Lahman up for re-election, hopes to keep Council seat

Lahman

Harrington Vice Mayor and 16-year Council member is up for re-election in the upcoming municipal election on May 5.

HARRINGTON –¬†Cheryl Lahman has held a position on Harrington’s City Council for district 4 since 1999, a position she is vying for once again.

The three-term Vice Mayor has lived in Harrington her whole life. She currently resides in her childhood home on Dorman Street and opened The Harrington Florist downtown on Commerce Street in 2009, adding the “cakery” in 2013 shortly after retiring as Controller from the Delaware Economic Development Office one year prior.

“I feel that I’ve been a good advocate for the citizens that I represent and the city as a whole. I’m vested and invested,” she said. “I will not make a decision or a vote based on what anyone wants me to do, I vote on my mind and how I feel. I don’t owe anybody anything. But I will take my advice from my¬†constituents.”

As a resident, Ms. Lahman would like to see more parks and feels uneasy with the 49 percent tax increase experienced last year, using her current council seat to ask for a tax rebate for citizens at a recent Council meeting.

“The rebate is not a campaign thing. It’s about doing the right thing,” she said. “They [citizens] are upset. We need to gain their trust that we’re going to spend their money like they’d spend their own. That’s what we’re supposed to do.”

Downtown growth is also important to Ms. Lahman, along with creating a positive atmosphere and continuing to work on infrastructure issues within the city.

“The infrastructure issues are the heart of what is coming,” she said. “I’ve seen too many times we get the funding in place, get everything ready and it drops back. We can’t do that. It’s going to lay the path for what’s coming.”

Ms. Lahman said she feels her 16 years of experience with the Council and knowledge gained thus far will help move the City forward in key projects such as downtown revitalization.

“We’ve got a lot of loose teeth, empty spaces here. To be honest, we’re struggling down here to keep it nice, to keep it something,” she said.

Besides continuing to pursue grants, she says a positive atmosphere and volunteering is needed to build up the downtown area and create a business friendly atmosphere, citing Milford as one of her heroes.

She said, “I just champion them on the way they got things rolling. A lot of it was based on volunteers and volunteerism here is really low.”

She has recently been under fire for purchases made to her business through the city without the prior consent of the city council. Ms. Lahman called it a ‘misunderstanding,’ stating previously that she didn’t think the purchases constituted contracts while others contend it was a violation of the city charter.

Another ‘misunderstanding,’ as she called it, landed her with an arrest back in 2012 just months after retiring from her position with the state who felt she stole services while continuing to use a cell phone paid for by the state. Charges were dismissed when she paid the state back for services she used after her retirement.

Ms. Lahman has four children who range from 14-28 years old alongside her husband LeRoy, who works for Harrington’s public works department, and three grandchildren.

She says she has volunteered time and donations to the city, including chairing a downtown revitalization committee, acting as president of the little league and creating a parks and recreation commission with Donald Porter before the department was established.

“Time flies when you’re having fun, it doesn’t seem like I’ve been on there that long,” she said. The municipal election will take place on Tues. May 5.

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