Dover Taxpayers forgetten no longer 14 June, 2011Posted by David Anderson in Uncategorized.
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I am pleased that free market and fiscal restraint has taken hold in the Capital city. We are closing a 3.6 million dollar shortfall without layoffs, tax increases, or utility rate increases. We have reduced the amount taken from the electric fund and are giving back money in the fuel adjustment as scheduled.
I am honored to be part of some important committees right in the middle of the struggle to improve our future. Legislative and finance, Parks. Recreation, and Community Enhancement (which includes the federal block grants), and tonight the mayor appointed me to be a director of the Downtown Dover Development Partnership. I also chair the Construction appeals board.
Tonight we advanced some important items. We advanced some pro-growth development ideas. One was to reclaim empty box stores and keep the ones we have with an abatement program which gives tax abatement to improvements or new leases which create long term jobs.
Another which just pleases me to no end is a streamlining of the zoning and permitting process. The only disagreement I had with the final product worth talking about is a reduction of the notification of neighboring property owners in the staff proposal from 300 feet back to 200 feet. I think in the long run, more information builds consensus and it was a small trade off for automatic approvals if the historic commission did not respond in 45 days and extending the time that approvals are valid, and many other provisions. Our zoning process has been killing jobs and now we have a chance. Ann Marie Townsend is my new favorite bureaucrat. My favorites are changing daily because so many of the staff are stepping up. In reality, I have too many favorites to name but hear is a start, Donna Mitchell, Bill Neaton, Traci McDowell and of course our new interim city manager, Scott Koenig. I look forward to working with Zak Carter as well.
We are off to a positive start.
There are still tough decisions. There were no raises in the budget except the ones for two unions contractually obligated. Non union employees received no raises. The Police are negotiating for raises this year, but I am not optimistic their is any money for that beyond the generous step raises in their contract. Tonight, we began the discussion about getting the other than pension post retirement benefits under control (OPED). I believe very strongly that we need to stop paying for Medicare Part B coverage. Current retirees do not need to worry. I think there would only be two votes to open that discussion up. It is a non issue. The question is should we continue to pay the premium for non-union future retirees? The unions gave that up and new employees do not get it. It is a two tier retirement arrangement that is patently unfair on its face as well as ever increasing in cost. When I look at proposed changes in Medicare, I get the feeling that premiums will go up an unknown amount and the city giving a blank check to pay whatever to a program that you have no control over is insane. The military doesn’t do it. The state doesn’t do it. The counties don’t do it. The federal retirement program doesn’t do it. Even Dover unionized employees do not have this benefit. It was an interesting experiment, but it has proven itself to be problematic. We need to cut our losses and focus on putting money aside to actually fund our future employee retirement benefits in the out years. That is my view. It may have gotten jeering from the employee peanut gallery, but in the long run it is best for both the taxpayers and employees.
We also approved in legislative and finance committee a review of the employee health benefits. Kent County pays less than we do per employee. We may be able to provide the level of benefits we desire to give our employees at a lower cost. We may need to pull out of the state system. We are actually subsidizing state employee’s benefits because we do not get any refunds when the costs are actually lower than projected. The money once given to the state stays with the state. I would personally like to avoid degrading the benefit package. We need to find more cost effective ways to provide those benefits. The employees deserve our support, but so do the taxpayers who are often forgotten.
Tax and rate payers, you are forgotten no more.
Councilman David Anderson
Natural Law applies to Economic Crisis 12 October, 2010Posted by stoptaxing in Uncategorized.
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Where does Natural Law, the 10 Commandments, our Republic, and Glen Urquhart
Since man’s beginning we have had to deal with weakness and
vulnerability. Moses and the 10 Commandments(1200 BC) helps,
Natural Law helps, and Religion plays a key roll.
One tends to overlook religion’s sustained importance in making
our Republic work. The Founders knew children required a found-
action in ethics & morals to rightly support our country throughout life.
Our candidate for the U.S. Congress is in step with our Founders: parents
lay the foundation for morals & ethics using religion as a key teaching tool.
Ask adults where they learned morals and ethics growing up, the answer most
often credits parents and religion.
