With two rookies sworn in, Middletown City Council has 10 years of political experience

Two political rookies with recognizable last names were sworn in by Municipal Court Judge James Sherron Tuesday night as newly-elected Middletown City Council members.

Former Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw and Zack Ferrell, a Realtor, will join Mayor Nicole Condrey and council members Tal Moon and Monica Nenni on the five-person council. Muterspaw and Ferrell will begin their four-year terms on Jan. 4, 2022.

When Muterspaw, the top vote-getter in last month’s election, and Ferrell join council it will have 10 years of total political experience. Moon has served six years and Condrey and Nenni have served two years.

The swearing in ceremony was well attended as their family members and friends, city and community leaders, city council members, and police officers packed City Council Chambers.

Both Ferrell and Muterspaw mentioned Tim Lewis during their speeches. Lewis, one of the founders of Broad Street Bash, a downtown musical festival, died earlier in the day.

Lewis placed the most Muterspaw political signs in the city, according to Muterspaw, who called Tuesday “bittersweet” and asked for a moment of silence.

Ferrell, 29, a Realtor for more than eight years with Keller Williams, envisions a time when Towne Mall Galleria becomes an entertainment destination; homes in the $250,000 range are built on the former Lincoln, Roosevelt and Vail school sites; apartments that rent for $1,000 a month are available downtown and that increases foot traffic and leads to more businesses.

He said the city is suffering through “a housing crisis.”

Also, Ferrell wants Middletown to build an aquatic center since there are no public pools. “This is not negotiable for me,” he said.

Ferrell said he knocked on 1,300 doors during his campaign and listened as citizens offered their opinions. He said he has “no agenda, no self interest.”

Muterspaw, 52, served on the Middletown Division of Police for 30 years, five as chief. He has said he has no political platform, then on Tuesday said the city can’t keep reducing the size of its police and fire departments.

“A safe city is a welcoming city,” said Muterspaw, who retired in 2019, then earned his real estate license.

He said the city has lost 40 paramedics and police officers the last two years, either through retirement or resignations.

Cutting public safety is “not up for discussion,” he said. “Middletown deserves better.”

Muterspaw also wants to play a role in “unifying” members of council. There have been numerous times during recent council meetings when members have verbally confronted each other or city staff.

“We can not continue with what’s going on council,” he said.

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