Friday, September 23, 2011

Questions For Commissioner Candidates for the Delmar Maryland Election 2011

There are seven candidates who have filed for two positions for Delmar Maryland Commissioners. The pay for these positions is $1,700 a year for the four year term. I asked the candidates fifteen questions which is a large number of questions for a Candidate Question and answer post. I wish to thank those candidates who replied for taking their time in doing so. Interestingly the two that did not reply live in Woodcreek and their lack of a reply perhaps backs up my question number four of disassociated neighborhoods.

Hopefully the answers given will help you assess the candidates. Bear in mind this is not an English Essay exam and because one person writes better than another it does not totally mean that person is superior to others. You are looking for a Commissioner that best represent you, so a questions and answers format is but part of the overall evaluation of the candidate.

The Delmar Maryland 2011 Primary Election is Tuesday, September 27, 2011. Starting at 7:00 A.M. Closing at 7:00 P.M. or until the last person in line at close of doors has voted. Absentee & Emergency Ballots Tuesday, September 27, 2011 No later than closing of the polls on Election Day 7:00 P.M. The voters will choose four candidates from the seven running and on Tuesday, November 15, 2011, at the General Election, will select two of those four candidates to fill the two open slots on the Delmar Maryland Commission.

Howard

Questions For Commissioner Candidates for the Delmar Maryland Election 2011

1 - Please tell us something about your Background and how it fits in with the elected office you are running for.

Mary Stephanie Ring: No reply to questions sent her

Pamela K. Schell: All of my working life has been dealing with the public and customer service type employment and direct connection with the young people of the community.

Cory Shaffer: My primary profession and passion is carpentry. In Carpentry it is important to think ahead because one decision affects the next step in the process. This style of thinking is an important skill to have when being a commissioner. The decisions that are made today affect the Delmar citizens and projects of tomorrow.

James Alan Henderson: No reply to questions sent him

Michael Gibb: A large portion of the last 20 years has been spent in direct interaction with businesses, non-profit entities and governments. In my dealings with them, I have learned that one of the most important skills needed is the ability to listen to what the client desires. Once you understand where the client wants to go, you are in a position help them reach their goals with the best possible solution. As your next town commissioner, I’ll listen to our town’s needs, and work towards finding the best possible solution.

Thomas John McGuire: To me being a commissioner mean knowing your neighbors and neighborhood needs. As a "bounty hunter" ,I have worked in many diversified neighborhoods . Over the years I have learned to identify areas of need and address them.

Thomas "Bunky" Luffman, Jr: My very first job was planting watermelons in a field just outside of Delmar, but my background is in infrastructure. When I was 15 I was hired by the City of Salisbury as a “weed buster”. However, I transferred to the Traffic Department shortly thereafter. While working at the City I also was lent out to their streets department to help with roads. It’s funny to think that before I had a driver’s license I was running a jackhammer and helping in whatever capacity I could. Later in life I worked at a wastewater plant and now I work as a water plant operator. These jobs have given me great insight into the many decisions that must be made to bring the community things like clean water and safe roads. I also worked as a boxing writer for five years and in human resources for three. These jobs stressed the importance of communication.

I currently serve on Delmar’s Planning and Zoning Commission. My time on “P&Z” came after the housing boom and bust. I’ve seen the error in rapid growth that my predecessors approved and believe going forward our town is in a much better position now to manage growth then we were back then.

During the last election I was serving on the Superintendent’s Re-Districting Committee. I had thought of running for Town Commission then, but instead represented our town to keep our children in Delmar schools. The last two years I have only missed two meetings. This time has allowed me to listen to the issues and formulate a plan of action in resolving them. Howard, as you know, often I am the only citizen that speaks up at meetings on a given issue. I’m already an advocate for the town as a citizen and believe I will be an even better advocate as a Town Commissioner.


2 - Would you support a change to the town charter to remove elected officials who are not performing the duties of the office?

Mary Stephanie Ring: No reply to questions sent her

Pamela K. Schell: Yes, before running for office a candidate should know the what the position entails. However, this decision should be discussed with the joint counsel and in a public forum.

