Candidates for four open Kent County Levy Court seats, as well as Kent County Sheriff and Recorder of Deeds, respond to the Dover Post's questionnaire


Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2.
To locate your polling place, visit pollingplace.delaware.gov

 

D- Democrat
R- Republican
L- Libertarian
Ind.- Independent Party of Delaware)
I- Incumbent

 

Levy Court 2nd District

 

Bradley S. Eaby (D) (I)

Age: 49
Family: Wife Julie, children Sheridan, 11; Mackenzie, 9; and Garrison 6
Education: Widener University Law School, 1989; Shippensburg University, 1984; and Ephrata High School, 1979
Occupation: Attorney
Civic organizations: Delaware Family Court volunteer guardian for abused and neglected children; Dover/Kent Metropolitan Planning Organization vice chair; Greater Dover Committee.
Political experience: Levy Court 2nd District, 2007-present
How long have you lived in the district? 21 years.

Why should voters elect you to serve on Levy Court?

I am dedicated to improving Kent County. I helped pass the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance, which ties development to school and road capacity. It requires the developer to help pay for these improvements. 

I supported merging the Kent County and Dover Public libraries into one library as a way of providing better library services at the same or less cost. 

I helped the private sector create jobs by approving the Stafford Properties, LLC, hot mix plant, the Eastern Shore Environmental, Inc., trash transfer station, the North Dover Super Walmart, and the 148-acre Renewable Energy Solar Farm at Carpenter’s Bridge. I approved a $100,000 grant to a Canadian light manufacturing company to induce them to move their operations to Kent County. The grant requires them to hire at least 75% of their estimated 32 employees from within Kent County.

I approved the Waste Water Treatment Plant solar park, which will allow the plant to produce its own electrical power thereby saving money and reducing pollution.

I voted in favor of the extension of the St. Jones Greenway Phase III bike/walking path through the Hunn property, which leveraged $50,000 in county funds against $250,000 of your state tax dollars.

I support the Regional Sports Complex and the Civil Air Terminal. Both projects will create jobs and increase local spending.

I am a strong advocate for my district. I consider myself a level-headed, hard working, dedicated and able commissioner. Thank you for your support.

 

Steve Speed (R)

Age: 47

Family: Wife Lori, daughters Shannon and Skyler

Education: Masters in Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, Bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, graduate of Dover High School

Occupation: Aviation program director, Delaware State University

Civic organizations: Delaware National Guard and Reserve Emergency Assistance Fund board of directors, St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, Union Lodge No. 7 AF & AM

Political experience: Mayor, City of Dover, 2004-2007; Councilman, City of Dover, 2001-2004

How long have you lived in the district? 16 years

Why should voters elect you to serve on Levy Court?

This election is about two interrelated issues: taxes and spending. In 2009, the Kent County Levy Court increased taxes an astounding 24%. At a time when a lot of people are out of work and many of the rest of us who still have jobs are bringing home less pay, the county is taking even more from us.

People are hurting, but the Levy Court Commissioners seem to be disconnected and unwilling to set priorities so that spending can be reduced. Instead they decided to take more from people who already have less.

I will vote to reduce spending and eliminate the tax increase.

My family and I have visited more than 4,000 homes during the course of the campaign. People are angry. They are angry because they don’t believe that their elected representatives are listening to them. I will always listen to the people of the 2nd District of Kent County.

 

Timothy Richard Webb (L)

(No information provided)

 

 

Levy Court 4th District

 

Eric Buckson?(R) (I)

Age: 45?

Family: Wife Jennifer, children Krisanne, 11; Brent, 10; Graham, 5; and Leiah, 3

Education: Caesar Rodney High School, 1983; University of Delaware, 1988; Masters Degree, United States Sports Academy, 1990

Occupation: High school teacher

Civic organizations: Delaware State Education Association, DWO, CWLL

Political experience: Levy Court 4th District, 2007-present

How long have you lived in the district? Lifetime resident

Why should voters elect you to serve on Levy Court?

