As ambassador, Georgetown mayor committed to his hometown

GEORGETOWN — Bill West’s official title is Georgetown Mayor.

He considers himself an ambassador.

Semi-retired after a long career with local/state police law enforcement, Mayor West is committed to make his hometown a wonderful place to work, live and raise a family.

Q & A Mayor Bill West

Town of Georgetown Mayor Bill West

He has been instrumental in community-based initiatives, including the Summer Concert Series, which has had two successful seasons in 2014 and 2015.

He is married to – in his words – “a lovely Georgetown girl,” Faye Collins, who followed in her mother’s footsteps in the banking business with Wilmington Trust/M & T Bank. Mayor and Mrs. West have two daughters: Courtney, who is married and lives in Raleigh, N.C.; and Megan, a school teacher at William Penn.

Mayor West, 59, currently is employed part-time for CHEER.

He is on the Greater Georgetown Chamber of Commerce board and is on the council for police training.

Effective January 2016, he will serve as president of Sussex County Association of Towns (SCAT).

Here is Bill West, Georgetown Mayor:

Share your upbringing, schooling and initiation to law enforcement?

“I was born and raised outside of Georgetown. I went to school at Sussex Central; graduated in 1974. I was an auto mechanic. From that I became a part-time police officer in the Town of Georgetown in 1978. I fell in love with that line of work and decided to go fulltime and go through the academy in 1979 for the Town of Georgetown.”

Then it was on to Delaware State Police?

“I was with Town of Georgetown until April 5, 1982 at which time I was hired as a Delaware state trooper. I proceeded to work my 25 years. I had a heart attack in 2005; I had a quadruple bypass … and in 2007 I retired from the state police, as a Corporal 3. I only spent a short time on the road from 1982 to 1985; in 1985 I went into the drug unit. I spent nine years in the drug unit, and then went to intelligence and later onto electronic surveillance. Then I retired.”

Your decision to seek elected office in the Town of Georgetown:

“I had some part-time jobs, trying to get my health back. Then I decided I wanted to help the Town of Georgetown. I wanted to give back. So in 2012 I ran for town council. I won a council seat. In 2014 I decided I wanted to go a little higher and run for mayor. I won that mayor’s seat; I am in office now until next May (2016) at which time I plan on running again.”

How do you envision the mayor’s role?

“When I ran for mayor in 2014 I told people in a statement that I wanted to be the ambassador. I wanted to be the leader; somebody that they could look to and ask for advice; somebody that they could come to and talk to in time of need, and just be a well-rounded respectful community leader.”

“I feel that with the concert series that we’ve put together, and walking around and talking to people in the events that I have gone to, I am showing people that I do care and that I am willing to do whatever it takes to make this town be a better place for people.”

Talk about efforts to unite the Georgetown community and its substantial Hispanic presence?

“Some of things behind the scenes we are trying do … is we’ve hired some Hispanic police officers. We have hired a clerk that is bilingual. We’re trying to make this community become one by branching out and getting everybody on the same page. With that I think we are going to be a well-rounded community and better understanding community.”

In addition to the concert series, the New Year’s celebration and other initiatives, Georgetown seems to be experiencing business and economic growth:

“Roughly, we’ve had 20 new businesses since I took office in 2014. That was just the first year. And they are still coming. We’ve still got people talking to us. We’ve got developers talking to us. Things are looking good for the town of Georgetown. It just gives me great pride to walk around and hear some of the comments people are making about how they like the town and how they see things are going and telling me I have got their support. It really means a lot to me.”

You have a part-time job with CHEER?

“I deliver homebound meals, anywhere from 35 to 55 meals a day to the Slaughter Beach, Ellendale, Lincoln and Milton area. And this has opened my eyes to the help that our seniors need. We’ve got some seniors out there that are struggling. If I can play a part to help them in any way, I am glad to do it.”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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