Cory Shaffer: I believe that there should be a job description for each elected official position so an evaluation of their performance can be conducted fairly. If the elected officials fail their evaluations I see no problem in removing them from their position. Ultimately elected officials answer to the people that elected them.

James Alan Henderson: No reply to questions sent him

Michael Gibb: I would definitely support a change to the town charter to remove non performing officials. This position is a four year commitment to our citizens. By running for office, one should expect, and be ready for self sacrifice during their term in office. If anybody has the slightest reservation about their ability to honor the obligation, they should not be a candidate.

Thomas John McGuire: I believe this question has more to do with absenteeism at council meetings. The simple truth is yes but ONLY WITH A PUBLIC HEARING . Also only after checks and balances are put in place.

Thomas "Bunky" Luffman, Jr: Yes, but I would want to see the details. There would need to be a due process to protect people who might simply be unpopular with other people with the power to remove them. This is not a power that should be wielded without proper constraint and thought.

3 - Delmar is a wonderful place to live. If you are elected, what is your vision for Delmar and how will that improve the quality of life in Delmar?

Mary Stephanie Ring: No reply to questions sent her

Pamela K. Schell: Yes, Delmar is a wonderful place to live. If I didn't think so, I would not be here. To make a long story short I have felt for a long time there should be a community center in Delmar. All age groups would benefit
Cory Shaffer: I would like to see more businesses move into the down town of Delmar so that it will contribute to our economy. This will bring more people to our area and create a thriving community.

James Alan Henderson: No reply to questions sent him

Michael Gibb: My vision of Delmar is one of a prospering town center with the charm of many successful small towns where the citizens all work together for each other’s mutual benefit. Our neighborhoods would be a safe place for our children to play freely, citizens would be able to walk down the street without fear because violent crime would be nonexistent.

In addition, I’d also like to see more private sector businesses in our town. We’re a stone’s throw from Salisbury and we have yet to realize our economic potential. By bringing in new companies, we could increase our tax base and increase revenues without raising taxes.

Thomas John McGuire: If you go to THEDELMARDAILY.BLOGSPOT.COM I have written about this in more detail.

Thomas "Bunky" Luffman, Jr: Much of my answer to this question is laid out in the other questions. We need to bring people together, improve our infrastructure, encourage volunteerism and “get the word out” on things like our library, which is an amazing resource.


4 - In some ways Delmar is made up of disassociated neighborhoods — the various developments (Woodcreek, Amber Ridge, Breckenridge, Colonial Estates, Pond’s Edge, etc) and the old town. What are your ideas to better integrate these communities?

Mary Stephanie Ring: No reply to questions sent her

Pamela K. Schell: No one can be forced to integrate into the whole, however, these small pocket communities need to be drawn into the fold with community activities that they see as beneficial to their own areas as well as the “root Delmar”.

Cory Shaffer: I think that a good way to get these areas more involved with each other and the community would be to have the home owners associations elect two officials from each neighborhood. The elected officials would attend the meetings so they can be the voice for their neighborhood. If this would allow information to circulate more freely and allow the residence to be heard.

James Alan Henderson: No reply to questions sent him

Michael Gibb: I feel as though we need to better communicate to the citizens that we are all part of Delmar. It does not matter what neighborhood you are from, but rather what town we are from. Quite often there are disputes between areas citing the developments. The concerns of any of these developments are the concerns of all Delmar citizens. Once we openly embrace that concept, I feel that we can overcome the subdivision boundary lines.

Thomas John McGuire: Delmar is more and more and made up of a diversified community.Events must include all culture and have a draw to that effect. The simple truth is we all must live together but will not always get the others problems. It seems that districts in Delmar may alleviate some of these problems.

Thomas "Bunky" Luffman, Jr: The relationship between elected officials and the population in Delmar needs to change. The traditional model has depended upon the citizenry to come to meetings. Given the low turnout at most town council meetings, it is obvious that this isn’t working. What we need to do is bring the municipal government to the people. The people who serve as Commissioners and Mayor shouldn’t just see the people when there is an election. As a Commissioner I would make it a point to try to get more people involved – no matter where they live or who they are.