My father, former Gov. David P. Buckson, taught me early in life that public service is an honor. Over the past four years, I have been committed to being responsive, upfront and genuine in my effort to help individuals in the 4th District.

I am proud of my record as a fiscal conservative and my consistent stance on controlling our government spending. The infrastructure before development laws that I said I would adopt if elected are firmly in place.

I want voters to understand that I cannot promise to fix all of today’s problems, and there will be times when my best effort will not be good enough. What I can promise is to be honest in my effort to study the facts and provide the best service I can for my district.

Moving forward, I will continue with my efforts to cut regulatory delays and maintain my position as a conservative voice for spending decisions in the county.

I sincerely appreciate the residents who voted for me in 2006 and I am asking for your vote in November.

 

Donald W. Culver (D)

Age: 41

Family: Wife Lanna, children Brittany, Hunter, Sage and Taylor

Education: Dover High School, Delaware Technical & Community College

Occupation: Small business owner, farmer, HUD/FHA compliance inspector

Civic organizations: Union Lodge No. 7, Farm Bureau, Ducks Unlimited

Political experience: None

How long have you lived in the district? More than 20 years

Why should voters elect you to serve on Levy Court?

Elect Donnie Culver because I believe in preservation of farmland and open space. We must continue to support ag. preservation programs while protecting property owners’ rights—to keep our farms, farmers, and agricultural businesses growing.

Carefully planned, coordinated and controlled growth. By encouraging smart growth we achieve economic prosperity and enriched quality of life. By coordinating with municipalities we keep growth in the growth zone, where infrastructure exists, all the while controlling the speed of our growth.

Upgrades to our wastewater treatment facility and sanitary sewer districts. Our 40 year-old facility must continue to be one of the best in the nation and utilize adjacent properties for spray irrigation practices, allowing expansion of our sewer districts to protect the environment and grow our county.

Our volunteer fire companies and first responder services must continue to grow, ensuring the safety of our residents by providing them the necessary funding to perform with precision.

Foster a healthy business environment to assist and grow small businesses and streamline the process to open new businesses, while creating real incentives to attract new businesses to put Kent County residents back to work.

Restructure grant programs that are critical for our seniors, veterans and low- to moderate-income families. This will enable us to provide expanded emergency home repair, housing rehabilitation and weatherization services to those in need.

Please vote Donnie Culver Levy Court commissioner of the 4th District.

 

 

Levy Court 6th District

 

Glen M. Howell (R)

Age: 57

Family: Wife Nora, children Lindsay, 23; Katie, 20; Mitch, 17; and Annie, 13

Education: Master’s degree in education and bachelor’s degree in history from Delaware State University, numerous additional graduate credits

Occupation: Teacher at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center for 22 years

Civic organizations:  Farm Bureau, Cathedral Chapel of the Holy Spirit, Retired Air Force Reserves for 29 years

Political experience: None

How long have you lived in the district? 10 years

Why should voters elect you to serve on Levy Court?

As a non-incumbent, I would bring fresh ideas and a new sense of inquiry into all existing policies and norms. I greatly enjoy listening to ideas, concerns and suggestions from the people and then responding to them.

I have a good understanding of human nature and have proven ability in mediating conflicts, clarifying issues and problems and summarizing issues. 

I tend to be future oriented in that I envision repercussions of decisions made in the present. I am a trouble-shooter and try to solve problems before they become problems.

I greatly admire our American system of government and want to insure that government is a servant, not a master.

 

Harold K. Brode (D) (I)

Age: 63

Family: Wife Cindy, children Derrick, 36; Kenny, 29; and Robbie, 28

Education: Harrington High School, 1965; Delaware State Police Academy, 1970

Occupation: Delaware State Trooper, retired; investigator, Schmittinger & Rodriguez law firm, Dover

Civic organizations: Member, past chief, past president, past ambulance captain, Harrington Fire Company; Temple Lodge No. 9 AF and AM, Milford; Asbury United Methodist Church, Harrington

Political experience: Harrington City Council, Levy Court 2006-present

Why should voters elect you to serve on Levy Court?

