Mayor & Council
The Town Council is made up of a mayor and six council persons. Mayoral terms and council terms are for three years each. Town elections are the first Saturday in March from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Successful candidates are sworn in at the regular monthly meeting in April. At that meeting, the Mayor appoints a Vice Mayor, Secretary, and Treasurer.
Regular monthly council meetings are held the first Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the Milton Library. The meeting time may be adjusted to allow for Public Hearings, if needed. An Open Forum session will be held near the beginning of the meeting for public participation and input. If the first Monday of the month is a town observed holiday, the monthly Council meeting will be held the second Monday of the month. A second monthly meeting may be held on the third Thursday of the month if deemed necessary.
Mayor & Council Members
Theodore “Ted” Kanakos, Mayor
Current Term 2016-2019
Mayor Ted Kanakos began his professional life in 1967 as a Junior High School Social Studies teacher in Hyde Park, New York, before moving on, in 1970, to a career in the sales and marketing of medical equipment with firms located in Denver and San Francisco.
Moving back to New York (City) in 1980, Ted began a long and successful partnership with the New York City Landmarks Commission as the C.E.O. of a small construction company restoring historically significant homes in Landmark neighborhoods.
Mayor Kanakos has been a member of, and held numerous leadership positions, in non-profit and community organizations. After selling his company he retired to Lewes in 1996 where he was the co-founder, vice president and director of education for the Overfalls Maritime Museum Foundation. He has also lectured extensively on the role of lightships in the U.S. maritime history and written for the Lewes Historical Societies annual review.
Moving to Milton in 2003, Mayor Kanakos became interested in Town government and has served twice on the Planning and Zoning Commission, on the Board of Historic Preservation and the Ordinance and Review Committee. Ted was elected to the Milton Town Council in 2015 and elected Mayor in 2016.
Mayor Kanakos ran on a platform dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Milton residents and is dedicated to open communication with regards to all aspects of town management. As Mayor he welcomes your comments and attendance at all Town events, Committee and Town Council meetings.
Esthelda “Stell” Parker Selby, Vice-Mayor
Current term 2014-2017
Esthelda R. Parker Selby, fondly known as Stell has lived in Milton since her school age years. She is the daughter of V. Ramona Parker and the late Denver B. Parker. They have resided on Rt.16 since her father purchased the home site there in the 1950’s. Esthelda has one brother Gayelon from Philadelphia, PA and two grown sons Myron and Nashon Selby. She is a grandparent and recently became a great grandparent.
Esthelda was educated in the Milton 196-C Elementary School, which once stood across from the Bay Leaf Restaurant on Rt. 16 in Milton, DE. She completed grades 1-6 in Milton 196-C and was then bused to the William C. Jason Comprehensive High School in Georgetown, DE, now known as Delaware Technical and Community College. She completed grades 7-12 at Jason High and continued to Delaware State College/University where she received her Bachelors and later completed her Masters from the University of Delaware. She jokes about being a Hornet and a Blue Hen.
Esthelda’s professional career began in the Milton Special School District and the Rehoboth Special School District as a para professional. With the guidance of Milton’s Superintendent Herman O. Brittingham, she was encouraged to teach and become a part of the Cape Henlopen School District. In 1970, she was one of the first to be hired as a teacher in the newly formed Cape Henlopen School District where she did 34 years of service before retiring. She served as a paraeducator, teacher, and administrator in the district and upon retirement ran and was voted on the Cape School Board where she served a five year term.
Esthelda has an extensive list of community organizations and offices held in those organizations. Currently she serves as a member of the Beebe Medical Center Board of Directors, Red Cross of the Delmarva Peninsula Board of Directors, Delaware African American Historical Heritage Council, Delaware Technical and Community College Developmental Council and many more.
Esthelda has run for Delaware State Senate and State Treasurer.
Her vision is to make life fulfilling in a positive manner for all she associates with during her lifetime.
Emory R.West Jr., Councilman
Current Term 2014-2017
Emory West is the only member of the Town Council who has lived his entire life in Milton. Born and raised in Milton, Emory has a long history in Municipal Government, much of it learned from his father, the Town’s former Police Chief and longtime area Magistrate.
Mr. West spent 28 years working for the Delaware Department of Transportation as a Machinist and Welder.
Since retiring in 2012, Emory has devoted much of his time to Town affairs and is currently serving his second term on the Milton Town Council. He also serves on the Streets and Sidewalk Committee, and the Parks and Recreation Committee. Mr. West is the President of the Milton Community Foundation, a non-profit that funds many community activities. Emory is a past member and once President of the Sussex County Library Board; member, past Secretary and past Master of the Endeavor Lodge, and a member of the Franklin Lodge #12 in Georgetown.
Currently, Councilman West is coordinating Milton’s new Emergency Preparation Committee.
Charles “Charlie” Fleetwood, Councilman
Current Term 2015-2018
A native Delawarean, Mr. Fleetwood moved to Milton in 1979, and since then moved twice within Milton.
