District 4: Ireton turns back Mazzullo’s challenge

Outgoing Mayor Jim Ireton was excited Tuesday night as he told supporters he won a City Council seat with 57 percent of the vote.

Ireton defeated challenger and newcomer Roger Mazzullo by a 207 to 154 vote, meaning Ireton will return to city government in a new role, representing District 4.

After serving two terms as mayor, he stepped down from the highest city office and ran for City Council. It was an idea that proved successful for the 45-year-old teacher.

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

As a City Councilman, he will continue to concentrate on goals that have been his focus – downtown revitalization, neighborhood integrity and health of the Wicomico River.

It won’t be any easier or harder to push for changes as a City Council member, he said, calling the comparison “apples to oranges.”

“My job will not be to tell the mayor what to do, or to tell the department heads what to do. My job will be to try and write successful legislation that gives power to department heads,” Ireton 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.”

His campaign brochure lists his priorities as:

  • 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.

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