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We won! 21 April, 2011

Posted by David Anderson in Dover, Kent county, Local, Revolutionary Reform.
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Thank you Dover for electing me to city council.
David Anderson

Dover Residents, it is time for Jobs, change, and David Anderson 12 April, 2011

Posted by David Anderson in Dover, Jobs, Local.
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In this economy, jobs are disappearing and our budgets are tight. This is true of families, businesses, and even governments. We face the challenge of generation. I believe we are up to it. We just need faith, vision, an action plan, and a willingness to work with each other. It is sounds simpler than it is, granted, but we are Americans. We can handle it. My experience serving this great country assures me of this fact.

I am in consultation with an economist to find some innovative ideas to make our city a better place to do business, but it does not take a PH. D in economics to see what we are doing needs to change. Unemployment continued to rise in Dover even when the national trend stabilized. We are now above the national average. My goal over the next year is to make Dover open for business.

I want to turn this city into a viable enterprise zone. I want to see us take advantage of programs that only a city or locality can administer such as the export grants to businesses through the SBA. I would like to see the community reinvestment money mandated by the Federal government from the banks stay here instead of flowing to Wilmington by setting up our own reinvestment fund. I want to see us streamline regulations and paperwork. I want to see us expand our tax credits for businesses that expand or locate here so we stay competitive with other localities in the state.

I am concerned that we are wasting your money instead of putting it in our community. One example is our water system. A top priority needs to be updating the well heads and repairing the leaks. I still believe we should have lined the pipes for a fraction of the cost and time of replacement. Our declining infrastructure is hurting our job creation. When our water system can only operate at 80% design capacity, it keeps industry from locating here. The infiltration in our waste water system or runoff is costing us $1,000,000 a year to pay the county for water that shouldn’t have been in the system.

That is $1,000,000 not helping our community. It could be paying for community police, youth programs, or repairing our streets. Maybe it could be helping us bring jobs here. Instead it is literally being flushed down the sewer.

This has to stop. Please help me stop it next Tuesday April 19th by honoring me with your vote for city council.


David Anderson

P. S. If you would like to help, go to davidandersonforcouncil.com and contribute or volunteer.

Local Response to National Economic Uncertainty 23 September, 2008

Posted by David Anderson in Action Item, Economic Policy, Election 2008, Kent county, Local.
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For Immediate Release
Contact: David Anderson

At Thursday’s Kent County Federation’s of Republican Women’s meeting, David Anderson candidate for Levy Court will promote a jobs and prosperity agenda for Kent County.
David Anderson believes now is the time to make jobs and the economy a top priority of Kent County Government. Levy Court 3rd District. The current Levy Court is investing $73,000 in economic development. 2008 was $74,000. The 2007 investment was $1,600,000 in grants, land acquisition, and expenditures. A previous year was approximately $900,000. $700,000 was transferred from Economic Development to open space preservation.
The following is a synopsis of Mr. Anderson’s proposal– A Prosperity Agenda!
We need to be pro-business in order to be pro-jobs.  I would like to see our industrial-commercial areas become enterprise zones and international trade zones. We need to work with the chamber of commerce (CDCC) to take advantage of grants available to businesses which export overseas.  With the Internet and parcel post services, it is an easy proposition for more businesses than we think.  There are more than 360 federal economic development programs.  Let’s have a contest with the colleges to see who can come with the best way to tap them. 
 I would also like us to take advantage of alternative energy and science grants.  I would also like to see a tax credit to any business anywhere in the county which expands.  The new expansion portion should be exempt from higher taxes for three years.  I would love to see start ups get a one year tax holiday.  These ideas won’t cost us money but could bring us a real return.
We can also publish all of the available support programs for local and start up businesses.  Every non profit, institution or agency should be known through the county website and a booklet.
Instead of wasting money on lawsuits because we don’t follow state laws, lets build our economy.
My recommendation is to draft an incentive which piggybacks on a program like the SBA small business loan program that requires a business plan. It has a track record of being effective and not abused. For example, proposed legislation might be that if one starts or expands a business in Kent County and one qualified for a small business loan through the SBA program then the County will provide seed money grant each year for three years as long as your location remains Kent County, etc. The amount of seed money could be a percentage of wages paid to encourage job creation, a percentage of taxable income generated by the business, both, or taxpayer’s choice each year. This would inspire all types of business entities: sole-proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and LLCs.
 I specifically note applicants must qualify for a SBA loan – not have received a SBA loan – because if a person doesn’t need to finance their business start-up/expansion they should not be ineligible. Other similar incentives may be available to entice larger businesses to the area by working with the State Economic Development Office.
What are we doing now?  We hired a professional firm which came up with some good ideas.  We shelved the study and cut the economic development budget to its lowest level in years.  When we need jobs the most, we made that the lowest priority. 

