Profiles of candidates Joe Hickey, Jennifer Hunter, Bill Pressley Sr. and William Robert (Bob) Wilson III for the Smyrna Town Council election Tuesday, April 25

There is one race in the Smyrna Town Council election Tuesday, April 25 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., at Citizens' Hose Company (Smyrna Firehouse), 103 W. Commerce St.

Four candidates are running for one at-large seat on council: Joe Hickey, Jennifer Hunter, Bill Pressley Sr. and William Robert (Bob) Wilson III.

For mayor, John Embert is running unopposed.

For the District 2 council seat, Alvin Pope is running unopposed.

Here are profiles of each candidate running for the at-large seat:

Joe Hickey

AGE 39

YEARS LIVED IN TOWN OF SMYRNA 21 years

EDUCATION Bachelor’s degree in information technology with a concentration in computer forensics and network administration and associate’s degree of specialized technology in video productions

OCCUPATION Systems engineer government contractor

POLITICAL AND/OR LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE My time in the military has taught me how to lead, and my 13 years of experience in the computer science industry has taught me how to take care of my customers. As a customer-focused professional I have repeatedly been acknowledged for my ability to tackle challenging issues, analyze viable alternatives, and provide innovative solutions to technical challenges.

What are the two most important issues facing the town and how would you propose dealing with them?

Developing a strategy to promote growth and employment in the community, working hand in hand with each of the Smyrna committees to improve local amenities and services. Ensure the continued development of the local community both socially and economically.

Why are you the best person for this town council position?

As a first-time candidate, I am determined to bring a new energy to local politics. I want to work hard to help bring growth to Smyrna. As part of the IT Committee, I expect to bring my experience of tackling challenging issues in my profession to undertaking the economic growth that is destined for the town of Smyrna. Let’s all become part of the #Smyrnabuzz.

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Jennifer L. Hunter

AGE 38

YEARS LIVED IN TOWN OF SMYRNA 8 years

EDUCATION BSED in elementary education (University of Delaware), MSED in instruction for the gifted and talented (Wilmington University) and currently pursuing administrator's certificate

OCCUPATION I have been a Cecil County Public Schools teacher for 16 years. I have taught at the middle school and high school levels. For the last 10 years I have primarily taught advanced placement language and composition (a rigorous, college-level course offered to high school students).

For three semesters I taught a Saturday English composition course at DelTech.

In 2016 I was a teacher of the year nominee and was named a 2016 National Society of High School Scholars Educator of Distinction.

In 2017 I applied for and won a grant affording me the opportunity to go to a professional Development conference in Washington, D.C.

Over the years I have been part of every kind of professional development including department, school and county wide initiatives. In 2015 I completed a two year certification program giving me the qualifications to train other teachers in the University of Kansas Writing Strategies. This two-year program required me to participate in a host of leadership roles including participating in a professional learning community that met once a month and made decisions on how to further develop writing and reading instruction for the county.

I have been on our School Advocacy Committee attending a wide range of school board and town meetings in an effort to bridge the gaps in community.

Recently I have had the honor of presenting a session on the value of professional learning communities at the Teacher Leadership Network fall and spring conferences.

Being an educator has afforded me so many ways to become a master of the English content, a highly developed leader, and an inspiring influence in young people's lives.

It is by far one of the very best foundations for being an active, effective member of town council. My entire profession is about representing the voices of children. No one understands the importance of knowing the needs of their stakeholders and how to actively advocate for them better than a teacher.

POLITICAL AND/OR LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE Most of my leadership experience has been fostered through my role as an educator. (See above.)

What are the two most important issues facing the town and how would you propose dealing with them?

One major issue Smyrna faces is the need for economic development that can actually help grow and sustain the town without stripping the Town of its treasured history. The best way work on this issue is to meet with businesses face to face and have realistic conversations about how they can fit into the Smyrna culture. It's important that members of the council come together with local businesses and figure out how to provide the appropriate infrastructure necessary for new businesses to succeed and stimulate both revenue and jobs in the town. I think it's important that we look to businesses that can provide the residents of Smyrna a way to both live and work in Town. This will dramatically help our town!

