Candidate profile: John Stanforth


Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth is running for another term as mayor at Tuesday’s Republican primary election.

Please share accomplishments you are proud of during the time you’ve been mayor.

When I was elected Mayor of Wilmington, the city was facing significant financial and personnel issues and a backlog of deferred maintenance issues on much its utilities and roadways. We successfully cleaned up our finances, allowing us to make needed investments in the quality of life of our town. We have fully-funded our police and safety services, removed bad apples from the police department and set the stage for our next efforts to clean up petty crime and homelessness in town. We are aggressively targeting blight by tearing down dilapidated structures, a big reason why slumlords in town have been targeting me for defeat. We have funded more than $100 million in street and utility improvements using grant funds to fund more than 70 percent of construction costs, keeping a solemn promise I made to leverage local project funds. Much more is planned.

What would you like to accomplish in another term?

With reforms of our police department complete, I look forward to working with new municipal court judge and city law director to take crime prevention to the next step. I note with great interest that the law director candidate has come forward with a plan to reduce homelessness and petty crime. Strong police and fire services, tidier neighborhoods, removal of blighted properties, better roads and improved infrastructure, a good parks & recreation department, and hardworking and helpful public servants create a community that draws economic development and people. We are making progress, Wilmington. Let’s keep the momentum.

Why should citizens vote for you to serve another term?

First and foremost, my Administration is a careful and faithful steward of the public tax money. We have leveraged locally-collected tax money with significant grants from the state and federal governments to improve our public utilities and roadways. This was a promise made when I became your mayor, and I say with great pride that we’re keeping our word. In this my final term as your Mayor, we will continue our work to modernize our utilities, rebuild roadways, and focus on reducing petty crime and homelessness.

I am the only candidate in this race that has accepted no campaign contributions. In addition, all of my campaign expenses have been made with businesses within the City.

What are the biggest issues facing the city today?

We have made great progress in Wilmington since I was elected your Mayor. Our aggressiveness in fully-funding our police and fire departments, major investments in utilities and roads, and our work to promote new home construction and jobs is helping us make significant advances. Our stepped-up law enforcement efforts and reinvigorated Wilmington Police Department are already improving public safety. Our violent crime is down significantly, but crimes against property remain entirely too high. We’re aggressively cleaning up blight by enforcement of building maintenance codes; tearing down or renovating rundown properties using our land bank; removing homeless encampments throughout the city; and taking to court slum-landlords, including the worst, who is defended by my opponent. We will work for expansion of homeownership in the city, including more housing development. We are already in the early stages of rebuilding downtown into an entertainment district centered around our reinvigorated Murphy Theater and many thriving small businesses. We will also further incorporate land around the airpark, as required, to promote additional expansion of job opportunities. Our efforts to modernize our utilities will also continue as a priority, including an update and expansion of the sewage treatment plant.

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