Levy Court District 2 election is scheduled for Tuesday, March 21

Kent County Levy Court District 2 residents will go to the polls Tuesday, March 21 to elect a replacement for former district Commissioner Bradley S. Eaby.

Voters will choose between Republican James E. Hosfelt Jr. and Democrat Andrea Kreiner to complete Eaby’s term, which expires in January 2019.

Eaby resigned his seat Dec. 27 to take a position in Gov. John Carney’s administration.

The Dover Post asked both candidates to complete a short questionnaire to give voters additional information about each.

James E. Hosfelt Jr.

Age: 55

Residence: Dover

Why did you decide to run for Levy Court?

   It’s about service, service to our community. This is what I know, it is what I like to do and this is how I was raised. It started with the US Air Force, continued with the Dover Police Department and presently with my service on Dover city council.  This is what my family knows best. My wife is a school teacher, our daughter is a nurse and our son serves our country with the Air Force. I see Levy Court as a great opportunity to continue serving, just to a larger constituent base.

What do you consider Kent County’s biggest concern right now?

   Aside from the budget crisis that the state of Delaware is looking to make the responsibility of the three counties, the aging infrastructure is a real concern and one that could prove to be costly. Kent County has approximately 400 miles of wastewater transmission lines that are supported by 95 pump stations and some of this infrastructure is nearly 50 years old with no asset management plan in place. The Public Works Department is developing a “Pipeline Condition Assessment” program and as commissioners we need to support initiatives like this so we can prevent major failures.           The recent break to a main transmission line that resulted in several hundred thousand gallons of wastewater spilling into the St. Jones River is a perfect example of the problems that can occur with aging infrastructure if not maintained properly.

The proposed state budget recommends counties fully fund their paramedic services and changes how the state shares real estate tax proceeds, which could cost Kent County 2.2 million. How should the county address this possibility?

   If the state continues down this path, the cost to the county could be closer to $3.1 million. If the county is forced to assume the state’s 30 percent share of the paramedic program, this equates to $1.5 million and becomes an unfunded mandate by the state of Delaware. Additionally, recent conversations indicate state government is more likely to keep the real estate transfer tax at 3 percent. However, instead of splitting that money equally with the county they may take 2 percent, leaving us, the county taxpayer, with an additional 1.6 million dollar deficit.

   As a result, Kent County Levy Court will need to explore cost cutting measures, but quite honestly this cannot be done at the expense of public safety. We also need to look closely at reserve funds and explore what portion of these reserves can be used to offset some or all of this cost. And lastly, streamline processes at the county level to encourage more economic development. I am hearing from businesses and farmers that they become frustrated with the lack of a streamlined process which encourages them to give up on plans.

Why should Second District residents vote for you?

   I have always been available to meet with constituents to discuss their concerns and find the solution that best serves all parties.  The Second District is a growing and developing district, with commercial businesses, family neighborhoods and an important farm industry. Continued growth is a good thing and something we should encourage by reducing unnecessary regulations. As your Second District Levy Court commissioner, I will remain committed to providing a safe, attractive and an affordable environment for everyone to succeed.

WEBSITE hosfeltforlevycourt.com

EMAIL hosdover@msn.com

PHONE 302-677-1795

FACEBOOK Jim Hosfelt for Levy Court

Andrea Kreiner

Age: 53

Residence: Dover

Why did you decide to run for Levy Court?

   As a mother and a small business owner, I have watched with concern as more and more of our young adults have moved away to find jobs and build their families. Losing this segment of our population not only drains the community of a vital force, but also depletes our workforce and our potential tax base. When asked about why they are moving, they say they are unable to find quality jobs that use their skills. This is a major issue I would tackle as a Levy Court commissioner.

   I have spent my career trying to make a difference. I spent the first half of my career in government, first working at the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and then as Gov. Ruth Ann Minner’s policy adviser on land use, environment, energy, agriculture and transportation. For the past 12 years I have built my consulting business around my belief, as an economist, that environmental and economic sustainability are intertwined; that it both makes sense and saves cents to take actions that reduce our environmental footprints.

   When the Levy Court seat became vacant, I realized my experience working on land use, agriculture, energy and environmental issues as well as my work with businesses on operational efficiency would serve well on Levy Court. I also realized the relationships I have built with people at all levels of government as well as industry and agriculture would be beneficial in serving my constituents on the Levy Court.

What do you consider Kent County’s biggest concern right now?

   Economic development, particularly creating jobs and opportunities for our young adults is one of the biggest challenges facing the county. We need to make it possible for our young people to build good lives here after they complete high school, Del Tech or college. I want them to be able to stay and raise their families in Kent County.

   We need to focus on bringing in jobs ranging from IT to manufacturing, including technical manufacturing, and to provide training for our students to be able to fill those jobs and then use that as a way to attract more companies to Kent County.

The proposed state budget recommends counties fully fund their paramedic services and changes how the state shares real estate tax proceeds, which could cost Kent County $2.2 million. How should the county address this possibility?

   I oppose the proposal by the state to shift these costs to the county. Kent County has been a responsible budget manager, so we need to work with the state to make sure Kent County residents are not unduly burdened by the state’s budget deficit.

Why should Second District residents vote for you?

   I bring almost 30 years of experience in business operational efficiency, land use, energy, agriculture, environment, and transportation to my role on the Levy Court. Through my work in government and my consulting business, I have developed strong relationships at all levels of government – at state agencies, the General Assembly, the counties and various local governments across the state. I will bring these relationships and my ability of knowing how to work through the systems to bear to help the residents of the Second District and the county.

WEBSITE andreaforlevycourt.com

EMAIL andreaforlevycourt@gmail.com

PHONE 302-423-2766

FACEBOOK Andrea for Levy Court