The meeting is sponsored by Kent County Republican Woman’s club. David Anderson will be one of the guest speakers at the monthly luncheon on September 25th at Maple Dale Country Club Dover. The luncheon starts at 11:30.
Mr. Anderson will gladly accommodate any press questions afterward or arrange interviews with any media unable to attend..

It’s Official–David Anderson for Levy Court 26 July, 2008

Posted by David Anderson in Election 2008, Kent county, Local.
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I officially filed for the 3rd district Levy Court seat in Kent County. I have a lot on my plate, but I am concerned enough about this county to invest my energies to making it better.

We have some challenges ahead. Unemployment is up 25% over last year, but just as important so is underemployment. I have been talking with people working 3 jobs and still not able to make ends meet because the 3 jobs don’t pay as much as the one they lost. Others are paying 20 to 50 dollars a day to get to work. It is clear that we need a better business base here. We need to treat the businesses we have better and attract new ones.

The lack of emergency preparedness concerns me. The Rico Chemical incident was a wake up call and our county leadership seems to have hit the snooze alarm. I testified before the state and city governments about our concerns, but I don’t see enough movement on the county level.

I know from my duty providing Katrina Relief with the National Guard that local government matters. Whether the relief operation went smoothly or was a source of frustration was directly related to the competence of the local officials. I saw elected officials who rose to being local heroes selflessly serve their community. They were models of leadership. I saw others get in way, and even divert aid to their friends. I saw first hand that local government matters. My family lives here and I am not comforted by our lack of coordination between first responders and the local government.

I am not pleased with the way our county spends some of our money. I have detailed that elsewhere on this site. The Government needs to act like our money is a precious resource. When I am elected, you will have a constant voice asking the right questions.

If you would like to help the campaign at no cost to you, follow this link to Revolutionary MoneyExchange (it is like paypal without the high fees), it is free and without obligation. The campaign will get ten dollars. Thanks.
Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange

Academy of Dover Turnaround–one person’s perspective 16 July, 2008

Posted by David Anderson in Education, Election 2008, Local, Revolutionary Reform.

UPDATE: Http://www.whyy.org has the replay of Thursday’s newscast in which we were part of the lead story.

There is nothing more fulfilling than being a part of success. The school is one of the great turnaround stories in Delaware education. Student Achievement is up. School morale is up. The school is run better in accordance to best practices in many areas. More needs to be and will be accomplished to make this a premier school. I am fully optimistic that the next year will bring that goal to reality.

Now it should be obvious that this was a team effort. In fact I would say optimistically, I may be responsible for 5%, but my 5% was essential to it happening. When I highlight my part in this to show you why I can be trusted, let it be with the understanding that a lot of other people did their part too. It was a team effort as the article said and without everyone’s effort the school would have failed. I especially credit the leadership of Mrs. Mary Scott (board president), Mrs. Leida Sanchez, MBA (treasurer), and the dedicated staff who went beyond the call of duty.

The Academy of Dover was a good school fundamentally, but it was facing some real challenges. The former management company did not live up to expectations and the school faced closure if changes weren’t made. The Department of Education demanded a new board of directors be chosen. I was honored to be one of those selected.

We faced 4 challenges. We needed better administrative procedures including financial management and reporting. We needed to improve our test scores and raise student achievement. We needed to meet 24 conditions set by the department of education. We needed to restore our image (damaged by the negative publicity from the problems which threatened the school’s viability) in the community and among our own parents.