The “sub-prime” mortgage meltdown is a current example of man’s weakness and
vulnerability where greed took over. We must not abandon the Founder’s formula that has
carried us this far. When jobs come back we will continue to face this challenge.
Vote for Glen Urquhart for congress and visit his web site: Glen4liberty.com
Jerome P. Broussard
Focus on the Delaware House 1 August, 2010Posted by stoptaxing in Uncategorized.
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By Donald Ayotte
Conservative Crossroads Staff Writer
One of the hottest and most important races in Delaware is in full gear, with Republican Candidate, Chris Weeks’ ground troops campaigning door to door for Delaware’s Fourteenth Representative District Seat.
Weeks is challenging incumbent Peter Schwartzkopf, the House Majority Leader for the privilege of representing the people of the fourteenth district. No matter where you live in Delaware, the results of this race will affect you.
Chris has been married to his wife Lauri for 17 years and has three children. “I’ve been an employee all my life and have been held accountable for my actions. As an elected representative of the fourteenth district, I expect to be held accountable for my actions. With me, it’s all about serving my constituency,” said Weeks.
Weeks stated that, much like retiring Representative George Carey, he probably wouldn’t sponsor a lot of legislation and doesn’t ever want to think of himself as a legislator but wants to be thought of as a representative.
“The people of Delaware, and especially the fourteenth district need a breath of fresh air when it comes to representation,” said Weeks. “I’m ready to debate my opponent Pete Schwartzkopf, anytime or anyplace.”
“Far too many politicians want to be quarterbacks. I see the job as being the lineman, clearing the way for working people to do what they need to do. Representatives need to be just that, the representatives of the people. This seat in the state legislature is not Pete Schwartzkopf’s seat, it’s not my seat, it’s the people’s seat.,” said Weeks.
Speaking about jobs, Weeks stated that the engine that drives jobs in the fourteenth district is tourism. He stated that a multitude of businesses in the district are driven by the tourism industry and those businesses hire many people. Weeks said that many legislators have a limited view of the tourism industry. “They need to have a larger oversight of the importance of the tourism industry to our district and not drive the tourist to other locations by legislating heavy taxes and fees.
Statewide, Weeks believes that there is not a magic bullet to rebuild the job market in Delaware but instead, America needs to regain its manufacturing capability to create jobs.
Weeks is one of many professional class Americans that never wanted to become a politician. He doesn’t consider himself a politician but instead a concerned citizen who wants to serve the people of the fourteenth district and Delaware in making competent decisions for the people of his district.
This new class of candidates is not only showing up in Delaware but can be found in many states throughout the US. They are concerned citizens that are working class people not professional politicians but instead they are people who love America and want to help their fellow Americans.
Republished by permission from a new email newsletter Conservative Crossroads. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be forwarded to it.
Spending Reform 27 January, 2010Posted by David Anderson in Uncategorized.
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How is freezing spending at artificially high levels fiscal conservatism? A freeze (on only 1/6 of the budget) would permanently lock in the baseline that increased with the stimulus bill and past budget. The ruling regime is slick, but the loony left is too dumb to know what they are doing so it may be defeated. The freeze would save 15 billion out of a 1.4 trillion deficit. The President increased the spending baseline 140 billion for these programs in the last year and 1. 5 trillion over the next 10 years. The freeze would take it back to to 1.25 trillion in increases over the next ten years. That is like spending 200 dollars eating out and then taking the toll free road home to save fifty cents.
How about tackling entitlement reform? Why are talking about everything but that? A Presidential and Congressional, bi-partisan commission there would pay dividends. We don’t need to give it extra constitutional powers. We, the people, just need to pay attention. Entitlements are the long run threat to the economy. Any plan which ignores that fact is just window dressing.
If you want real spending reform, change the rules. This is inside baseball, but it may be the way to win the game. Follow me on this. Mandate that all 13 spending bills be out of house committees by the 2nd week of July. Any bills that are not will be combined into a continuing resolution. The bills would then go before a committee of the whole one by one in the third week of July through the first week or two of August. The larger ones would be given up to 3 days and the smaller ones a half a day. Any member would be able to offer amendments to cut funds. If any member wants to increase spending in one area on the bill, they have to cut another area. Any spending increase would require a suspension of the rules which requires 290 votes.
