Democrat for Kent Levy Court 2nd District
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?
The top issues facing Kent County are the need for economic development, housing availability, and ensuring vulnerable groups such as seniors and the homeless are not overlooked. Regarding economic development, there are solid recommendations in the draft Comprehensive Plan that will be approved in the next month or so including the idea of creating Employment Centers. Additionally, I intend to press the newly constituted Kent Economic Partnership to ensure that the stated benefits identified by the Rockport Analytics are realized and the critical challenges are addressed.
The county has a role in addressing housing affordability through the promotion of mixed-use development, attempting to steer affordable housing development favoring areas close to transit, healthcare, and businesses, creation of land banks for vacant or blighted properties, and contributing to housing-related non-profit organizations.
Finally, the county doesn’t have dedicated staff to address homelessness and senior needs, but those populations exist and we need to be more involved in the coordination of service delivery and resources to make sure they don’t fall through the cracks. The City of Dover has a task force and the county is already involved in that effort. We must look beyond the incorporated areas to see what services are needed.
2. What makes you uniquely qualified for the political office you seek?
If we’re going to get it right for Kent County, we need a Levy Court commissioner who has the background and proven leadership to match the wide array of issues the county is facing. The Greater Kent Committee received a report that identified $1.2B in skills and labor that have to be imported from outside Kent County – that translates into about 8,000 jobs that pay between $54,000 and $80,000 a year. Two of the concerns identified in the report are related to post-secondary education and workforce development – two areas that I have experience with and work with every day at Delaware Tech. My background in project management, contracting, and engineering align well with managing the aging infrastructure of our sanitary sewer system, which has more than 400 miles of buried pipes that are over 40 years old. And, my background in IT and cybersecurity aligns with the county’s efforts to transition to My Government Online and other enterprise solutions.
In addition to attending nearly every Levy Court meetings and workshops over the past 18 months, I also met individually with the Economic and Budget Directors as well as the Chief of Public Safety to get a better understanding of their issues. I’ve also attended the University of Delaware Institute for Public Administration’s Local Government Training program, taking courses in Planning, Ethics, and Freedom of Information. Prior to retiring from the US Coast Guard, I was certified by the Department of Homeland Security as an Acquisition Level 1 Program Manager ($5-50M IT/non-IT projects). I’ve completed training in the National Incident Management System and served as the Logistics Section Chief for several maritime incidents in the Chesapeake and National Capital Regions.
3. What community groups are you involved with and in what capacity?
Camden-Wyoming Rotary, Program Director; Holy Cross Church, member; Knights of Columbus, Council 4182, member; Kent Economic Partnership Plant Managers’ Association, member.
Profession/employment: Department Chair, Engineering Technologies, Delaware Tech; Lieutenant Commander, USCG, retired.
# of years employed: Delaware Tech: 6 years; US Coast Guard: 31 years
Education: M.S., Information Assurance, Wilmington University; B.S. Information Resource Management, University of Maryland University College; A.A.S. Computer Engineering Technology, Delaware Tech.
Political experience: None