The 31st State Representative District in Dover is one of the few races in the Primary with both Republican and Democrats duking it out for a spot in the General Election. Current Dover City Councilman David Anderson is running against Jean Dowding on the Republican ticket while incumbent Sean Lynn will face Ralph Taylor on Thursday. Please remember to vote on September 6th! Thank you to David for getting me his candidate message!
Our state is at a crossroads. We have been playing small ball the last ten years while neglecting the big issues. We gave away $200,000,000 to Bloom Energy while neglecting infrastructure changes that could help us be more competitive. We go on spending sprees of hundreds of millions then complain that we have no money and must increase taxes. We cut seniors, afterschool programs, firefighters and veterans, but protect special interest giveaways.
We have a 10-month DOE focus on the non-existent problem of 5-10 year-olds choosing their own gender. They do not focus on the damage being done by students being overwhelmed with questionnaires and multiple standardized tests. The House did not even have time to debate school safety, but they did have time to pass HJR 6 on gender identity. They did not have time to hear teacher concerns about school safety. They did not have time to hear teacher concerns about the bureaucratic portfolios that take time from lesson planning. No, apparently a bigger problem is the need to have abortion in the 5th, 6th, 7th , 8th , and 9th month. That is only allowed in 7 of 193 nations. It is a violation of the standards of the civilized world. We do not focus on issues that matter. Therefore, we will never solve anything of consequence with the current leadership even though we spend second most in the nation per person. We do not deal with crime, but focus on guns held by peaceful, law-abiding citizens.
I think the case for what is wrong is compelling, but I want to make a case for what can be right. Here is a deeper dive into solutions for many areas of concern to Delawareans.
I believe we can have a more prosperous state by taking a purposeful approach to producing an environment conducive to well-paying jobs.
Step 1: We need common sense regulatory reform. The entire world has changed in the last 50 years. We have the internet, smart phones, we have been to the moon and back, but our approach to regulations has changed very little. We need focus groups to systematically review our regulations industry by industry and ask does this make sense today? We need to discard out-dated regulations and revise others to work better.
Step 2: We need to see what services are supported by our local economy then target our recruitment for services we purchase but have a deficit in production, but the capability to produce whether service or good.
Step 3: We need to deal with infrastructure. Whether it is completing the 301 to 1 connector or not ruining but enhancing Rt. 8 and Rt. 404 we need roads that follow today’s traffic. Destroying them to make them scenic bike paths is absurd. We need a connection from the Garrison Technical Park to SR 1. I have pushed to make this the number 1 priority by Dover City Council. I support allowing the mall and Dover Downs to build a service route paid by a small toll as they desire. I support upgrading the Port of Wilmington.
Step 4: We need the Dover Civil Air Terminal to have the ability to overnight cargo planes. I am supporting changes in zoning to allow warehouse storage and other commercial applications.
Step 5: Keep encouraging tourism. The DE Turf is working. We need to ensure that other initiatives complement each other and not compete in our state.
Step 6: We need to keep electric rates low. I oppose the mandate to have a higher Renewable Portfolio Standard.
Step 7: We need to look at workforce development, supplier diversity and other ways to make sure local people benefit from the new jobs.
Education is another area that can work better. We can start by stopping the Department of Education from suffocating the efforts of the teachers. We need both dollars to the classroom and authority in the classroom. Let teachers teach and students learn. I do not favor district consolidation unless the local districts want it. Local control and identity is valuable and bigger is not better. I do favor back-office consolidations of certain areas such as HR, accounting, purchasing, and other administrative functions that technology make easy to consolidate. Local officials just give the orders and they are executed at a county level. You would still have a district HR person, but most of the staff and functions could be at a consolidated level.
I also favor prevailing wage reform. Prevailing wage is essential to ensure that government does not drive down market wages and ruin the standard of living for working families due to the lowest qualified bidder rule. The problem is that Delaware’s prevailing wage is not always based upon the market rate. It is politically designed. Some elements are market based while some are 3 times market rate. We are paying 25% more than we need to for schools and roads. We could use that money to upgrade the safety of every school.
180 days of schooling does not seem to be enough. Is it because the school year is too short, or we waste so much time with surveys, and multiple standardized tests? I speak with teachers who must issue as many as 5 standardized tests during the school year. Teachers want to prepare innovative lessons that meet the dynamics of each class, but they must spend an absurd amount of their time on paperwork including portfolios for every student. With today’s technology, there are better ways to help them track each student and communicate progress. Let’s free teachers to teach. Let them have more autonomy in classroom discipline. Make more reading and math specialists available. Follow through on the K-3 special education help that just passed. Work with cities and communities on afterschool programs that are successful in helping students.
I support education for children. I support charter schools and district schools. I also believe homeschooling should remain a viable alternative for those who choose it to include allowing them to look at one course of study in their local school. If they believe that Math is not their strong suit, they pay for the schools, why not allow them to enroll in one course of study each year and integrate that into their home schooling? Pennsylvania allows an entire curriculum online for home schoolers. Our private and home schools are important and all they basically need is to be left alone. They should not be brought under common core. Our public schools should be the obvious focus for improvement. That improvement starts with stopping the micromanagement, getting more money to the classroom, and empowering the professionals we entrust with our children. We should also ensure that children who are gifted are not stuck just teaching other children but could be truly enriched and advance to their potential. We also need to keep and strengthen our commitments to those who need alternatives because of special needs.
I believe the state needs true fiscal reform. I support the Simpler spending reforms wholeheartedly. I also want to see ways to both improve spending and improve services. I want us to look at the direct care model of health care for Medicaid. A couple of states are having success such as Oregon. We can improve care and reduce costs by getting rid of some of the bureaucracy. Let doctors be doctors and not agents of the insurance company and costs go down. I do not favor a direct imitation of Oregon, there are some obvious changes that need to be made for a small state like ours, but the principle is sound. Once the direct care model is established, the potential to aid in universal access to health care is great. We could implement it in a state exchange and make costs affordable without the deductibles and co-payments. Our small business people and their employees would have affordable healthcare as well as individuals who have no employer or government healthcare. Healthcare is the number 1 driver for costs in the state budget.
These areas give a window into my thinking. I have a track record of involvement and success. If I am allowed the opportunity, I will bring an innovative approach to our problems. I have traveled the nation and when I travel, I look for ideas. Every morning when I wake up, I ask, “what can I do today to make life better in Dover?” If you want someone asking that question about Delaware, then I ask for your vote.
If you still have questions, please go to my website davidandersonfordover.com