See related story on Blake's challenger, Peter Spalthoff: Republican Hits Streets Hard in Pursuit of Mayor's Seat
Milford Mayor Ben Blake says it’s business as usual ahead of a mayoral debate Tuesday against Republican challenger Peter Spalthoff.
“I’m doing what I do every day: running the business of the city,” the Democrat said when asked how his campaign for re-election is faring.
“The vast majority of my time is taken up with running our city departments and managing projects and addressing the concerns that come into my office fast and furiously,” Blake said.
Unlike two years ago when Blake campaigned aggressively on the road to defeating Republican Bob Joy, this time around he says he’s busy with the business at hand – the job he’s already got.
“It takes all my time,” Blake said. “It’s something that I love.”
The incumbent Democrat said his proudest moments of the past two years involve the two major weather events to impact Milford – the February blizzard and Hurricane Sandy – and how the city and its residents responded, pulling together as one.
Blake, who served on the city’s Board of Aldermen for eight years before running for mayor, said he’s kept the promises he made when getting elected to the top municipal seat in 2011.
“We found new ways to generate revenue that didn’t affect the taxpayer,” he said.
Through renegotiating, the city was able to cut nearly $2 million from annual health insurance costs, Blake said. And Milford will realize $1.5 million in energy savings via a deal reached with TransCanada, he said.
Blake also touted two municipal budgets passed unanimously through both the Board of Aldermen and the Board of Finance – a sign, he said, of bipartisanship amongst members.
“It shows we’re operating in a financially responsible manner,” he said.
The mayor is looking forward to Tuesday’s debate, saying discussion is essential for good government: “I am a student of Democracy and I think this is the highest form of Democracy."
The first mayoral debate of the season is Tuesday, Sept. 17, at the First United Church of Christ, 34 West Main St., Milford. Discussion starts at 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.