By Elio Gugliotti, Editor
PROSPECT — After 22 terms in office, Mayor Robert Chatfield says he still has work to do.
Chatfield, a 77-year-old Republican, announced Jan. 29 at his home on Cornwall Avenue that he will seek the Prospect Republican Town Committee’s endorsement to run for a 23rd term as mayor.
“I’m a high-energy person and I’m not finished,” said Chatfield, who will turn 78 in August.
Chatfield, the longest serving chief elected official in the state, was first elected mayor in 1977. He has held the seat since.
“I grew up in town, if reelected I won’t have to do any on the job training. I’m ready to serve,” Chatfield said.
A U.S. Air Force veteran, Chatfield served in Germany from January 1962 to January 1965. He worked at Prospect Hardware, which was owned by George Cipriano, then the town’s first selectman, before serving overseas. When Chatfield returned home, he returned to work for Cipriano and was exposed to town politics.
“The bug bit me,” Chatfield said.
Chatfield got his start in local politics as a constable before being elected to the Town Council in 1973. Four years later, he ran for mayor.
Chatfield recalled purchasing the land for Hotchkiss Field and bringing public water to town to allow for development as the first big projects he tackled when he took office four decades ago. Now, he pointed to continuing improvements to the senior and community centers as well as maintaining the infrastructure program to fix roads as work that he wants to see through.
“The first big challenge,” he emphasized, “is getting back to normal after COVID is over.”
Getting back to normal for Prospect means concerts, festivals, parades and car shows, all of which Chatfield said he’s planning for again. He’s hopeful life can start to get back to normal around July.
As he seeks his 23rd term, Chatfield does so with the support of the Republican Town Committee.
Committee Chairman Nazih Noujaim said Chatfield is known throughout the state and the town and has an excellent reputation because of his leadership.
“You are rarely going to find anyone who loves the town as much as he does, with his history in the town, and he always gives 100%,” Noujaim said.