As a 48-year resident of Kent County, I truly love our communities. The past four years have been some of the best years of my life. I would like to continue the work that we have started together.

I have worked to keep jobs in Kent County, support our public safety communities, control growth and support our county employees. This is important work and the residents of Kent County deserve a commissioner who looks out for their needs. I will continue to be that commissioner for the residents of the 6th District. I will respond to my constituents concerns and always place their needs first.

For the past four years I have heard from my constituents on a variety of issues and have worked with county departments to address them. Most of the time they have been able to be resolved. I would like to continue to be the 6th District Levy Court commissioner for another term.

 

 

Levy Court At Large

 

W.G. Edmanson (R)

Age: 47

Family: Wife Ana, daughters Mia, 9, and Geena, 7

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Delaware State University, 1994; U.S. Navy, 1981-1986, Multi National Peacekeeping Force Beirut, Lebanon; Cape Henlopen High School, 1981

Occupation: Volunteer services coordinator, Delaware Division for the Visually Impaired

Civic organizations: Wyoming United Methodist Church; Past Chair, Kent Economic Partnership; DelVets Dover/Camden VFW

Political experience: 5th District Levy Court commissioner, 2007-2008

How long have you lived in the district? 1991-1994 and 2001-present

Why should voters elect you to serve on Levy Court?

Two words: fiscal responsibility.

Unfortunately, the Levy Court has recently lost sight of the limited role it should play in our lives—raising property taxes to support projects and programs which are both duplicative and unnecessary. As an example, the Levy Court recently approved plans for a new county library, to be located within the City of Dover’s library service district. If we truly need a separate county library (and I am not sure that we do), then why locate it within the City of Dover’s service area, where library resources already exist? Why not locate the library in Harrington, Milford or Smyrna, where library resources are more scarce?

Likewise, I would not have voted to impose a record 24% tax increase on county taxpayers, particularly at a time when the county possesses unprecedented reserves and most folks are suffering from the effects of a downturn in the economy. I challenge my opponent to break with the members of his party who supported the tax increase and join me in pledging to repeal it.

 Enough is enough. If Kent County residents want more of the same, then they should vote for my opponent. On the other hand, if Kent County residents want someone who will reduce the burden on county taxpayers, cut costs and shrink the size of county government, then they should vote for me. I will work hard to bring quality jobs to Kent County, eliminate the duplication of services, and restore fiscal responsibility to county government.

 

Mary Pat McVay (L)

Age: 56

Family: Husband Jess, children Will, 26, and Erin, 22

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, University of Cincinnati, 1976

Occupation: Registered Nurse

Civic organizations: Dover Air Force Base Officers’ Spouses’ Club, board member 2000-2005; Volunteer, Eagle’s Nest Café, DAFB Chapel outreach to single airmen

Political experience: None

How long have you lived in the district? 11 years

Why should voters elect you to serve on Levy Court?

My name is Mary Pat McVay and I am the Libertarian candidate running for Kent County Levy Court member at large. I am the mother of two grown children, and I am a Registered Nurse by profession. I work part time at Silver Lake Center in Dover.

I decided to run for Levy Court at the urging of my son Will, who is also a candidate this year, as is my husband Jess. So you will have a difficult time missing an opportunity to vote McVay this Nov. 2.

As a Libertarian, I believe in smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.  Practically speaking, that translates into lower costs and fewer regulations on businesses to encourage job growth. It also means a Levy Court that provides the basic services that people expect from local government, but without undue burdens on the taxpayer.

I’ve witnessed the operation of the Levy Court first hand and I am very impressed with the dedication to the community that they exhibit. I would come to the job without a specific agenda, but with a spirit of cooperation to tackle the issues facing Kent County.

