by Lisa Tome
After a dozen year break from Elkton politics, Rob Alt is seeking another term as the town's mayor.
Alt, 53, led the town from 1998-2002. Prior to that, he served as a town commissioner, from 1994-98. "I am the only mayor ever born in Elkton. I was born and raised here. No one else could say that," laughed Alt, when he sat down to talk about his platform and campaign last week.
He explained why he opted not to seek a second mayoral term 12 years ago.
"I enjoyed being mayor and I felt I did great things for the town. But my children were 13, 11, and 8 years old at that time. I felt it was more important to be home with family and active with their activities," he said. "It (his departure from politics) was 100 percent family and I'm glad I did that."
Now that he has two children in college and one in law school, he wants to tend the town. "The most pressing issue is I don't feel safe. There are not enough positive things to make me feel safe," he said. His personal experiences that pushed him to run were downtown encounters with what he said were someone urinating in public and an argument he witnessed between an alleged prostitute and her boss. "After the town was in litigation with the homeless, they removed the loitering laws. Now, the police officers don't have laws in place to do their jobs. I want more town ordinances to replace what we got rid of," said Alt. He also wants police to perform more foot patrols in the downtown.
"I strongly believe the town backed down on the homeless issues. Now the homeless are traveling the east coast trying to get to Elkton because they have no loitering laws," said Alt.
He said another key for the town will be to promote the business community. "We have a couple nice businesses in downtown that could prove as anchors for the town. We need to work on that," he said.
He also wants to tackle some other problems in the town. He said that one of the biggest missteps that occurred in Elkton in recent years was the county's relocation of their offices to Chesapeake Boulevard near Delaware. "That impacted the downtown business. That impacted everything," said Alt.
He has also studied Elkton's flooding issue on Howard Street and Delaware Avenue. "The Town of Elkton has a two-year nuisance flood five times a year. We were close to a right bank levy but the business people didn't think it was the right move," he said. "The answer for Elkton's flooding is we need a reservoir or damn in Fair Hill to keep it from traveling here at a great rate. Or we can make a water park and leave it flooded."
He has also looked at the drug problem. "My sister Peggy died several years ago to a drug problem. Today, kids and parents are better educated," Alt said. He said being involved with your children and keeping tabs on their activities could be part of a solution.
He wants to look at water and sewer rates and "put money back in people's pockets." He also would like to freeze fees and allow business and residential renovations in the wake of the recession.
"I've reached out to people who didn't support me before. I have more support today than I did back then (1998). When I was mayor we never raised taxes or water and sewer rates. We'll bring it back around and put Elkton back on track," Alt said. "I believe I can make a positive difference in the Town of Elkton."
Alt and his wife, Alice, have been married since 1986. He works as a manufacturer's sales representative. If he gets elected, he plans to set aside one full work day for town business every week. And although he's in sales, he's home everyday.
Alt has also been active with the Elkton Little League Board of Directors, YMCA football, Spartan Athletic Association at St. Mark's School, and at his church.
He has served on the central committee. He also ran for State Senate in 2010 but was not successful.