City Election Preview: Ireton, Mazzullo seeking District 4 seat

Salisbury voters go to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 3.  In District 4, Jim Ireton is squaring off with Roger Mazzullo.

Jim Ireton

Following two terms as mayor of Salisbury, Jim Ireton decided to leave the city’s highest office and run for City Council. While he loves every minute of it, he said it isn’t for the faint of heart, and he needed a break from the demanding job. Plus, he wanted to be able to vote.

His campaign brochure promises a move forward, with, the brochure states:

  • Expanded community policing funding
  • Curfew-plus legislation and funding
  • In-house, full-time city attorney
  • Expanding city paving projects
  • Increased funding for the arts community, especially downtown
  • Single-family neighborhood preservation
  • Protecting the Paleochannel underground water supply
  • Fair rent for all city renters

He said he’s concerned about landlords “skirting the law at every possible chance that they can.”

“It wasn’t only the arrival of Mr. Day who made anything happen,” he said, referring to City Council President Jake Day.

He said he will, every day, until his final day as mayor, “Do what I was sent to City Hall to do, without being influenced by politicians  or money, but only by the needs of the community and people who need to sure the government is on their side.”

The 45-year-old Ireton said he will continue to concentrate on goals that have been his focus – downtown revitalization, neighborhood integrity and health of the Wicomico River.

As city councilman, Ireton said it won’t be any easier or harder to push for changes that will improve the city than it has been as mayor.

“No, it’s apples to oranges. My job would not be to tell the mayor what to do, or to tell the department heads what to do. My job would be to try and write successful legislation that gives power to department heads,” Ireton said.

If voters return him to the city council, it will be a different position, one that will require a change of perspective, he said.

“Is it going to be as much fun as being mayor? I don’t know. But it’s about finding the best place for your efforts. I am there because people who live in our neighborhoods know they have to have a champion on the city council,” he said.

“If there is one thing our community knows about me, I’m going to  stand up for neighborhood integrity.”

Roger Mazzullo

New York native Roger Mazzullo said he doesn’t understand not winning, and that is how he would approach serving on the City Council – with a winning attitude.

Saying his many years of business experience would make him an effective councilman, Mazzullo listed his priorities as working closely with Mayor Jake Day to develop job opportunities “by bringing new jobs to our area and encouraging local entrepreneurs.”

He said he wants to concentrate on reducing juvenile crime, making neighborhoods safe and developing a community center for youth.

Now 66, he has lived in Salisbury 23 years and is national sales manager for The Little Slugger company, based in Chicago. He recalled being told he would never get Chock Full O’ Nuts coffee in stores, but he persisted and now it’s the third most popular coffee nationwide.

He said he has “seen things happening all over the country and in Salisbury in particular.”

“I want to help. I know things to do to make things right. I understand inner cities and I know what needs to be done as far as crime.  I know what needs to be done to make more local business and to get new businesses going,” he said.

“When we have more people working, that’s an important thing.  Also, the crime, we have to eliminate all the lunatics that are out there — that’s important – and make an area, a community, where everybody feels comfortable with each other, and everybody can get along,” he said.

Mazzullo said city leaders should be concentrating on achieving “brain gain” instead of what is known as “brain drain,” meaning recent college graduates are leaving the area.

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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