Wendell N. Butler, Jr. served as mayor of Chester from 2002 to 2011, when he lost his bid for re-election to current Democrat Mayor John Linder.
After four years, Butler said he sees where things in the city have gotten worse and so he is the Republican nominee hoping to once again represent Chester as mayor. He will face Democrat and current state Representative Thaddeus Kirkland (D-159th) in the upcoming November election.
Last week, during a press conference held at the new Republican headquarters on the Avenue of the States, Butler told a standing room only gathering of supporters that he knows he can get Chester back on track.
“This city needs to get moving in the right direction again,” Butler said. “Since we left office, it seems as though all the progress has come to a screeching halt.”
Butler said during his administration, Chester saw $1.7 billion in public and private investments; the cost for residents to attain higher education at Delaware County Community College was reduced drastically; more than 100 new homes were constructed; a documented reduction in crime; the new Boys and Girls Club built; increased library funding; no tax increases; and the city enjoyed an “A” credit rating on Wall Street.
“Since I have been out of office, I have been upset with this current administration,” Butler said. “Especially that the city has lost its “A” credit rating; that is so important to us.”
Butler is upset with the loss of funding for the J. Lewis Crozer Library, the city’s only public library, and that it is not open for as long as it was when he was mayor.
He said he was concerned that trash collection has dropped to one day per week instead of two, like it was when he was in office. He said some areas of the city look terrible.
“We put a lot of hard work into revitalization, and I can guarantee that the things I mentioned would not have happened if I were in office,” Butler said.
About the city’s police department, Butler said the first thing he would as mayor again would be to reinstate Darren Alston. Alston was chief when Linder appointed Joseph Bail as police commissioner, thus demoting Alston and triggering a lawsuit that ultimately cost the city six figures in settlement and legal fees.
Butler said he would create a cold case unit solely dedicated to investigating unsolved homicides.
“Having a cold case unit to investigate these murders may also help solve other crimes that have been committed and are unsolved as well,” Butler said.