Georgetown Candidate Forum

georgetown circle   To be honest I had read an announcement of the upcoming candidate forum, to be held tonight in Georgetown, and had forgotten all about it. That was until I was on my way home and happened to be coming through Georgetown and remembered.

Maybe it slipped my mind because it wasn’t a forum for  candidates running for the U.S. Senate, or Congress. It wasn’t for candidates running for a Delaware statewide office like governor, or even treasurer.  It wasn’t even for candidates running for the Delaware Legislature.

No, some might say it was “just” a candidate forum for the upcoming elections for Georgetown Town Council and the office of Mayor.  Often, when we think of politics, we get too caught up in thinking only about the so-called higher offices, such as president and the U.S. Congress. We marginalize the so-called lower offices like town councils and school boards. When in reality, these are the elected offices that most likely, more closely affect our lives.

These are also the offices we can, as voters, have a larger effect upon in exercising our right to vote.  Often school board and town council races can be decided by a couple of hundred votes. I believe that recently a Harrington Town Council race was decided by a single vote, demonstrating that every vote does count.

Okay, to be honest nothing earth shattering happened at this forum, that was put on by the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce. What we got were six individuals who have taken it upon themselves to run for office, to serve the people of Georgetown, and to help the town grow and prosper.

For the Mayor’s race you have the current mayor Mike Wyatt being challenged by a current council member Bill West. For Ward 3 you have an open seat left vacant by Bill West, you have Eric Evans running against Chris Le Cates.  And for Ward 4 you have former council member Ray Hopkins running against new comer David Anderson.

I think  the overall sense of the forum can be summed up in saying that clearly all of the candidates want the same things for the Town of Georgetown, they want the town to be safe and prosperous without raising taxes on the citizens. There were no gotcha moments when someone said the wrong thing, and all seemed to respect each other and their opponents.

As someone who does not live in Georgetown, and so I can’t vote in the elections, if I had to choose any one thing , or one person who stood out for me, I would have to say it was David Anderson.

This is not to say that any of the other candidates were so bad, it’s just that all of the other candidates either have been, or are currently involved in government. You have a sitting mayor, former and current town council members, you have two that have been on planning and zoning committees. In electing these people the citizens will get experience no doubt.  But also it kind of reminds me of the phrase, “just moving the deck chairs around on the Titanic”. In other words, just moving the same few people around to different positions.

However, David Anderson is a work-a-day guy. He has a degree in criminal justice, but he has worked for DuPont, and has been a summer police officer. He has even cut grass and other odd jobs to raise his family when the need arose. He currently works for Lowes, but even that has its story. It seems as though a while back Lowes went through restructuring. At that time David Anderson was in a management position and was “restructured” into working in the warehouse.

A lot of people would have taken a severance package and unemployment instead of taking a position that they may have seen as being beneath them. Mr. Anderson obviously felt it was more important to provide for his family, and to do it without taking unemployment benefits.

I like the fact that Mr. Anderson is an employee, someone who is out there in the real world working for a paycheck, and then trying to make that paycheck stretch to do all the things we all need to do in our lives. He is not retired, or running his own business. Instead he would bring the integrity of a loyal employee to the job of “working for the people”. After all how many times have we said, the government works for us? This is exactly what is meant by a citizen government.

A couple of things that Mr. Anderson said struck me. First he stated that he has lived in Georgetown his entire life and graduated from Sussex Central High, and in his life time he has never had a job in Georgetown. Of course the low hanging fruit for all candidates in these forums is to talk about creating jobs, and this forum was not different. All of the candidates agreed that to grow, the town must attract new businesses and create jobs and revenue.

But again in my view, Mr. Anderson set himself apart on this by adding that he didn’t want to fill up the highway with strip malls that would set up business this month and be gone in six months. His vision of the future for Georgetown is to bring in businesses that will not only give back to the community by supporting things like the Little League and community organizations, such as the Volunteer Fire Company, but businesses that will actually be a part of the community. Long term members of the community that will bring jobs that will employee current citizens of Georgetown, and encourage new people to move to the town and surrounding area.

Mr. Anderson agrees that to do this the town must look at some of its outdated codes that discourage growth, and to look at new ways of doing things to streamline the permitting process . That is what I think a person like David Anderson can bring to the job of town council member, a fresh outlook, a new perspective, a workingman’s mentality.

The election is on May 10th, at the Georgetown Town Hall, on The Circle in Georgetown, voting is from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m., May 10th is also Sussex Central’s prom night, and they use The Circle for their march, so vote early, or be prepared to walk a block, but then enjoy the Grand March.


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