It seems to me that the job requires good judgment, enough intelligence to become familiar with the issues and a willingness to serve.

I hope you will allow me to serve you as your next Kent County Levy Court member at large.

 

Richard “Duke” Strosser (Ind.)

Age: 50

Family: Wife Fran, children Stephen, 18, and Shannon, 15

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, La Salle University

Occupation: President/CEO, Delaware Federal Credit Union, 1992 to 2010

Civic organizations: Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, Kent County Pension Committee, Better Life Association Inc.

Political experience: Former member, Delaware Credit Union League. 

How long have you lived in the district? 18 Years

Why should voters elect you to serve on Levy Court?

I’m running to introduce the Levy Court to the benefits of the private sector. The fundamental issue is the county’s role in responsible economic development. Currently there is no policy, strategic plan and zero staff resources committed to economic development. I will develop a modern economic policy and reallocate existing staff resources to complete this task.

I will eliminate the delays in the processing of property owners’ rights to develop their land, while maintaining quality written standards. Entrepreneurs will know we are open for business.

After serving 13 years as a volunteer member on the Kent County Pension Committee I have noticed there is a disconnect between the Levy Court and staff that has deprived the local economy of significant sums of money. I will unite Kent County into one team that enhances the quality of life for all county residents.

I will never support a tax increase, unless it is supported by 75% of voting Kent County residents.

I support the merits of the proposed funding of the Kent County Library construction. Kent County should have never opened a redundant library in the City of Dover—this is wasteful spending. According to “A Report on Kent County’s Municipal Library Needs and Plans, 12/11/2009”, the county has not discussed in recent years the reciprocal borrowing agreements with the libraries. This inaction is fiscally irresponsible and not dealing in good faith. I will restore fiscal responsibility and good faith.

I am available at 678-1158 or voteforduke@comcast.net

 

Terry L. Pepper (D)

Age: 54

Family: Wife Valarie, daughter Lauren Cusick and son-in-law Brian Cusick, daughter Heather, granddaughter Mackenzie

Education (no information provided)

Occupation: Delaware State Trooper, retired; deputy principal assistant, policy adviser to Delaware secretary of homeland security.

Civic organizations: Board of Supervisors, Kent Conservation District; Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company; president, Delaware Association of Conservation Districts

Political experience: Kent County Levy Court commissioner, 1994-1998; ran for Delaware Senate, 16th District, 1998

How long have you lived in the district? 43 years

Why should voters elect you to serve on Levy Court?

Kent County voters should elect me because of my experience and commitment. I served on Levy Court from 1994 to 1998. During my term as Levy Court commissioner, I served as vice president and president, and demonstrated that I could work effectively with either party. Under my leadership, Levy Court developed the first state-approved comprehensive land use plan, modernized the wastewater treatment facilities, built a 911 emergency reporting center, expanded Brecknock Park and cut taxes.

After leaving Levy Court, I worked for the governor as the liaison to all of the municipalities and county governments. My duties included helping local and county governments maneuver through the state bureaucracy, to keep abreast of the issues that the county and local governments faced, and assist the counties with their legislative initiatives in Legislative Hall. I regularly attended all three counties’ business meetings and the Delaware Association of Counties meetings. I also served as the liaison to all volunteer fire companies, the state fire commission and the League of Local Governments.

Since I announced my intention to run for Levy Court in April, I have attended the majority of Levy Court business and committee meetings in order to educate myself on the issues. This is something that my opponents have not done.

Prior experience as a Delaware State Trooper enabled me to learn the public safety issues of the county. My 16 years experience on the Kent Conservation District has afforded me the opportunity to work with farmers and land issues.

 

 

Kent County Recorder of Deeds

 

Michael R.Lindquist (R)

Age: 50

Family: Wife Charlotte

Education: Lincoln Technical Institute, Union, N.J.

Occupation: Self-employed automotive warranty consultant.

