't about race, I say it is time for our town council to reflect the changing demographic of this community. I am ready to rise to that challenge, work with the Council/Staff that are already serving on our behalf, and represent Townsend in the room where decisions are being made. Let's make Townsend a model community! Come out to the Townhall and vote - show your Townsend pride on Saturday, May 1, 2021!
As Councilwoman, I intend to work diligently on improving communications with town residents, providing the perspective of a diverse and inclusive council member, addressing and resolving the immediate concerns of residents, and building an infrastructure that reflects our growing population.

Currently, the critical issues facing Townsend are; (1) speeding in town limits, and (2) parking on the streets. Both of these issues are safety concerns for our most vulnerable populations; children and those in need of immediate medical care. There are a multitude of solutions that can be proposed in the near future; from speed bumps, to street signs, serpentine curves, law enforcement patrols, or even penalties. However, a final decision requires collaboration with Council members, Town Staff, the residents that are affected, and a fiscal assessment of the most feasible outcomes.

Additionally, I am looking forward to opening discussion on developing recreational outlets within town limits.
Townsend complies with communication requirements specified in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); public meetings are hosted on a recurring schedule, public notices are posted online and in community venues, news and events are advertised publicly, and other methods of communication are used. The problem is engaging town residents to take action.

Service on this Council will open a new forum to share my knowledge, where I can contribute best practices learned over years of experience in communications and media management. As Director of Media Relations for a local veteran organization, Secretary of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), and staff to Governor-appointed boards, I am versed in open communication techniques and will apply this knowledge to enhance communication efforts in Townsend. This includes establishing direct lines of communication with residents, attending Council meetings/events, and leveraging volunteer efforts.
Like some of you, my family were first generation immigrants seeking the American Dream, and they found it. As children we grew up in this country, were educated here, matured here, secured jobs, started families, and now we want a better life and environment for our children, and their children.

I am not a career politician. I am running for office because I love our little Town - its small-town feel, sense of community, and family oriented togetherness. I intend to act in the best interest of our municipality and on behalf of fellow residents.

In the past 7 years I have dedicated countless volunteer hours to the veterans and Foster children of Delaware - acting on their behalf in Family Court, giving voice to their wishes and concerns when they feel powerless to speak, and making decisions that would impact their overall well-being for many years to come. Be assured, I am capable of navigating the legislative process and political arenas.
As a resident of Townsend for 14 years and counting, I have enjoyed living in a small town where little to nothing ever happens. Situated between larger towns like Middletown with 22,000+ residents and Smyrna with 11,000+ residents, I recommend implementing recreational venues/events to enhance Townsend's unique character and charm.
Residence (neighborhood/area): 626 Taylor Street Townsend, DE 19734
Campaign Phone: (302) 332-0446
Campaign email: Doveg6@aol.com
Brief background bio (a single paragraph): My Law Enforcement career spans 40 years in both the U.S. Army Military Police (Station Commander Retired) and Civilian Police (Police Captain Retired) and numerous Executive Officer/Management Positions. Stationed overseas with NATO for 14 years, 5 of the years with the International Police and 26 years stateside community policing I worked with diverse nationalities, cultures, and ethnicities. As Installation Coordinator of Brussels Community (3,000 military/civilian personnel and their families) I solved community issues and concerns. As Police Captain I held various leadership positions outside the realm of Law Enforcement enhancing my abilities in government organization and management. In 2019 I served on the Townsend Commission. I am married to my wife Kathleen for 42 years; we have one daughter, and we have a rescue cat named Blondie. Townsend was my home of record since 1987, and I am a resident of Townsend since 1998. Proficient in all correspondence, reports, justifications.
Any additional Information: A ward of the state for 18 years I overcame adversities and challenges and as Police Captain I mentored cadets from MD Free State Challenge Academy Harford County utilizing my early life experiences. I conducted Town Hall’s, community awareness training, reviewed community complaints, spokesperson for public affairs, drafted press releases, memorandums of agreement and understanding, justifications for grants, report, awards and recommendations. HAZMAT Certified, multiple FEMA courses in community preparedness, CISM Certified Group/Individual, DVA Patient Advocate, Government Contractor (Part-Time), active government security clearance, Contract Officer, Fire Marshal, EEO/Sexual Harassment trained, computer forensics, Army Management College for senior/executive leaders, Conventional Physical Security Certified. My life of public service is the bridge I will use to represent and support the citizens of Townsend; I will be an ally of the people. Proven leader, problem solver, performer.
I want to be an ally of people; I want to involve the community and gain their input on issues impacting their lives and allow residents to vote on changes that influence their quality of life. I do not think that major decisions should be made by only a small group without major input from the community, communication should be abundant between the Town Government and the residents.
To get the public access to and their presence inside the Town Hall, to increase communication between the residents and Townsend Staff, (to get back to conducting business in person), and to address issues that were brought to my attention by residents during my listening tour as candidate.
I will provide an email address and telephone number available to residents that is strictly designated for town business, improved advertisement of the town hall meetings to encourage residents to attend, ensure all minutes are posted to town site and easily pulled up for residents' review, and I will try to be a visible presence in the community and encourage participation in our community activities.
As a 40-year veteran of public service I am a proven trustworthy and honorable person whose interpersonal communication skills and history of public speaking enable me to relay ideas as well as carefully listen and receive the community's input. My government background, education, experience has taken me all over the world, in many different cultures, working with different people and customs and as such I can relate to people and their concerns easily. In the numerous positions I've held I have been placed in varied situations out of my element and this has enabled me to adapt to ever changing events. I am a proven effective team leader, analytical thinker, excellent planner and a problem solver. My goal is to represent all the Townsend Community and not favor any special interest group or limit my focus to just one issue.
I like the small town atmosphere, the walkable streets, friendliness of the neighbors. I don't like the feeling of not being informed as much as we should be before changes are implemented.
Residence (neighborhood/area): Townsend Village 2
Campaign Phone: (302) 824-5942
Brief background bio (a single paragraph): I have lived in Townsend since 2006 with my wife and three children. I have served on Town Council for the last two years working as the Chair of the Land Use, Community Relations and Parks and Rec Committees. I am also a Professional Engineer and have been responsible for numerous large and small projects throughout the State. I have been working with all levels of government in Delaware since 2002.
My background in Engineering and my experience working with different types of government allows me to help provide a needed element to the Towns approach to various things.