Board President Mary Scott gave us our assignments. There was too much work to be done as a full board in just a couple of months before school opened this past year. So we each took an area and reported back to our committees which compiled and reviewed the work and reported back to the full board. We still had to have special meetings which lasted for 4 and 5 hours each (for an unpaid position). The results were worth the effort. We accomplished the conditions several at a time. We established Board Procedures for governing the school. We retained a firm to do an audit. We established best practice financial management. We sat down with our management consultants and made clear what we needed to happen. We had our contracts brought up to best practice legal standards. We brought the school up to the same standard expected of districts in many ways.

Stage 2
After the administrative items were handled, we went for the tougher job of bringing up student achievement. We implemented tracking of every student so a teacher and parents could know were each student stood not only in a class grade, but on each skill to be tested upon by the State (DSTP). We used Iowa testing at the beginning and end of the year. Next year we will test at the beginning, middle, and end of the year using MAPS.

I proposed a new math curriculum, Singapore Math which will be implemented next year. It is the number 1 rated math program in the world. We will be one of three schools in the state of Delaware to pioneer the program.

I also proposed a physical fitness policy, we now have one reflecting recommended practices and even received a grant to improve it. School safety was another priority of mine (having a child in the school) even though we had no incidents. We tightened some procedures and our bringing in more technology to help us over the coming year.

I have also had a part in bettering communications with the parents through a newsletter and an updated website. I also authored a parent satisfaction survey.

We are utilizing our computers better to aid learning. We have one for every 2 students. One of my areas was technology.

My part included writing some of the board procedures. It also included marketing and public relations. I authored the marketing strategy for the school. It was a low cost/ high effectiveness strategy. The school’s enrollment is up over 30% and climbing.

Stage 3

I am also one of those who proposed a gifted and talented program which will be brought on line this coming school year. We look to implement new after school programs.

We have cut unnecessary spending to get the most from every dollar. We used what we saved to hire enough staff so that we have a single digit student/faculty ratio.

As I said many others did more, I am certainly not the star of the show, but my part was also significant. Because I am an activist, I do not believe in just belonging to a group. I am a man of action. If elected to levy court, I will do my best to achieve the goals laid out. I want to see a strong, sustainable economy. I have a record of achieving what I set out to do. Please give me a chance to work for you.

A Smarter Approach to Planning 8 June, 2008

Posted by David Anderson in Economic Policy, Kent county, Local, Revolutionary Reform.

When I listen to the land management debate, I wonder why the real issues are often mentioned only in passing. We are in danger of becoming a bedroom community not a vibrant self-sustaining one. In Kent county, most people can no longer afford to live here on the wages paid. According to the housing report, most people are being stretched by rent and mortgages beyond what they can comfortably afford. High energy costs make commuting to find a better job an unproductive option for many. Stagnant wages, high energy costs, and a lack of affordable housing have created an iron triangle of despair for many people.

To answer this we need to begin with a smarter, fairer approach to land management. It should meet these three objectives: reviving our towns and cities, providing a diversity of housing stock, and promoting a vibrant business environment. It needs to respect property rights and be environmentally and culturally sustainable.

First, I wonder why we need to build town centers where there is no town. It is almost like the Democrat majority in Kent county is trying to dump all of the growth in areas still represented by Republicans; political gamesmanship is not leadership. That doesn’t seem like real change to the CR district and does nothing to alleviate the traffic issues about which everyone around Dover complains. The idea has merit if it is connected to town growth plans and can connect to town services. The county needs to cooperate with the towns not build new towns.

Second, we need implement a Transfer of Development bank and institute a system where people can easily sale or trade TDR’s. If someone wants to sell their development rights, not even the county can tell them for sure what to do. I spoke with someone who did three different deals and each one had different rules, all in the same year. The worse part is that it was becoming harder not easier. If you want to control growth, let people make money off of keeping their property rural. It is the best way to fairly compensate people for choosing to preserve their property. It won’t work unless it is a market commodity. Ideally, the TDR’s should also be able to be used in the towns to facilitate Traditional neighborhood design plans and giving developers matching tax credits to rehabilitate housing. We don’t need to devalue property and place unheard of restrictions on people.