Civic organizations: (no information provided)

Political experience: 34th Republican District vice chairman

How long have you lived in the district? 5 Years

Why should voters elect you to serve as Recorder of Deeds?

Given the current economic downturn, I see many challenges facing all levels of Government. Kent County Levy Court and specifically the Recorder of Deeds Office is no exception.

Being mindful that the Recorder of Deeds office generates significant revenue, the current economic crisis has affected that office as well. I intend to use my experience as a small business owner combined with my conservative values to operate the office in a fiscally responsible manner.

I also intend to make sure that the Recorder of Deeds office remains at the county level, and not consolidated into State Government as proposed in House Resolution 12. If this were to happen, the potential for tax hikes could happen as there could be procedural problems with revenue being remitted to the county in future fiscal years.

 

Jess McVay (L, Ind.)

Age: 57

Family: Wife Mary Pat, children Will, 26, and Erin, 22

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Biology, University of California Los Angeles, 1974; Doctorate of Dentistry Science, UCLA School of Dentistry, 1979

Occupation: Dentist

Political experience: None

How long have you lived in the district? 11 years

Why Should Voters Elect you to serves as Recorder of Deeds?

My name is Jess McVay. I am both the Libertarian and the Independent Party candidate for Recorder of Deeds. You’ll see my name twice on your ballot this year. My wife Mary Pat is running for Levy Court, and my son Will is running for State Representative, so you’ll get the chance to vote McVay more than once on Nov. 2. I hope you’ll take advantage of that opportunity.

I am a dentist by profession. I retired from the Air Force ten years ago after 21 years of service. I now practice in Dover.

To be honest, I’m running primarily to establish the electability of Libertarian candidates.  No one candidate will run the recorder’s office in an ideologically different manner from the others. If you’re a Libertarian, or an independent, or a Republican or Democrat who is disillusioned with the current direction of your party, please consider voting for me as a low risk way to register your independence, your disillusionment or even your anger. Is there that much at stake? My campaign slogan practically suggests itself. Vote for Jess McVay for Recorder of Deeds. What have you got to lose?

Don’t think I wouldn’t take the position seriously if elected. There are some important issues right now that may impact the recorder’s office. I expect that the foreclosure crisis and possible fraud by the big banks will loom large in the affairs of the recorder’s office in the months to come. I am ready for that challenge.

 

Betty Lou McKenna (D) (I)

Age: 72

Family: Husband John T. McKenna, deceased, two children, six stepchildren

Education: Caesar Rodney High School, Certified Municipal Clerk, completed several certified supervisory and management programs

Occupation: Kent County Recorder of Deeds 2002-present

Civic Organizations: Camden-Wyoming Women of the Moose No. 1546, Kent County Democratic Committee, Whiteoak/Towne Point Civic Association vice chair

Political Experience: Involved with Democratic Party since 1955, treasurer for many political candidates

How long have you lived in the district? Lifetime resident

Why should voters elect you to serve as Recorder of Deeds?

I have several years of experience with state, county and municipal government. I have been your Recorder of Deeds for eight years. I negotiated a computer contract in 2005 and am now prepared to renegotiate an additional five years at little to no cost to Kent County. I took the office from a three- to four-week recording period to a 24- to 48-hour recording period. The legal community, real estate industry and financial institutions are very pleased with today’s quality of service and the availability of our online service. It is my goal to continue that positive relationship and to continue the review of documents that have been converted from microfilm to image, to assure 100% accuracy. I commit to continue recording and indexing all documents in a timely and efficient manner. I also hope to explore the possibility of e-recording in the near future. I will not support the consolidation of the three Recorder of Deeds offices. I believe this would take away the one-on-one contact, which is so prominent between my staff and the general public. This move would financially devastate Kent County and would cause a great burden to many of our users. I will oppose this suggested legislation as long as it takes. The Recorder of Deeds staff members are qualified, efficient, dedicated to their jobs and pleasant to work with. I am very proud of the customer service that we provide on a daily basis.

