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The Case for Change in Kent County 9 October, 2008

Posted by David Anderson in Uncategorized.
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I believe that local government is a vital but often overlooked factor in our daily lives. It will be even more important in the troubled times we now face. I don’t believe our county government is serving our needs today. It has failed us in managing our money, emergency/disaster management, providing a positive business environment, and even failed in following its own procedures.

Unemployment has soared even faster than the national average, up by a third. We have lost 40% of our manufacturing jobs over the last decade. The banks are suffering, yet we have slashed the economic development outlays from $1.6 million to $73,000 in the last two years since Mr. Angel and company have taken over Levy Court.

I propose an entire agenda laid out on my websites, which include tax credits to new and expanding businesses. I want to use the unique position of the county to allow local businesses to access federal grants to help them with exports and other activities (businesses cannot apply directly—a local government has to participate). I want us to coordinate with existing business development programs better so people will have a one stop information resource. I would like to follow also some of the recommendations of the study we paid to get.

Now is not the time for tax reassessment. It would slam our seniors when they can least afford it. Everything else is going up. Can’t Kent County look out for us? I also oppose a property tax increase. My opponent has a record of raising taxes 43% while on the Capitol school board and stated at a Levy Court budget hearing that we may need to raise taxes.

I believe we need to manage our money better. We need to partner with the municipalities throughout the county to expand libraries accessible to all citizens of the county. We don’t need to go it alone. It makes no sense to duplicate the expenditures when we can be partners. The same is true of parks. I was glad to be part of helping save taxpayers 10 million dollars by opposing the original 13 million dollar Schutte Park facility. I was a vocal advocate of a metal building which fit in the budget. As part of the parks and recreation committee, I participated in the change. I see the same spendthrift instincts with the county. It is seen in the spending of 12,500 on trips by Mr. Angel to Hawaii and elsewhere when everyone else did it for a fraction of the cost. We need to reform our thinking.

Disaster response is a disaster. We remember the Rico spill debacle, and the poor flood responses. The untold story is that Mr. Angel approved County Emergency Management Agency goals which said that It would strife to notify us 90% of the time and respond 80% of the time. I think 100% is the only goal when it comes to my family’s safety.

Please allow me to make Levy Court work for you.

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