New Mayor Marion Jones has tapped long-time Milton resident Stell Parker Selby to serve the final year of Jones' term on town council.
Jones won the mayoral election, but her former council seat will be up for reelection next March. Jones said she believes Parker Selby will bring a missing component to the council table.
“She is very familiar with the community; she's been a long-time resident,” Jones said. “I believe she stands as a go-to kind of person, as a connector to those people who have been long-time Milton residents.”
Parker Selby is no stranger to the political scene. She served on the Cape Henlopen School District Board of Education from 2005 to 2010. In 2006, she challenged then-state Treasurer Jack Markell and in 2002 took on Sen. Thurman Adams for 19th Senate District seat.
“I have this philosophy that I can do whatever anyone else can do,” Parker Selby said. “And I looked at the state level, I thought I had to go be involved with some things there because I had concerns there.”
When she heard Jones was running for mayor, Parker Selby said, she called Jones to find out more about her. The conversation went very well, and Jones came away with a better understanding of Parker Selby's ideas and concerns. After defeating former Mayor Cliff Newlands for the mayor's seat, Jones reached out to Parker Selby to fill her seat on council.
“[Jones] seems to be into what's going on in Milton, and being from Milton area, growing up in the area, I think that means a lot as well,” Parker Selby said. “I too grew up here, and I have a connection as far as the love of the little town, Small Town USA. I'm also very much involved in females making things better in politics or towns, both local and national. I think that's very important.”
She said she is looking forward to her time on council.
“I thought it would be a great experience to give back to my town in that capacity,” she said, noting her concerns are safety and the town's water issues. “I haven't really talked to a lot of people in town. Now that I'm going on a regular basis, I'll hear what people's concerns are in their neighborhoods.”
She said Jones' workshop sessions and planned May town hall meeting are great ideas to learn more about the citizens' issues and goals in order to help direct council.
“I'm one for transparency, fairness, equality and to make sure I'm accessible to the people,” she said. “I want them to know they can talk to me, and I'll take it back town council.”
Parker Selby is retired after working for 34 years in education. She started as a playground aide in Rehoboth Beach and worked her way up supervisor of student services and mentoring in the Cape Henlopen School District. During her tenure, she worked as principal at Rehoboth Elementary and assistant principal at Cape Henlopen High School. She was also one of the original teachers at Cape High.
She was the first African-American woman to chair the YMCA board as well as the Rehoboth Art League Cottage Tour. She said she's always been an active person and is still involved in numerous clubs and organizations.
“I feel really good about my accomplishments as a teacher,” she said. “That's better than money; helping people do things and get on their feet. That's my life.”