Blake wins mayor; Rohrig wins city clerk race in Milford

“The City of Milford is in great shape, and I can’t wait to get back to work tomorrow,” Mayor Ben Blake said Tuesday night after winning his third term as mayor of Milford.

Blake won his bid for the top city seat with 6,180 votes to his opponent Paula Smith’s 5,406 votes, which are preliminary tallies and do not include absentee ballots.

Current City Clerk, Republican Joanne Rohrig, won the city clerk race, defeating challenger Brendan Casey, Democrat. Preliminary results, minus absentee ballots, had her with 6,179 votes to Casey’s 5,147 votes.

Rohrig wasn’t available to comment because she was busy in the city clerk’s office on Election Night. Casey thanked everyone who helped him in his bid for the city clerk post and credited Rohrig with running a good race.

“I learned that Milford is a terrific city filled with many positive people with wonderful suggestions for the future,” Casey said, adding that this isn’t his last run for a city post. “Look out 2017,” he said.

Early results had the Board of Education going from a 6-4 Democratic majority to a 5-5 split between Republicans and Democrats, something that Republican Board of Education member John DeRosa said could spell trouble.

Things could get “ugly,” DeRosa said, predicting a number of tie votes on issues.

Board Chairman Susan Glennon, Democrat, said she was sorry to hear that partisan lines were already being drawn.

It is my hope that the board will work together for the benefit of Milford’s children,” Glennon said.

Democrats held onto a majority on the Board of Aldermen and the Planning and Zoning Board, Mayor Blake said.

Blake said the next two years will see focus on making sure projects that are currently underway continue on track and that people displaced from their shoreline homes during major storms return home. Coastal resiliency will be a city focus, as will continued improvements to city schools, attracting businesses and bolstering the grand list, Blake said.

Paula Smith said she had no regrets about her run for mayor. “I’m glad I ran. It was the right thing to do,” she said.

Smith did not want to discuss news that broke late Monday indicating she was named on a state list of top delinquent taxpayers, with about $73,000 in unpaid taxes.

Republican Town Committee Chairman Paul Beckwith said the tax matter is a personal one for Smith, though he conceded the news may have swayed some voters.

He said Smith is in the process of settling the tax issue.

Beckwith said he thinks Tuesday’s results send a message that there are issues that Republicans and Democrats have to come together on in Milford.

He said the 8-30g affordable housing legislation is one, and taxes are another.

“The message is, ‘Mr. Blake, we want you to start addressing these issues’,” Beckwith said.Check back for more details and more Milford election results.