Wallingford, Conn. (WTNH) — One of Connecticut’s longest serving mayors says he wants an 18th term. Despite the tough economic times the Republican Mayor of Wallingford says that at 70, he’s still ready to contribute to the town and have some fun at the same time.
Republican William Dickerson dressed as a Roman Centurion announced he is running for re-election at the Republican Town Committee meeting. He even raised his sword to make the point. Two years ago, when he announced, he dressed as an American colonial period soldier. If the people here in Wallingford, population 45,000, are concerned about Mayor Dickinson’s eccentricities, they don’t show it. He’s been elected mayor 17 times.
After more than three decades in office, he’s seeking an unprecedented 18th term. Dressing up as an ancient Roman, he says, is just to have a little fun and to show his admiration for the way the Centurions achieved their goals. He stated this was not unlike tackling a town budget in tough economic times, saying, “I’m here for you. We work together. We have a common goal to achieve.”
Despite holding the line on expenses and using some of the town’s rainy day fund savings account; the town will see a 2.4 percent property tax hike this year. Dickinson says that if the governor’s plan to force the towns to contribute a third of the cost of school teacher pensions is approved, he’ll have no choice but to raise taxes again.
“If it’s an annual expense, which it would be, once you spend your savings there’s no place to get it replaced unless you go back for higher taxes,” said Dickinson.
The Roman Centurion mayor has not had a close election in nearly 25 years but he says he plans to campaign hard. He knows what happened to the Romans.
The Democrats do not yet have an official candidate, but 40-year-old Jared Liu, who works in the Admissions Department at Yale, says he is exploring a possible run against the long time mayor.