Letter to the Editor: Ride around Milford

Bob Ciprietti:

You have made a grave mistake in denigrating Milford. “Crack hookers” and “people defecating all over the place” is how you describe the old bank property in which you plan to open Touch of Italy.

We own Lifecycle, which is a block away from your future restaurant. During the cycling season we ride by your property daily on bicycles. Several times a week we lead group bicycle rides of 10 to 50 people, by your property in downtown Milford.

Bicycle culture in Milford believes in the power of engagement in their community. People who ride bikes gather together to pedal all of Milford’s streets in order to maintain the positive movement of a community that looks out for each other.

We know the evidence-based research that states a property that sits neglected is at risk for being host to unsavory activity. Mr. Ciprietti, the people of Milford have been intentional in watching your property, creating activity there by riding through on bicycles several times a week, in order to protect its value.

We citizens take responsibility for our streets. This is a responsibility you have neglected in allowing the property to sit for years without measurable activity. As we pedal our bicycles through your parking lot and around your property to watch out for its integrity, Lifecycle has noted not one incident of defecation, drug activity, or prostitution.

Lifecycle would like to extend to you an invitation to visit downtown Milford on Saturday for the Downtown Dessert Tour: A Milford Sweet Adventure and Friday Dec. 7 for 13th Annual Downtown Milford Holiday Stroll.

We will personally escort you, a friend of yours, and another downtown small business owner, via bicycle or pedicab throughout the streets of downtown Milford. We will be stopping at each dynamic small business where we will speak with the families that invest their lives into creating a town full of community centric activity.

Mr. Ciprietti, in researching towns in which to grow Touch Of Italy, you realize that our downtown is progressive on a national level as it exceeds the national statistical trend for women owned small businesses. Milford is the Delaware town in which ownership of downtown businesses is held by women of diverse ethnicities in the 25- to 55-year-old age group.

Dr. Michael Casson Jr. of Delaware State University’s Center for Economic Development and International Trade and Economic Development and Leadership Institute states that in Milford, cultural growth and inclusion is not only being celebrated but creating a communal economic system in downtown.

Mr. Ciprietti, Milford retains our unique Southern Delaware culture that is now sought out by our neighboring states for its communal sense of values. Values that emphasize commitment, loyalty, dedication, and transparency. We magnify those classic values while being a town that celebrates diversity and inclusion in downtown businesses. Milford is home to your current customers and employees. In disparaging our town, you have not only belittled your own who support you, you have cast aspersions on our community that is Southern Delaware.

Your negative statements regarding Milford reflect on your values Mr. Ciprietti. Values that are not a part of our downtown culture in Milford. We strongly encourage you to adjust your perspective, alter your values, and make pragmatic actionable decisions that reflect the unity that is downtown Milford.

Come ride with us and experience our town. Eat here, shop here, attend the many community events here in Milford. Join us downtown Milford business owners in our movement of dynamic engagement in creating community. We have a bicycle that will fit you just fine, and a great space in the back of a pedicab. You can ride with us.

Jenn Rowan and Ben Jones

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