Frederica mayoral opponents mirror each other in many ways

William “Chick” Glanden

FREDERICA — There are numerous similarities between Frederica Mayor William “Chick” Glanden and his opponent Pete Rager, who is aiming to knock him out of his seat after serving 14 years as the town’s mayor.

Both have served in the town’s government for several years, have worked for the Frederica Fire Department and have worked as emergency medical technicians on ambulances in the town.

Like many people in the small community of Frederica, they know each other — well.

Pete Rager

The similarities are what will make the mayoral race particularly interesting when voters in Frederica (population 828 residents in a 2016 estimate) head to the polls for the Municipal Election on Saturday from noon until 5 p.m. at the Frederica Fire Department.

“Chick (Glanden) and I went into this as friends and hope that it stays that way,” said Mr. Rager, who is the town’s secretary and EMS supervisor. “It is also my hope that we can continue serving the town and the Frederica Fire company.

“The people of Frederica can rest assured that no matter who wins their mayor (election), whether it’s Chick or myself, we will have the town’s best interest at heart.”

Mayor Glanden echoed his opponent’s sentiments.

“This is a small town with maybe 900 people in it, probably two or three hundred who have been here most of their lives,” said Mayor Glanden. “(Mr. Rager’s) freshly out of schools that do ambulance stuff now and I’ve been an EMT myself for 26 or 27 years and I was an ambulance captain for 25 years, so we do have some similar interests.”

Currently, that main interest is in the position of mayor of Frederica.

Sustaining growth a priority

Mayor Glanden, 63, is coming up on his 14th anniversary as Frederica’s mayor. He will have been a resident of the town for 55 years come November.

“There’s a lot of things that are getting ready to happen in the town and I want to see that they’re going in the right direction and I want to help them get there,” he said.

The mayor said he is concentrating on growth.

“We have major developments going down on the south end of town,” Mayor Glanden said. “Hopefully, over the next few months, they’ll get their stuff together and get their proposals through to planning and zoning and they’ll bring it to the council and we’ll get them started.

“Right now, they haven’t even started getting all their prints and everything else ready and they’ve got to go through the process with DelDOT (Delaware Department of Transportation) and everybody that has to be on this to build a development.”

Mr. Rager said he is primarily concerned with the issue of code enforcement.

“Mayor Glanden and I have only really disagreed on one main issue and it is a personnel issue with the Code Enforcement Department of the town of Frederica,” he said. “I have unsuccessfully requested at council meetings for changes in both hours and how the office operates.

“I don’t t feel that the Code Enforcement office is accessible to the residents of Frederica with the hours that he is allowed to work. Because it is a personnel issue, I don’t feel that I should comment any further.”

Mr. Rager also believes with Mr. Glanden that sustainable growth is vital to the town.

“I think that sustainable growth is the hot topic and with DE Turf (sports complex) ramping up we have a new interest in properties and available land in the town of Frederica limits,” said Mr. Rager. “We have a lot of residents in the lower income range and have had success getting assistance to upgrade their homes.

“Obtaining grants to get these properties spruced up is also a top issue as well as working with landlords to update and keep their properties maintained.”

Keeping crime in mind

While looking at the topic of future growth in Frederica, Mayor Glanden also looked back at what he considered to be one of his top accomplishment’s in his position.

“I think getting the town’s police department started back up was a major accomplishment,” the mayor said, after establishing the police department around four years ago. “I think we did pretty good with that.

“We have two part-time officers now and they’re both doing pretty good, they’re working their own schedules, we don’t set schedules for them.”

Mr. Rager, who has lived in Frederica since 1963 aside from a couple of years around 1967 when he was stationed at Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina, also noted that crime is an issue that needs to be addressed.

“Crime is a major concern in any small town,” he said. “Our town officers are doing a great job patrolling and being visible. With the help of the Delaware State Police we are making progress at keeping the bad guys moving.”

Even Mr. Rager notes that he similarities in Saturday’s Frederica mayor’s race are striking.

“I have very proudly served on the (city) council and on the ambulance with (Mayor) Chick (Glanden), who is a past Ambulance Captain,” Mr. Rager said. “We actually joked about being a well-oiled machine when we worked together on the ambulance.

“We have both served with the Frederica Fire Company for many years. I was recently awarded my 40th year service award for the fire company and have been on council for five years.”

Mr. Rager believes it’s time for a change in the direction of leadership for Frederica and said that the town’s residents have two solid candidates to choose from.

“I know that Mayor Glanden and I both love the town of Frederica and want only the best for our town,” said Mr. Rager. “I do feel that I have the edge at looking ahead to see what we can do new to better improve the town.

“Sometimes when no one is complaining at meetings it is easy to say that everything is going well instead of looking at ways to improve the town.”

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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