Third, we need to implement a traditional neighborhood design as a development option. In my view it should be available in all areas and be encouraged not subjected to higher scrutiny. It would provide a mix of housing, allow churches, medical offices, smaller stores, and other businesses not high traffic to be in an area. It would allow a landowner and developer to make a greater profit offering some affordable housing while bringing good local jobs where people live. That is good environmental policy, and economic policy. The bedroom community mandates have failed. Let’s try something different. Let’s give people more choices. History shows that choice works better than mandates.

Fourth, we need to be pro-business in order to be pro-jobs. I would like to see our industrial-commercial areas become enterprise zones and international trade zones. We need to work with the chamber of commerce (CDCC) to take advantage of grants available to businesses which export overseas. With the Internet and parcel post services, it is an easy proposition for more businesses than we think. There are more than 360 federal economic development programs. Let’s have a contest with the colleges to see who can come with the best way to tap them. I would also like us to take advantage of alternative energy and science grants. I would also like to see a tax credit to any business anywhere in the county which expands. The new expansion portion should be exempt from higher taxes for three years. I would love to see start ups get a one year tax holiday. These ideas won’t cost us money but could bring us a real return.

Fifth, we need to continue cooperation with the cities to coordinate economic development and not work contrary to one another. The county should ensure that it plans proper infrastructure for industrial parks like the Garrison Farm. If you don’t build it, they won’t come. That was even true in the “Field of Dreams”. Impact and adequate facility related fees should go into a trust fund used to for that purpose and not into the general fund.

What we are attempting to do in the Livable Delaware and the proposed Kent County Comprehensive plan hasn’t worked well for the average person and often fails at its stated goals anywhere I can find. So why not try something smarter? We need smart change.

Kent County can better use our tax money 5 May, 2008

Posted by David Anderson in Election 2008, Kent county, Local.
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Kent county is facing some tough decisions. We have a new comprehensive plan. We are looking at new library facilities. We want to build new parks. We are grappling with whether to save a new civic center proposal. Crime is showing up in our county not just our towns.

I think we also need to look around us and use these opportunities to bring more economic prosperity to our county. We are third out of three in many economic measurements in this state. We need to change that sooner than soon.

The problems we face need cooperation with other interested parties to solve them. The go it alone approach by the current majority in council is showing an appalling lack of leadership. Don’t mistake me. These are good people with fine intentions. I am questioning their planning and execution.

I have seen time and time again where the city of Dover has begged for county cooperation in shared objectives only to see the county take a half hearted approach. It appears that the other towns don’t get any more cooperation. This costs us money. Why is the county going to spend millions to build a park just up the road from the Pitt Center? If the party is going to enhance a park, why wouldn’t it do it in cooperation with Smyrna? The county could use federal money by combining a recreational facility with a library facility and get have a partnership to run it with a growing town. The objective of a Northern Library could be achieved along with a new park with limited county money. With proper cooperation we could use several pots of money instead of draining our surplus. I haven’t seen enough creative thinking, just a lot of costly duplication.

What could we do with the money saved? We could expand our economic base. The money we save on the park could be used to expand the county’s share on the Civic Center. The civic center is being rumored to go to Middletown if we don’t get off the dime. That would be a bad deal for taxpayers because we will eventually be stuck with subsidising a DelState arena and a civic center somewhere in the state. The economic benefits we will receive are real. The question is not whether or not we are going to spend the money in this state? The real question is are we going to spend it efficiently in with a self sustaining facility. I can see it working best combining the University and the public interest. In that way, we will not have to subsidize the operations. It will stand on its own merit. Not many communities can build a center with as much non-public funding as we can. It is foolish to give up on it for projects which cost the same but have no economic benefit.

These are just two of the areas we need someone to show leadership in.

Let’s do something that works. 1 April, 2008

Posted by David Anderson in Education, Local.
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UPDATE: A LINK ON Los Angeles success with Singapore Math. Those meeting the standard went from 45% to 76% in one year!

I am grateful some people in this state are fighting to improve education. They have an ambitious and thoughtful agenda. It is called 2015. This is not a post criticizing 2015. To the contrary, I am glad to say that we don’t need to wait for improvement. I believe that one of the best cases for charter schools is that it doesn’t take 5 years to make a change and 5 years to get rid of something that doesn’t work.

