217 Cecil St.
Dover, DE 19904
How long will we major in minors? How much longer shall we worry about the ice in the Titanic ballroom’s punch bowls and ignore the iceberg approaching our ship?
I think with few exceptions Delaware’s leaders are content with playing in the sandlots when we have major league problems. I would like to see our capitol city be an exception.
I would like to see someone stand up for Dover. Stand up for a secure low crime environment, keeping taxes under control, charter reform which makes government better serve the people, flourishing businesses, community organizations which are vibrant and innovatively attacking the problems of our community, and a government which serves everyone from the businessman to the homelessman regardless of handicap, race, sex, or religion.
I have a few ideas to place in the mix for this spring.
On Charter Reform
I presented or supported the following ideas to the committee 19 January: Allowing any member of council to introduce a proposal without a second from the legislative and finance committee; Citizen right to referendum (as Wilmington had for 50 years) by being able to bring to a vote of the people any action of council by signatures of 1% of the voters; changing the fiscal year to allow for more accountability; protection of private property rights; and allowing the city human relations commission the same subpoena power as the ethics committee.
If we can have cameras at our intersections to gain revenue, let’s have cameras in our parks to protect our families. Network neighborhood associations directly with community Police Units; One year revocation of rental license of nuisance properties with repeat felonious activities, and mandate pictures of homeless tier 2 and 3 sex offenders on flyers now distributed. Fighting crime isn’t stereotyping neighborhoods as Ms. Russell once wrote; it is bringing freedom to our citizens. It is the most basic duty of government.
On The budget and taxes
Change the fiscal year so that the budget is voted on before the election and new council people aren’t voting the first meeting on a budget they never had input in formulating. Hold the line on spending increases by keeping the next budget increase to inflation rate plus park costs. Put a priority of on City Utility options. No Property tax increase—one is enough.
Community Reinvestment fund
Let’s build our local community agencies and charities by establishing a downstate community investment fund (modeled on the Wilmington 1st State) which utilizes currently federally mandated bank community investment contributions. Grants would be awarded locally, so we won’t just get crumbs from upstate and local business would have a greater priority.
Innovation is the key to the future. We can’t be stuck trying to compete with everyone on yesterday’s ideas of high tech. Why not take advantage of the new energy bill and the President’s competiveness agenda which already has 60 senate co-sponsors (assuring its passage) and make our high tech park (which is nothing but a field) focus on energy. We could start a corporation modeled on our Downtown Development Corporation which gave us the Blue Hen Corporate Center, to facilitate moving small start up firms here by helping finding investment and federal dollars and credits. I would like to see us follow a southern China model of attracting these firms large and small.
Let’s take advantage of export grants available from the federal government to help local businesses, but only if the city or some other local agency sponsors them. Utilize the local colleges for studies on new trends for job growth have a 3 year tax break on the expansion portion of existing businesses, and a one year property tax holiday for new businesses. Give Mainstreet Dover as much clout to advance downtown as we do the Historical Society to stop advancement. Encourage homeownership by connecting people with existing programs to save, get mortgages, financial counseling, and grants.
Most importantly, we have to believe we can have the best city in Delmarva. Let’s get out of the sandlot and start playing real ball.