Something else that I think is important is to generate more involvement in various aspects of how Smyrna operates. What I mean is that I'd like to work towards finding more ways to involve constituents in the many committees that work with the town council and the mayor to make decisions for Smyrna. Every Smyrna resident can be involved in helping solve the problems of the town and bring new ideas to the table to help grow Smyrna while still maintaining Smyrna's small town charm.

Why are you the best person for this town council position?

I believe I am best the best candidate for a town council position because I represent a young, fresh voice. Our town council needs a strong female voice to keep it from merely accepting the status quo. If Smyrna is going to progress, then it has to be done with council members who are willing to push for taking risks on new ideas, and that's what I want to bring to our town.

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Bill Pressley Sr.

AGE 57

YEARS LIVED IN TOWN OF SMYRNA 45 years

EDUCATION High school graduate with 35 years trade experience in general construction

OCCUPATION Business owner of 30 years in general contracting

POLITICAL AND/OR LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE I have served two terms on town council, one term as vice mayor, as chairman of the Business and Personal Committee while on council, past board member of Ambulance 64 and chairman of 28th District.

What are the two most important issues facing the town and how would you propose dealing with them?

1. Bring manufacturing business to the town to sustain the growth that has occurred.

2. Hiring a town manager and assistant manager who will work together for the good of the town residents and employees.

Why are you the best person for this town council position?

Due to my past experience and my love for this town. I have raised my children here and my business is here. I have skin in the game.

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William Robert (Bob) Wilson III

AGE 60

YEARS LIVED IN TOWN OF SMYRNA I was born, raised and lived my entire life in the State of Delaware. I have continuously lived within the Town of Smyrna since 1991, over 25 years.

EDUCATION Graduated Dover High School in 1974 and have attended and completed numerous college related courses, including Penn State, courses in management and administration with accredited C.E.U.(s).

Delaware Council of Police Training – I have completed over 1,100 hours of certified training, not including in-service training that was not recorded because lack of a data base or official records being kept.

OCCUPATION I worked for the Town of Smyrna Police Department from August 1980 until retirement on Dec. 31, 2010.

I have held the position of police dispatcher for several years and then became a police officer in 1984. I have been a patrol officer, shift supervisor, police detective in which I investigated dozens of Internal Affairs incidents and all types of major crimes including numerous homicides.

I have also been in charge of the Informational Technologies of the department from the inception of the internet and email within the Delaware Police Community until the Town of Smyrna hired an IT department. I also held the position of sergeant, senior sergeant and lieutenant. I have been in charge of the Patrol Division (14 police personnel and five-person civilian unit) and the Special Investigations Unit (seven-person unit including four seasonal people at times).

POLITICAL AND/OR LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE I have no public office political experience but have been involved in the internal politics of the Smyrna Police Department. I have been in a leadership role at the Smyrna Police Department for over 20 years of my career. I have also been in leadership roles as a member of the Hartly Volunteer Fire Department, where I am a life member. I have chaired many committees and been involved in policy writing and also know the ordinances of the Town of Smyrna.

What are the two most important issues facing the town and how would you propose dealing with them?

I would aggressively continue to enhance the economic development in the Town of Smyrna. We must strive to recruit good paying businesses into the town. This will keep expanding our tax base to prevent tax and services increases.

I will also strive to reinstall the public trust in the paid public safety and quality of life issues within the Town of Smyrna, with full appreciation and gratitude with the hard working members of the Police Department and all employees of the Town of Smyrna.

Why are you the best person for this town council position?

I have over 36 years experience with the inter-workings of the Town of Smyrna. I am familiar with the businesses, developments, roads and citizens of the Town of Smyrna. I have been friends with many council persons, including present and past mayors of the Town. I am familiar with town ordinances. I have tried to stay active with the issues within the town and the departments of the town, including police, electric, administrative and public works. I am still communicating with council persons and employees in town in an attempt to keep up with issues and problems in town.

I believe in the greatness of this town and its small town charm but we must stay sharp to keep it that way and for the town to grow at a controllable rate.