There are a few schools who already meet much of what is being proposed by the experts. The Academy of Dover is one. It offers more instructional time. It has more computers for the children than any district by far. It is accredited which is a rare feat for an elementary school. It is contracted with Innovative schools, which is supported by the same people who proposed 2015.The Academy of Dover is one of the first schools to have much of its curriculum mapped to the state standards ahead of state mandates. It also is implementing individualized learning plan strategy. Each student will have their own learning program and be taught to compensate for any weaknesses which are discovered during the school year. It was an ambitious plan and it has come to pass. We didn’t have to wait. At this school we are in the future.

Now I am proud to say that we are adopting Singapore Math. Singapore is number one in the world in Math and schools here including Massachusetts (which is at the top in America in Math) have used the American edition with great success. My wife and I have been advocating the world’s finest program for a few years. Recently the board approved my proposal and has accepted grants to make AOD one of three schools in Delaware to spearhead the initiative.

This is something well suited for Charter Schools because of the ease of innovation. We will serve as the test market in Delaware so the district Public schools can be assured that what works in Singapore, Massachusetts, and inner city charters in Los Angeles will work in Delaware. There will be testing at the beginning, middle, and end of the year to track improvements. The national experts will train our teachers over the summer and be available to help make any adjustment during the year. It has been mapped to Delaware standards and will be the most exciting initiative in years. The best push for change is a good example.

Protect your charter schools or else your children may never know excellence even in 2015. Without living examples, the establishment will make this initiative go the way of America 2000, Goals 2000, NCLB, Nation at Risk or any of a number of great sounding goals. Protecting choice in public schools is about bettering education for every child.

Note of full disclosure: Author is part of the Academy of Dover Board of Directors. A new board was selected to “take the school to the next level” a year ago.

Dover based Civic Center report raises Concerns 22 January, 2008

Posted by David Anderson in Dover, Kent county, Local, State.
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The business people on the McGinnis Committee were not buying, but they weren’t selling either.  They were not impressed with the marketing budget and were not convinced the hockey team would stick around. The believed that the center will be built and this is likely the best way to  build it.  They wanted assurances in writing not just verbally that city taxpayers had no future liability.  They were concerned about the county’s financing scheme imposed by the state.  It would be funded by an hotel room tax of 6% in addition to the 8% already imposed by the state for tourism projects.  They recommended a small increase statewide instead of .83%.  Traditionally, tourism projects such as the Sussex beach replenishment are funded statewide and not locally.  This has been opposed by the state hotel industry off the bat.

Other critics have called for it to be completely funded by private sources even if the county serves as a conduit for the bond.  “If you can justify to a bond investor that the project is good enough to float a bond on, then do it and pay back the bond note”, said Delaware Taxpayer Coalition Leader Dave Burris. Global Spectrum, the consulting firm which manages 67 facilities across the nation, says it will pay for operations and maintenance, but will not make enough to cover debt service.<

Delaware State University has announced that they will proceed with a new arena regardless of the outcome. It remains curious why they won’t come up with more money in exchange for part ownership. Nonetheless this means that taxpayers may eventually have to come up with more money than with the majority privately funded Delaware Civic Center.

It remains a controversial issue. What are your thoughts? It seems the committee appointed to give answers has given us more questions.

8Dec07–28th district special election is a unique opportunity–edorsement of Christine Malec 3 December, 2007

Posted by David Anderson in Action Item, Event, Local, State.
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The 28th district which covers Smyrna through North Eastern Dover is voting December 8th, 2007. It will be easy to forget this election on a Saturday during the Christmas season. Let me give you a few reasons why you shouldn’t.

Christine Malec has been a friend of the taxpayer and is in line with the goals of Stop overTaxing Our People. She has pledged that she will not vote for a tax increase this term. Her over all philosophy is one of government serving the people not the people serving the government.

She is solidly pro-family in both her policy and her life. She is a small businesswoman and understands the local economy. She is a reformer. She not only favors the open government initiatives, but favors the right of referendum. She has proven herself as a diligent public servant willing to listen to the people on the smyrna school board.

Christine Malec is one of the few candidates that make me take special notice. I feel that she is a rare find. Please give her the chance to serve. We need about 15 more like her, but let’s start with this one. Don’t forget this election. It is too unique an opportunity.