Mayor Blake will run for fourth term
Democrat Ben Blake announced this week that he plans to run for a fourth term as Milford’s mayor.
So far, there are no official Republican challengers. Two Republicans are interested and are in the "talking it over" phase with their respective families, according to Republican Town Committee Chairman Matt Gaynor.
Gaynor is hoping for a decision soon.
Blake said that after almost six years in office there is still more he wants to do to make sure that Milford stays the kind of community in which he grow up.
The Milford native has spoken of his love for the city since he first ran for office.
He’s often said, “If you’re lucky enough to live in Milford, you’re lucky enough.”
When he was running for his second term he said, “The position of Milford’s mayor is without doubt the best job on Earth.”
Blake stepped in as Milford’s youngest mayor six years ago at age 33. Now he’s 39, and his attitude hasn’t changed much. He still talks about his hometown with love and reverence, and insists it’s a place he wants to keep vital and charming for the sake of his children and future generations.
He talks about the efficiencies and improvements that have been created during his tenure. For two years, taxes have gone down slightly and the city is in good shape financially: Milford has a triple A bond rating. He talks about new programs that generate money for the city, like a system that now sees the city being paid for ambulance service, a practice that may generate $1 million in revenue this year.
He talks about new automated garbage trucks that require fewer people to operate.
And he talks about new parking spaces downtown, and plans in the works to create an anchor shopping center and possibly a low-profile parking garage near the train station.
“We had a 26% increase in new business starts over the last couple of years,” Blake said. “We’re far outpacing the state of Connecticut. Nowhere in the state do you see this kind of economic success. We have a 96% occupancy rate in terms of our commercial storefronts.”
Democratic Town Committee Chairman Rich Smith said Blake has earned a “well-deserved, statewide reputation as one of Connecticut's most outstanding mayors.”
“We are fortunate to have someone so perfectly qualified for the job we elected him to,” Smith said. “His strength is his keen command of the details of running our city coupled with a genuine love for our community and its residents. He personifies our city as no one else could.”
Smith is confident that the Democratic Town Committee will unanimously nominate Blake to lead the ticket this year.
Blake and his wife Sandy have three young children, and the demands of a young family may actually dictate just how long Blake continues to run for mayor: His predecessors served 10 and 12 years.
“I’ll keep doing it until I don’t enjoy it anymore,” Blake said.