Middletown Mayor Dan Drew
Dan Drew is currently serving his third term as Middletown’s Mayor, having been recently re-elected with 63 percent of the vote for the city’s first four-year mayoral term.
First elected Mayor in 2011, Dan’s first priority was working to improve the way City Hall served the people of Middletown. He re-organized and consolidated city departments with the support of a bi-partisan supermajority of the city council without any reductions in services to the public. These changes increased efficiency, cooperation, and saved the taxpayers millions of dollars.
He ended years of costly lawsuits between the city and Board of Education, leading a bi-partisan coalition of board and councilmembers to create the most positive working relationship that had existed between the two for years and created a financial partnership between them that will increase transparency. He has also focused on reforming Middletown’s Police Department. His appointment of a new Chief and Deputy Chief has ushered in a renewed culture of accountability.
As Mayor, he has led a bi-partisan coalition to enact a Senior Tax Relief program, worked to bring a prescription drug discount program to Middletown, and renegotiated contracts that saved the taxpayers millions.
His focus on the preservation and protection of our environment and natural resources has also moved our community in a sustainable direction. The addition of solar panels to several sites in the city, securing $1 million for a new bicycle path through federal transportation funding while implementing a forest management program, creating an open space trust fund, and protecting in perpetuity hundreds of acres of open space are just some of the efforts that have brought Middletown to the forefront of the green movement.
Dan understands that growth is the cornerstone of the Middletown’s success. Since taking office he has built on a strong economic legacy by focusing on continued growth. In that time, several hundred new businesses have opened in Middletown. After nearly two years of negotiations and competing against communities in two other states, FedEx ground purchased the 264-acre site of the former Aetna complex in 2016. Once completed, the project will bring close to 1,000 jobs and add millions to the city’s growing tax base.
Dan has led efforts to bring the long awaited riverfront revitalization project to fruition. Once hailed as an impossible dream, Dan worked closely with local, state, and federal partners to make this project a reality, securing millions in state grants, negotiating the relocation of the sewage treatment plant to the nearby Mattabassett District, appointing a building committee, and implementing the planning and design phase of a boathouse and conference center as the centerpiece of the development. This project will not only increase tourism to the city but also provide for its residents a beautiful amenity that will be enjoyed for centuries to come.
Whether continuing to bring new businesses and economic development to Middletown, working with a variety of groups to improve the quality of life for Middletown residents, or advocating on behalf of the city’s youth, workers, seniors, and families, Dan has never lost sight of his motivation: helping others. It is what led him to volunteer as one of the youngest EMTs in Connecticut at age 18, to root out corruption as a journalist, and to commit himself to the reformation of city government. Often this has meant affecting change under difficult circumstances to create a better life for the people of Middletown.
As a grants writer, he developed a welfare-to-work program in Middletown that trained single mothers in the health care field and assisted them in getting jobs that paid a living wage.
As a 23-year-old journalist, he took on political corruption. The Commonwealth of Virginia indicted a local elected official after an investigation was launched by a series of investigative articles Dan reported about improper campaign contributions.
Dan was born in New York City and was raised in both New York and Connecticut. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Connecticut in 2002 and earned a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University in 2015. He and his wife, Kate, married in 2002. Dan is the father of four children: Ella, Jackson, Jacob, and Lily.