I have lived here and raised a family here since 2006. Seeing all of the younger families moving in since that time gives me the drive to want to keep making the Town a great place to live. I want people to be proud of this Town.

I am very proud to live in Townsend and I want to continue to serve as a representative of the residents and help the Town on this exciting journey it is on.
1. Continuing Responsible Growth - In my first term one of the first things I did was sit down and revamp a lot of the planning code in a way that help promote responsible development. With the help of our tremendous staff and the fantastic volunteers on the Planning Commission, we were able to pass sweeping changes in the code that will benefit the Town for many years to come.

2. Town Safety - As the Town grows there will be a growing need to bring in a more local police force. Something as simple as seeing a police officer or car with Townsend Police written on it will give the community a sense of pride but also of awareness that someone is looking out. We have already begun to study this.

3. Town Interactions : Now that we are coming out of COVID I would like to continue to implement programs for the residents. We have already planned many events for the residents and are actively working with developers to create a walkable downtown community with shopping and eating.
I am always available on my cell phone and by email and anyone can chat with me before or after the Town Meetings. If a resident reaches out to me they will receive timely responses.

I have and will continue to make myself available to meet with any resident who asks to discuss any issues they have. Having open channels of communication is very important to me.
I have enjoyed my time over the last two years representing the Town and helping where I could to assist. I have always tried to think of what’s best for the Town and the residents and I believe everything I have been part of has accomplished that.

I believe my background as a Civil Engineer and experience around the State has been a great asset to the town and will continue to be going forward.

I am seeking re-election because I believe the work this current staff, council and commissions have accomplished in a short 2 years has been outstanding. We are headed in the right direction on many things. I want to continue to be a part of the process and provide any experience I can to help grow and improve the Town. There are many things I personally did not get to implement due to COVID and I think we are now at the point that discussions can begin again to start implementing some of these exciting ideas!
I love the fact that even though the Town is growing the small Town elements remain. This is a beautiful town to raise a family and I fully believe if we can accomplish even half of the things we have planned/discussed it will not only keep that small town feel, but it serve as a model for everyone of what can be accomplished by working together!
Residence (neighborhood/area): Townsend Village 2 - West Side
Brief background bio (a single paragraph): Originally from CT, my family and I have lived in different states for work (IL, TN, WA, DE). We settled in Townsend in 2017 because of its small town neighborhood feel and schools. I was appointed to council in the fall of 2020 and have enjoyed serving Townsend. I am a trained chemist specializing in water treatment technologies (PhD in Chemistry) and hold 5 patents in the field. My wife and I are parents to 4 small children. I have previously served as a Rotarian and as a Board member for the TV2 Maintenance Corporation.
I am motivated to serve based on the concerns I have heard expressed by citizens in the Town. I have always been a fan of service and I want to show my children that it is important to serve in your community in any way possible. I have only been on council for a few months (8 months) and I have learned how our town government functions.
For the coming term there are three things on which I will focus.

1) Communication: As a resident I think that communication with the community can be approved. Specifically on projects that continue to be a concern but council has already addressed. While these items are in minutes, the minutes do not provide a good summary of actions.

2) Public Safety: The biggest issues facing Townsend are public safety issues. For example, speeding occurs in town both in neighborhoods and down Main St. The town is looking at solutions to curtail these issues including hiring police. I would like to continue to address these concerns.

3) Events: I would like to help build community by fostering more events in different locations in Town. Working with our industrial partners and neighbors will bring our town together.
This is a tough one. I talk to a lot of people both online and in person. Covid has made this more difficult. I would encourage everyone not only to email the Town Manager, but also the Council. Attendance at Council meetings is poor. I would suggest a monthly “Coffee / Tea” with a councilman at one of our local stores when Covid clears. I also think we should have some alternative open meeting times.

I have always been open with communication, but I am not sure the residents of the Town feel comfortable reaching out. I hope we can start to change that in our next term.
I am willing to serve in whatever capacity the voters decide. I will likely continue to serve as a volunteer even if I don’t get elected.

I am concerned about the expected growth of our town, new developments are already on the books and there is more interest in adding additional developments. While we need to plan for the future, I want us to consider the benefits of this booming growth and how it will change our town.

As a father of four, developing the town to address the needs of growing families is important to me.

I believe in personal responsibility. I would like to foster a feeling of Trust, Concern, and Respect in town. Government is necessary, but it should be limited so that people can decide what is best for their families. As long as everyone respects, trusts and has concern for one another, this community can grow without government overreach.
I like the small communities we have put together in “Old Town”, “Townsend Station”, “TV1” and “TV2”. In general, I find them to be friendly and our neighbors are kind. Neighbors rely on one another and I have seen many neighbors go above and beyond in supporting one another.

I don’t like when I hear people comparing Townsend to Middletown. We are not Middletown. We can choose to build our community the way we want it to be.