Mr. Fleetwood became active in the community in about 1983, when Mayor John Starr appointed him to serve on the 1st Planning and Zoning Commission; he became the Chair and served as the Council liaison for the commission many times over the years. Mr. Fleetwood was appointed to Council to fill a vacancy by Mayor Bill Post and served for 18 years thereafter. Mr. Fleetwood decided to run again in 2016, was defeated, but was appointed by new Mayor Ted Kanakos to serve out his council term.
Mr. Fleetwood coordinated the summer concerts in the park for many years. He also was the lead person on Governors’ Walk, downtown streetscapes and many other Town projects and special events.
Charlie looks forward to taking on new ideas and to working to expand what has been started.
George Kevin Kelly, Councilman
Current Term 2015-2018
George Kevin Kelly, known as Kevin as long as he can remember, given that his Dad’s name was George, was born at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in November 1950. He is the eldest son of George Robert and Marguerite Ann Kelly. In 1972, he and Joy married. Together they raised three wonderful children and are lucky grandparents to three wonderful grandchildren.
Kevin spent the first 12 years of his life moving from one naval air station to another, from west coast to east and then from east coast to west. During that time he assumed every child in America moved from one place to another every two years…everyone he knew did, of course! In 1964, his family moved to Fairfax, Virginia; it would be his home for the next 53 years. Upon graduation from the George Washington University in 1972, Kevin was hired as a high school history teacher in the Fairfax County Public School system. Joy also enjoyed a distinguished professional career in FCPS working at the highest levels of school system administration. Kevin served on many academic committees and as the Department Chair for Social Studies at two Fairfax County high schools. He coached football, basketball, field hockey and soccer, where his teams won back to back Regional Championships and sponsored student government, classes and clubs for many years. He served as an adjunct professor for George Washington University and George Mason University leading teacher training programs and Glasser Seminars for professional educators on multiple occasions. He co-founded the Association of Fairfax Professional Educators and was named the Fairfax County Teacher/Historian of the Year by the The United States Capitol Historical Society.
Upon retirement from the Fairfax County Schools, Kevin and Joy began looking for a new place to live. Given Joy’s family experience in southern Delaware, they decided to drive through Sussex County on the nearest state road west of Route 1. In Milton, of course, that road is known as Union Street. Joy and Kevin drove into Milton, joined the Historical Society that day, returned to Milton several times before deciding that it was the place for them.
Kevin substituted in the Cape Henlopen school system, helped coach the soccer team at Mariner and became a member of the Milton Historical Society Board of Trustees. He founded the MHS Education Committee and was named the Interim Director on three different occasions. Joy found her way to the Children’s Beach House in Lewes, where she worked for several years doing just about everything just about all the time. Kevin became a member of the Milton Historical Preservation Commission a few years ago and, less than a year ago was appointed to the Milton Town Council and serves on the Personnel Committee.
You hear stories all the time about how hard it is to be part of a small town as a new comer. Not true for Milton! It has always astounded both Joy and Kevin how welcoming Milton has been to them and how easy it has been to call Milton home!
James “Sam” Garde, Secretary
Current Term 2016-2019
Mr. Garde was raised in Brooklyn, NY, earned a Congressional Appointment to the US Naval Academy and graduated in 1963. After almost ten years of service in the Navy’s nuclear submarine program, including 9 Polaris patrols, Mr. Garde worked for two large engineering & construction firms specializing in power generation projects. For Ebasco Services in NYC, he had assignments in Project Engineering and International Business Development in addition to being the Project Manager for a large co-generation project. For Bechtel Corporation, he had assignments as Project Development Manager and Engineering Manager. One of his most rewarding assignments involved providing temporary housing for victims of Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi. He brings attention to detail, preparation for meetings, and a common sense approach to problem solving to his position on the Milton Town Council.
Mr. Garde currently serves as a member of the Charter & Ordinance Committee, the Water Committee, and the Personnel Committee, and as Chairman of the Water Infrastructure Land Acquisition Committee. He also serves as the Secretary of the Town Council.
Michael Cote’, Treasurer
Current Term 2016-2019
Councilman Cotes’ interest in Milton government was spurred by attending Town Council meetings, hearing about the accounting related issues. Mr. Cote’ worked for a major CPA firm in New York, went on to be a corporate auditor in the banking industry and major manufacturers; was a Budget Manager for a Fortune 100 conglomerate, Division Controller for the conglomerate; Controller for a large multi-division direct mail firm and an accounting consultant to AT&T, Pfizer and Astra Zeneca.
During his years as Councilperson and Town Treasurer, Milton has had successful clean audits and Milton’s financial position has strengthened. Mike has worked with the acting Town Manager to continue the improved and improving financial operations.
Current and Past Mayors:
Photo courtesy: Gary Cooke
Pictured from left to right: Mayor Ted Kanakos, Past Mayor John “Jack” Hudson, Past Mayor Marion Jones,
Past Mayor Don Post, Past Mayor John “Jack” Bushey, and Past Mayor Clifford Newlands
Not pictured: Past Mayor Ruth Batten and Past Mayor Bill Post