PROSPECT — After four decades in office, Republican Mayor Robert Chatfield has no intentions of stepping aside yet.
Chatfield, who will turn 74 in August, announced his plans to seek the Republican Town Committee’s endorsement to run for at 21st term Monday night at Town Hall with his family by his side.
“I grew up in town,” Chatfield said. “I believe the town has grown up with me.”
Chatfield was first elected mayor in 1977 and has held the seat since. By all accounts, he is the longest serving chief elected official in the state.
“I’m probably as active now as I was when I first started,” said Chatfield before jokingly adding, “The only thing different is my hair is now a spattering of silver.”
Chatfield believes he has proven himself over the last 40 years. He described himself as cheap when it comes to spending taxpayers’ money and said he will remain thrifty.
“I’m going to run on my record,” Chatfield said. “It’s always been an honor.”
Chatfield said he wants to continue making improvements in town, especially at the town parks and public works.
Chatfield pointed to the new Prospect Community Center, the former Community School the town bought last year from the Region 16 school district. He said rooms are being fixed up continuously, and the center, which is open, will be fully open by wintertime.
Chatfield, a U.S. Air Force veteran, first started in politics as a constable before being elected to the Town Council in 1973. Over the years, Chatfield said he has learned how to talk and reach out to multiple generations of people.
He said it’s the support of the townspeople and his family that motivates him to keep running for office.
“All the residents may not agree with me and the things I do, but they cannot question my dedication to this town,” Chatfield said.