Milford Mayor Joseph "Ronnie" Rogers, Downtown Milford Inc. Executive Director Lee Nelson, Milford School District Superintendent Phyllis Kohel and Milford Economic Development Director Steve Masten talk about their goals for 2013.
Bring more jobs to Milford
Name Joseph “Ronnie” Rogers
Title Mayor of Milford
One of my top goals for 2013 is for city council to work on getting Milford’s economy into shape by bringing more businesses and more jobs into the area.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
Encouraging a vibrant local economy is vital to keeping Milford the best place it can be to live and work. It’s going to take a lot of work to do it, but I think one of the most important things we, as elected officials, can do for our community is help to provide jobs for our citizens.
One of the things we can do to help promote economic growth in Milford is make sure we’re keeping our utility costs in line with other cities in Delaware to ensure that we’re staying competitive for businesses looking to come here or keeping the ones we already have. We’re already looking forward to some projects that are nearing completion, like the (PSEG Solar Source) solar farm (off of Milford-Harrington Highway), that should help us do that.
Another thing we need to look at is the incentives we’re offering companies to encourage them to come here. We need to be sure those incentives are fair and effective at encouraging new businesses to get started here and that they’re actually helping to attract the types of good-paying jobs we’re hoping to attract for our citizens.
Work together to improve downtown Milford
Name Lee Nelson
Title Executive Director of Downtown Milford Inc.
Our goals for 2013 include helping existing businesses thrive with cooperative advertising, specialized consulting and events focused on bringing residents and visitors downtown.
We also want to actively partner with local businesses, organizations and the city to ensure local commitment and shared achievement in making Milford a great place to live, work, play and shop; encourage appropriate new businesses to open here to broaden Milford’s appeal as a quality shopping, family friendly and vibrant destination; and enhance our unique historic downtown character with attractive beautification programs and quality public art.
We plan to achieve all these goals in a cost effective way by relying on volunteers and sponsors.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
Downtown is the heart of Milford. DMI’s mission is to promote, support and encourage local businesses, quality of place and vibrancy in the 30-block downtown area within the context of historic preservation. DMI’s goal is to maintain and enhance a healthy downtown to benefit the whole town.
Cooperation is key: the DMI, its volunteers, the city, local businesses and groups partnering to help Milford grow brings us together.
The two most important goals for the year are interlinked. The USDA grant to bring specialized consulting and the Delaware Division of the Arts and Lions Club grants enabled us to continue the beautification of downtown with a public art project. Helping and promoting local businesses brings more visitors downtown. Once downtown, the public art project makes downtown more interesting.
We are Milford. River Town. Art Town. Home Town.
Foster successful future for students
Name Phyllis Kohel
Title Superintendent of the Milford School District
My goal for 2013 is to introduce more options for students to succeed.
During the coming year, I resolve to do all that we can to offer the students of the Milford School District a rigorous, challenging education that will prepare them for a successful future. We will work toward offering programs that can specifically address individual student needs; we will work toward implementing a dual credit program for juniors and seniors to earn college credit prior to leaving MHS; and we will work toward increasing the graduation rate for all students.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
According to the College Board, a school with a college-going culture is “a place where college is the next step for everyone. When students have school, parental and community support, college is seen as the norm: higher education is the expectation rather than the exception.”
Attract new business and help expand existing enterprises
Name Stephen Masten
Title Director of Economic Development
My goals for 2013 including working to attract new businesses and expand existing businesses consistent with the Milford’s Economic Development Plan and Complete Communities project, as well as help create and develop jobs for local residents and promote the city’s various economic development initiatives
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
These goals are important because organized economic development initiatives will support and connect existing projects, add new businesses and industries that will provide jobs for local residents, and add value our already vibrant business community.
In the coming year, the Economic Development Office will be working to attract start-up businesses in targeted development areas, provide resources, support and guidance to individuals hoping to start a business or expand a business, and help to identify funding options for existing and new businesses through grants and economic development programs such as small business loans. Identifying business development opportunities will be key to creating jobs for local residents, strengthening existing businesses and supporting new businesses.
With the addition of a web presence and the use of social media, the Economic Development Office will enhance communication and demonstrate the importance of using new technologies to promote economic development. We hope to introduce ways to support or to strengthen current business initiatives that will be profitable and beneficial for all stakeholders.
Milford’s Economic Development Office will spearhead these initiatives and provide support for existing businesses to move forward, locate resources and develop a network of workable business strategies. The office will customize solutions and business development specific for the Milford area.