PROSPECT — Zachary Latozas was the first to endorse Mayor Robert Chatfield’s bid for an 18th term in office.
The 2-year-old grandson of Prospect’s long-time Mayor clapped his hands and held up a sign proclaiming “Grandpa Bob 2011,” as Chatfield announced his candidacy just before the Republican Town Committee meeting Tuesday night.
“My name will be on the ballot this year,” Chatfield said.
About 15 family and friends and 15 members of the Republican Town Committee cheered at the announcement.
A lot has happened since Chatfield was first elected mayor in 1977, he said.
“I think I put Prospect on the map,” Chatfield said.
He said one of his plusses is longevity, which allows him time to plan and follow projects through. While other towns have problems of continuity as power changes hands every few years, Prospect has had a stable, guiding hand, Chatfield said.
“We have a nice, steady form of government,” he said.
Among his accomplishments in his 34 years of governance, Chatfield named the budget cuts he was able to make this year to reduce taxes, even as other towns struggled to keep their tax raises to a minimum.
“I’m not frugal, I’m cheap,” Chatfield said.
Other achievements Chatfield cited were expanding Hotchkiss Field, building Caplan Park, building a new library and senior center and buying property to preserve open space.
Chatfield said he was proud to support Woodland Regional High School, which has turned out to be a success in the 10 years since it was built, despite controversy of the regional school when it was first proposed.
He said he brought water to Prospect through $8 million in grants and installed hundreds of catch basins around the town. Through proper drainage, Prospect has avoided many flooding problems which plague nearby towns, Chatfield said.
Chatfield said he works for the town 24/7 and is the only mayor in the state who is at town hall at 5 a.m. every day. He said he enjoys his job, which is more of a vocation for him, because it is something different every day.
Chatfield said his extensive knowledge of the town means he can quickly accomplish tasks without having to do as much research as newer leaders in other towns, saving taxpayers money.
“There isn’t much I don’t know about Prospect,” Chatfield said.
Chatfield said he’s asking the people of Prospect to put their trust in him once again.
If re-elected, Chatfield said he would like to see the completion of improvements to Hotchkiss Field and use a grant to put another garage behind the existing town garage. He said he would like to expand the senior center, which is currently bulging at the seams, and continue purchasing open space for the town.
“I’m going to go for every grant we can get,” Chatfield said.
Chatfield said he would campaign door-to-door and planned a picnic at Holliday Hill.
Chatfield asked the Republican Town Committee for its endorsement, which it’s expected to give at its next meeting July 12.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Chatfield said.