The effect of this would be to allow the Ron Paul’s, blue dogs, and others not on the favored committees to offer amendments on the record and in the open. It would make every member own the budget. It would allow us to hold people accountable. The way the game works now is that the bills are put together in ways that no one outside of the favored crowd knows exactly what is in the bill. Both parties keep fiscal conservatives off of the appropriations committees in any numbers. They manipulate the rules to keep amendments to a minimum. If you want to truly change the system, open it up. Strip the lobbyists, power elite, and revolving door (between Congress and Special interest groups) staff of their power. Give it to the people we elected. Until we do that (either with this proposal or some other), we are just talking about reform.
Biden not running 26 January, 2010Posted by David Anderson in Uncategorized.
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Beau Biden is running for reelection not the Senate. It is official. Who is running?
Huckabee beats Obama 26 January, 2010Posted by David Anderson in Uncategorized.
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Governor Huckabee’s “populism” may not excite Rush Limbaugh, but independent voters love him as well as most Republicans. One Republican beats President Obama right now according to Democrat leaning Public Policy Polling. He is Mike Huckabee. Team Huck is organizing in Delaware. Look for a future post. Rasmussen shows similar popularity.
Huckabee is in many ways the opposite of President Obama. He has 10 years of executive experience. He is Conservative, people oriented, and in favor of thoughtful change. They are far different on the issues. Governor Huckabee also appeals to the average person and eschews elitism. He is a modern conservative who favors the individual over large institutions. He reflects much of the public mood.
Mid Alantic in the New Year 8 January, 2010Posted by stoptaxing in Uncategorized.
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New Jersey keeps marriage between a man and a woman with the state senate voting down efforts to scrap civil unions and redefine marriage. Now the state can focus on the out of wack budget and weak economy.
Maryland’s largest city is getting a new mayor with the resignation of Shelia Dixon as part of a plea deal.
New York’s governor is seeking to raise the cap on charter schools after a national study showed that they may hurt charter performance. Pensioner’s who trusted the post office over the bank found out their faith was misplaced. Thousands of checks were lost in the mail in the western NY district. Direct deposits went without a hitch.
Virginia’s new governor is appointing his cabinet. He has tapped a technology CEO to be his secretary of technology and fix the mess left by the previous occupants. The Democrats suffered a set back in their hopes for claiming the state senate seat vacated by the new AG. Their candidate doesn’t live in the district and just rented a home for $600 a month that he does not live in to run for the special election.
Pennsylvania’s house and senate have finally agreed to add table games to their gaming mix. So much for the great gaming strategy of Delaware’s governor Markell. I am sure that people will drive past two or three to come here especially after we just repealed the exemption of lottery (all of our games are technically state lotteries) winnings from state income tax.
A Democratic perspective–the year in review 2 January, 2010Posted by stoptaxing in Uncategorized.
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Despite extremely challenging times — by most accounts the greatest our state has faced in several decades — we were able to pass legislation in 2009 touching nearly every Delawarean in an ongoing effort to improve their quality of life. Ranging from public safety measures, education bills, anti-discrimination legislation, new protections for our seniors and bills honoring our military, when all summed up I believe the 2009 General Assembly session was a success.
An early success of the session was the re-authorization of sports betting. House Substitute 1 for House Bill 100 provided our Racino partners with a competitive advantage and has resulted in adding much-needed funds to the state’s revenue.
The summaries below highlight some of the legislation passed and signed into law this past year.
· Established enhanced penalties for registered sex offenders who commit a sex offense against a child under 12 years of age.
· Added paramedics, EMTs, fire marshals and fire police officers to a list of first responders whose death can result in a first-degree murder charge.
· Increased the penalties for the crime of “sex offender unlawful sexual conduct against a child” when the victim is under 18 and has a cognitive disability.
· Replaced the costly and ineffective DSTP with the new Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS) which will provide teachers a better tool and greater flexibility as to when to assess a student’s progress.
· Granted local districts substantially more discretion with respect to expenditure of state education funds and also established a number of safeguards to ensure that those funds are spent in a responsible manner.
· Expanded an existing program allowing Delaware National Guardsmen to receive financial assistance for a master’s degree without allocating any additional funding above the amount already appropriated in the fiscal 2009 budget.