 

 

Kent County Sheriff

 

Jim Higdon (R) (I)

Age: 57

Family: Wife Terry, three children, one granddaughter

Education: Graduate of Middletown High, two years of Criminal justice education at Delaware Technical & Community College

Occupation: Home inspector

Civic organizations: Member, Dover Fraternal Order of Police; Past president, Dover Downtown Rotary; Governor’s Council on Labor

Political experience: Kent County Sheriff, 1995-present

How long have you lived in the district? 40 years

Why should voters elect you to serve as Sheriff?

When I first ran for this position in 1994 I made certain promises to the citizens of our county. These promises included restoring honesty, integrity, and fiscal responsibility to this office.

I have accomplished this and much more. In my first year in office I discovered the fact that not only were we not operating in the black, but we were in fact over $42,000 dollars in the red. My first task was to begin erasing this deficit. I did this by diligently collecting fees that were due us and streamlining office procedures. We were able to do this and still make many necessary improvements.

We had no hold buttons on our phones, no fax machine (I purchased one immediately using personal funds), no copy machine, no work stations, and to be honest it was a very dismal atmosphere to have to work in.

The clerks had to enter all information into huge, cumbersome log books, which took seemingly forever. Needless to say all of these issues have been rectified. We have all the needed modern day equipment necessary and I am proud to say that at the end of this fiscal year this office has brought in over $750,000 dollars after all expenses, thus saving tax dollars for everyone. Why vote for me? Please, just look at my record.

 

 

 

Norman Wood?(D)

Age: 43?

Family: Wife Penny Mae Wood, daughter Whitney Wood Diaz

Education: Criminal justice from Kaplan University

Occupation: Police Lieutenant

Civic organizations: Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 3, American Legion Post No.14, Harmony Lodge No. 13

Political experience: None

How long have you lived in the district? Nine years

Why should voters elect you to serve as Sheriff?

As a sworn officer with the Smyrna Police Department for almost nineteen years and a lifelong resident of Kent County, I have discovered that I possess an innate aptitude for public and community service.

My career as a police officer has afforded me opportunities to work with people during their good times and bad and to treat them all with dignity and respect. Having worked my way through the ranks at the police department, currently holding the position of lieutenant, I have attained the needed leadership skills that will assist me in efficiently and effectively heading up the Sheriff’s Office.

My vision is to bring the office staff and deputies current with their training and equipment, thereby assisting their daily duties and providing them with a safer and more productive working environment.

Instead of using unreliable cell phones for communications, whether it is an emergency situation or not, I’d like to see them all utilizing the 800 MHz radio systems. Using the Internet for advertising upcoming property sales will create higher visibility to potentially draw a greater number of prospective buyers.

I’d like to improve the working relationship between the sheriff’s office and the local police agencies so that it may become a well respected, efficiently run service for all of Kent County. It is also my goal to do whatever is necessary to create transparency and an open government atmosphere between the community and the office, so that there is never any question as to where the generated revenues are expended.

 

Christopher Tallman (Ind.)

Age: 34

Family: Wife Kirsten, children Shane, 5, and Megan, 1

Education: (no information provided)

Occupation: Correctional Officer

Civic organizations: (no information provided)

Political experience: (no information provided)

How long have you lived in the district? (no information provided)

Why should voters elect you to serve as Sheriff?

As a traditional conservative I stand for integrity, honesty, and professionalism. I intend to introduce child safety, wayward youth and senior safety programs.

I would like to modernize the sheriff sales procedure by linking web pages for perspective buyers and browsers so not only the basic sale information announcement is viewable online, but the property description, photos, history and other information will be available to anyone with internet access, therefore attracting a higher volume of prospective buyers.

I would like to make the sheriff’s office visible throughout Kent County and create public, corporate and allied police partnerships to bring a positive professional outlook to the office. To achieve these goals I will work hand in hand with the county council, allied agencies and Kent County residents and together we can walk tall.