Republican for Kent Levy Court District 2
Each candidate was asked to respond to three questions.
1. What are the top issues you will address in your campaign and what are your plans for moving those issues forward?
I believe the number one issue facing Kent County is economic development and there is a three step process which the county should take in support of this issue. First, we must retain the businesses we have in Kent County.
Second, we need to help grow these businesses. Third, we need to find ways to attract new businesses to our region. I believe Kent County can accomplish this through partnerships with the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce (CDCC), Kent Economic Partnership (KEP) and the Greater Kent Committee (GKC).
In the spring of 2018, working proactively, Kent County Levy Court changed its strategy regarding economic development. Staffing positions within county government were eliminated and/or realigned as we entered into a new partnership with the KEP. In addition to current grant funding of $100,000, the county also provides additional support of $110,000 with in kind services to support the Kent Economic Development office and the recent hire of Mrs. Linda Parkowski, Executive Director of the Kent Economic Partnership.
Another top issue facing Kent County is the public works infrastructure. As we go forward, Levy Court will need to ensure it is supportive of sewer line replacement projects, similar to the one planned for the Route 13 main transmission line. The county as a whole has hundreds of miles of old and deteriorating sewer transmission lines and Levy Court realizes the need to begin a replacement program. At this point, the county is in the process of a pipeline assessment project. Once complete, Commissioners working with the Public Works Director will be able to establish a path forward for sewer line replacement and in doing so establish budget guidelines to make sure adequate funding is available to support these projects.
One of the core responsibilities of county government is to keep our residents safe. Kent County Department of Public Safety is charged with protecting the welfare of its citizens from disaster. To do this, Levy Court must maintain a state of the art communications system for police, fire and emergency medical services. We must also provide adequate Advanced Life Support (ALS) services to all residents of Kent County. This is why continued support of a new Paramedic Sub-station in West Dover is a must and will give the county appropriate coverage in all areas of Kent County.
Continue to support the Disabled Property Owner and Senior Citizen Exemption Program and work to make sure it remains current and comparable with other municipalities in Kent County. Currently Kent County offers tax exemptions to disabled and senior property owners for those residents with a total adjusted gross income not exceeding $18,000 or for a resident and spouse in the amount of $24,750.
Community Service Grant Awards, Kent County’s finance department working in conjunction with Levy Court, provides community grants in the amount of approximately $1.2 million to areas specializing in agricultural, economic development, public safety and various service organizations. At a minimum, we must continue to provide funding to these worthwhile recipients.
2. What makes you uniquely qualified for the political office you seek?
I act as an advocate for the residents of the 2nd District. The residents bring issues that concern them and I work to bring a resolution that is in the best interest of my constituents and the county as a whole. Residents have contacted me regarding the welfare of their loved ones in local cemeteries, speed limit signs near their neighborhoods, abandoned or foreclosed homes affecting their communities, etc. and I have worked to help resolve these issues since my election last year.
The lives of my constituents have been enhanced by the work that I did with the other commissioners to keep our taxes low and unchanged. County services continue to operate effectively and efficiently. The citizens of Kent County benefit from a commissioner who is fiscally responsible.
My life has been devoted to public service and it is what I know and what I do best. I possess the ability to work with all facets of local, county and state government and can do so in a non-partisan manner. Ultimately, it is the resident who is most important and I believe this is forgotten at many levels of government. Contacting me is very easy, my home address, telephone numbers and social media outlets are readily available. While I won’t always be able to provide the answer that you may want, you can always expect to receive an answer or solution to any concerns you may have.
3. What community groups are you involved with and in what capacity?
a. Kent County Crime Watch Advisory position, appointed by Levy Court
b. Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce Advisory position, appointed by Levy Court
c. Vines Community Project One of several founding members
d. National Rifle Association Dues paying member; Former NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year
e. Delaware State Sportsman Association Honorary Life Member
f. Delaware Police Chiefs Foundation Board member
g. Fraternal Order of Police Life member, Past President
h. Masonic Lodge, Union Lodge #7 Dues paying member
Profession/employment: Director of Public Safety & Track Operations at Dover International Speedway
# of years employed: 4
Education: FBI National Academy, Quantico, VA; Delaware Technical & Community College, Dover, DE; Delaware State Police Academy, Dover, DE; United States Air Force, Lackland AFB, TX; Allegany High School, Cumberland, MD
Political experience: Commissioner, Kent County Levy Court 2017 – Present; Councilman, City of Dover