Four Kent County businesspersons squared off in the second annual for Central Delaware Honorary Mayor Debate Tuesday night to see which Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce member would to hold the honorable office for 2013.
There were plenty of promises to get more small businesses involved with the chamber along with pledges to help local merchants network and even to help animals – all amidst a backdrop of expressions of affection for Dover and the rest of Kent County.
During the debate held at the Sheraton Dover Hotel, Rori & Co Salon & Spa owner Rori Allen said she would increase membership within the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce after discovering how many people still did not know about the chamber while campaigning.
Christina Lessard of Lessard Builders promised to get more young businesspeople like her involved in the chamber and to learn the ins and outs of small businesses the way she did with her parents. That would help Kent County continue to grow, she said.
Kent County Women's Journal Publisher Kevin Phillipson said he would get every man in Kent County to get in touch with his feminine side and read Women's Journal, based in Dover, once per month. On a more serious note, Phillipson said he would steal the idea of outgoing Central Delaware Honorary Mayor Steve Artz to have the honorary mayor get all the mayors throughout Kent County together with small business owners at regularly held breakfast events.
Carolyn Phinney of Signs By Tomorrow in Dover played to the animal lovers vote by promising to raise money for Paws for Life as well as the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce. Phinney, who wore dog ears to the event, promised everyone a puppy and the money to raise the pet.
All in all, it was admittedly a shameless but fun opportunity to promote the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce as well as the individual businesses of the candidates, CDCC President Judy Diogo said.
In addition, Martz, a Ph.D. chemist who retired from DuPont, said all the candidates would have fun meeting people while on the campaign trail and the eventual winner would continue to meet people from all walks of life. Martz, who attended the debate with his wife, Dr. Stephanie Steckel, also enjoyed how businesses appreciated his visits for such things as ribbon cuttings and grand openings, including times when the real mayor of the town or city could not make it.
"It's really like any of the associations you belong to," Martz said. "You've got to listen to people and try to help people do their job in business."
Debate moderator Ronald Sayers, of Sayers Jewelry and Gemologists in Smyrna, said the decision was made last year to limit the term of mayor of one year so that the chamber members could get together and have fun while raising money for the CDCC.
Page 2 of 2 - "Remember, you vote with your dollar," he said.
Anyone wishing to vote may go to www.cdcc.net/honory_mayor.cfm to vote for a minimum of $10 per vote.