Millsboro candidates answer questions ahead of election


Millsboro will hold an election for the District 1 seat on its town council on June 8, with three candidates vying to hold the position. The polls will be open from 1 to 7 p.m. in the auditorium at Millsboro Town Center, located at 322 Wilson Highway. Anyone wishing to cast a vote in the election must be a bona fide resident of the Town of Millsboro and be at least 18 years old.

Candidates for the election include incumbent councilman Tim Hodges, who is aiming to be re-elected to a third term, as well as former mayor and councilman Joseph Brady and challenger William Howlett, who has previously worked as principal at East Millsboro Elementary School and served on the Indian River School District’s school board.

Each of the three candidates was invited to answer a series of questions for Coastal Point readers to consider prior to the election. Brady declined the opportunity. Responses from Hodges and Howlett follow.

Tim Hodges

Q. What issue do you feel most passionately about, why, and what will you do to tackle it?

A. I decided to run for Millsboro Town Council to give back to the community that I love. I want to see Millsboro continue to grow into a vibrant town with all the businesses needed to support the residents of this area.

Q. How do you see Millsboro changing over the next decade, and what can/should the town leaders do about it?

A. Millsboro will continue to grow with new homes because Millsboro is a great place to live, offering peaceful surroundings and easy access to all the Delmarva Peninsula has to offer. Great businesses will follow this increase in homes. The existing council has made responsible decisions to support and prepare for this increase.

The leaders of Millsboro should continue to be business-friendly and support responsible, positive growth. We are currently working on a budget for next fiscal year that will support these goals, as well as provide funding for resurfacing existing streets and maintenance of other Town facilities, such as our parks, landscaping and rights-of-way.

Q. How do you plan to promote the town and its businesses?

A. I will continue to support Millsboro daily in all I do. Millsboro has much to offer, from well-priced, comfortable homes to its nice selection of retail businesses and restaurants to the beautiful Indian River and our friendly people. I believe Millsboro is the “center of the wagon-wheel” for Sussex County and the entire peninsula. From Millsboro you can get to all locations, from Dover to Salisbury and all Delaware and Maryland beach destinations, in about 45 minutes or less (some are even less by boat!). Once people see what Millsboro has to offer, Millsboro really sells itself!

Q. Why should voters choose you to serve on town council?

A. I have supported Millsboro since coming here 24 years ago as a small-businessman, and for the last six years I have served Millsboro on the Town Council. While living here, Millsboro has doubled in size and added many new businesses, and it has been done well. Planning for growth is the key to successful growth.

While serving on council, Millsboro has attracted many new businesses; significantly increased capacities of our water treatment facilities and added new water wells; increased capacity of our wastewater system while upgrading to a state-of-the-art treatment facility and introduced beneficial reuse to our disposal system to eliminate discharge into the Indian River; and we have worked with the State to get the Millsboro bypass back on track, which will alleviate truck traffic and congestion through town. Your vote for me in the election for Town Council will support positive growth in Millsboro that is done well.

William ‘Bill’ Howlett

Q. What issue do you feel most passionately about, why, and what will you do to tackle it?

A. The traffic problem is my most passionate issue. I live on Washington Street, therefore, according to DelDOT, 16,000 vehicles pass my house daily. The count will only increase. Working with business owners, DelDOT, the Millsboro Chamber of Commerce and Rep. Atkins, a change in traffic patterns through the town could be accomplished. My abbreviated plan is ready for discussion.

Q. How do you see Millsboro changing over the next decade, and what can/should the town leaders do about it?

A. A workshop to produce new directions of the Town of Millsboro might be helpful. If we lost the bridge again, would we approach it as a problem or as an opportunity? The next decade may provide a lot of opportunities. But at what cost and what benefits? The direction the Town leaders wish to accept will determine whether we attained our prescribed goals or remained dormant because of too many problems.

Q. How do you plan to promote the town and its businesses?

A. By listening to others and starting my due diligence as a town council member, there will indeed be many suggestions concerning the issue of promoting the Town of Millsboro and its’ businesses. I am forever asking myself, “What if?” or “Why not?”

My answers produced the energy-saving initiatives while on the Indian River Board of Education. The savings resulted in being the second most energy-efficient school district in the state. There was no cost to the taxpayers. Other answers produced the formation of the community theater group the Possum Point Players and the opening of the former Selbyville Middle School as a magnet school for the arts.

Q. Why should voters choose you to serve on town council?

A. After graduation from the University of Delaware, I garnered experience in agriculture, restaurant management and education, to name a few areas. Leadership positions were held in the U.S. Army, the Millsboro Lions Club, the Millsboro Art League and Millsboro Little League.

These experiences may prove valuable when discussing the issues that come up before the council.