WEST HAVEN -- Both candidates who want to be mayor of West Haven believe experience qualifies them for the job. Incumbent Brian Melaney and his opponent, Blaine H. Holmes, who has served on the city council for 10 years, each say they have the background they need to lead the city.
Blaine H. Holmes
Holmes, 53, said his qualifications include living in West Haven all of his life, experience managing people and his time on the city council.
"I know how things work there," he said.
"We have a good city," Holmes said. "I'd like to keep it that way.
Holmes said his 23 years experience in law enforcement, including employment as a supervisor, would help him be a good leader and bring consensus.
He said he's able to "listen to people's thoughts and marshal them into a consensus."
Holmes said he's not a person who always has to win.
"I have some good ideas but other people do too," he said. "My goal is to do what's best for the city."
Holmes said he played a part in the city's general plan that has helped address growth. He said he would keep a close eye on that plan, possibly opening it up for more study.
Melaney said his record should speak for itself.
"What I've done the last four years will be reflective of how it would be for the next four years," he said.
Key achievements he listed were paying off a large chunk of the city's debt, building up a road and storm drain impact fee pool, obtaining state funds for road projects in the city and improvements to parks.
Melaney said when he came to office, the city was $2 million in debt and now owes $270,000. He said he fully expects to get the city completely out of debt.
He said the city went from "practically no funds" in the coffers for road and storm drainage to having $2.5 million in that account.
"If those things aren't good enough for the people, I can't do any more," said Melaney about the city's financial situation.
"I'm not going to toot my horn about qualities I may or may not have," he said. "My goal is maintaining the wonderful city and balancing where we are and where we are headed."
Blaine Holmes No Candidate Response Submitted