Quality of Life and Seniors
· Prohibited discrimination against a person based on their sexual orientation, whether the orientation is real or perceived in areas of housing, employment, public works contracting, public accommodations or insurance.
· Allowed competent adults to receive visits in a hospital, nursing home or nursing facility from any person they choose. The law does not overrule a facility’s visitation policies that are based on the patient’s medical condition, visitation hours or a court order.
· Gave the public online access to the Adult Abuse Registry so Delawareans seeking to hire someone to help care for their elderly loved one could easily go online and check the job applicant’s name against the registry.
· Increased penalties for repeat drunk drivers.
· Placed the General Assembly under the state’s Freedom of Information Act as a public body, subjecting the legislature to the state’s open meeting laws.
· Prohibited state agencies from granting an unpaid leave of absence to workers while they are incarcerated.
· Restructured the Violent Crimes Compensation Board, a result of the work of the Sunset committee. Reforms include reducing the compensation of board members to a $100 per meeting from an annual salary of $10,000 including pension benefits.
· Amended the Freedom of Information Act to take advantage of current technology by permitting members of certain public bodies to participate in a meeting using video-conferencing under certain conditions.
My recap of the session would not be complete without a couple of comments regarding the budget approved the morning of July 1. Faced with an $800 million deficit meant making some extremely difficult decisions. The budget we approved reflected our commitment to the guiding principles used to direct our effort.
· Fiscal Responsibility – Reductions should real and sustainable. The budget approved included over $300 million in spending cuts, including the elimination of 1,000 positions out of 15,000.
· Keep our core commitments – Ensure the health and safety of our families, foster the growth of our economy and protect the quality of our air and water, give every child an opportunity to succeed, assist our senior citizens when needed and protect the rights of all of our citizens at all times. I believe the budget approved met this principles’ objective.
· Shared sacrifice – No group will bear a disproportionate burden. The budget required sacrifice from all constituencies including our state employees, Delawareans making more than $60,000 per year and corporations doing business in Delaware.
Our focus on maintaining our core commitments and fiscal responsibility will provide Delawareans with sensible solutions while protecting our children’s future, our seniors and those citizens with the greatest needs.
I will remember this session as very challenging yet rewarding – rewarding because I had the opportunity to meet and serve many constituents this past year. I look forward to serving them again in 2010.
Darryl M. Scott
State Representative – 31st District
Happy New Year 2 January, 2010Posted by stoptaxing in Uncategorized.
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May you have a happy and blessed New Year. (3 John 2)
The Election 4 November, 2009Posted by David Anderson in Uncategorized.
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Corzine concedes and promises smooth transition.
AP Calls it for Christie 81% and 5 point lead.
UPDATE: Christie lead 6% and 100K with 68% of the vote in.
Early lead for Christie, Christie still leads in fact he is increasing his lead back to 5% with 44% out. I like the counties still out. Christie is surprisingly strong in Camden County and Somerset. Christie is winning big in Republican areas by double to triple the vote margins of Forester last governor’s race. He is losing Democrat areas in Middlesex and Woodbridge where no Republican tends to win in a dozen years. GOP is winning Democrat House seats and losing none of its own. Still he has Newark and Jersey City to withstand.
Updated: 1 down–McDonnell wins big.
VA McDonnell leads early–exit polls confirm Republican trend. President Obama factor in votes of 2 out of every 5 voters.
Traditional Marriage is winning in Maine has a 5% or 25K vote plurality with 84% reporting in a heavy turnout (52%). Medical Pot is winning big. Civil Unions are narrowly winning in WA with a lot of Seattle out where it is strong and a lot of Eastern Washington out where it is weak.
Hoffman may not have the organization to pull the race out. Had to fight absentee vote already cast. It is an incredible showing for a third party candidate ganged up on by both of the other candidates. He may win still but he is behind by almost 3 points. Fox just projected Owens to win.
Definitely a change election, again. PA statewide offices go GOP. Court elections have little money so they are a pure show of party strength. Delaware County was solidly Republican down to town offices and county council. In NYC, the GOP picked up two council seats in Queens, and the Conservative beat the Republican in Stanton Island’s 50th council.