My paternal grandmother was literally born on a boat bringing her family from Europe to America. My family is made up of a lot of different backgrounds and races and I think the leadership of this town needs to remember that our town is likewise made up of diversity, not only in neighborhood, but in terms of gender, race, religion, age and many other things. When every segment of our population has a hand in tackling our issues we are a stronger community for it. Our leaders need to communicate with the people that do not or cannot make it to the town council meetings. There are many reasons people are unable to attend, but I can’t think of one good reason why some town leaders only talk to citizens when they want something from them- their vote. Leadership means service. Being a Town Commissioner would be a wonderful opportunity for me to give back to the town that I was raised in and that I call home. I want to serve.

Finally, I would like to see a Town Council meeting held at the high school during school hours. Let’s partner with our teachers and schools to help prepare our young for involvement in the town.

5 - In a year in which we have seen heavy snows, drought, an earthquake, and the usual hurricanes, Is Delmar prepared for a major disaster and what are your ideals to improve the disaster plan?

Mary Stephanie Ring: No reply to questions sent her

Pamela K. Schell: Truthfully, I have not read the Delmar Disaster Plan. However, having lived through the above mentioned” Nature temper tantrums”, I saw very little that was not adequately handled

Cory Shaffer: It is important that a disaster plan being reviewed at least once a year so that it stays current with technology and how it helps us deal with our disasters and emergencies.

James Alan Henderson: No reply to questions sent him

Michael Gibb: I think we’ve done a great job with the resent weather challenges that we have been given. One thing I would like to improve upon is the availability of the town’s disaster plan in conjunction with a warning delivery system.

Currently, it is extremely difficult to even obtain the town’s disaster plan. If it were readily available, more citizens would have the knowledge available to know how to properly respond to a crisis. This could be accomplished by posting it on the town’s website.

Also, a vital part of any disaster plan is getting the word out to the citizens. Early warnings are essential to avoid mass hysteria and preserve life. Delmar Middle and High School is a shining example of what can be accomplished. Their messages are delivered by an automated system phoning parents to keep them abreast to situations and activities at the school.

Finally, our town is constantly changing due to population and economic changes. Our disaster plan must be reviewed often and updated to reflect the changes in our town.

Thomas John McGuire: Our plan is ok the way it is ,the town has acquired better equipment to deal with natural disasters,I also believe Delmar citizens are a strong bunch and will do what they are going due in such a event. This proved true during the last event. Even in 4 feet of snow neighbors dug each other out long before the town ever showed up.

Thomas "Bunky" Luffman, Jr: I think a lot of people err in running for office by pretending to have answers for everything. Instead, I would defer to the experts on this issue. Let’s have a public work session with members of the police, fire, public works and other parties to address our disaster plan. This would give the emergency responders a chance to work out any problems as they see them and allow the public to offer ideas based on the presentation.

At last month’s Town Council meeting Chief Joe Morris said he needed permission from the county to use the elementary school as a sort of shelter during extreme weather. This needs to happen immediately.

We also have a problem with flooding in some areas during hurricanes and extreme rain events. The corner of Chestnut Street and Pennsylvania Avenue is a great example of this. Public works did clean out the storm water drains before Hurricane Irene, but this particular area flooded nonetheless. We need to prioritize a targeted upgrade of our storm water management system to alleviate this in the future. We might not have the money to do this now, but if we put it on a priority list, along with some of our roads, they can be addressed as we do have the money.

6 - Despite the progress made, Delmar still has a large number of vacant lots, empty and blighted buildings, and undeveloped developments, what role can you and the Town of Delmar take, if you are elected, to improve this situation?

Mary Stephanie Ring: No reply to questions sent her

Pamela K. Schell: Empty and blighted buildings have to have ownership some where. These owners should be held accountable for unsightly areas. If grass being high in a lawn is so displeasing to the eyes that the homeowner is threatened , how can we justify allowing vacant unkempt building and lots to be overlooked.

Cory Shaffer: I believe it is important to make our town appealing to those seeking to purchase a home. One example would be to offer a credit for first time home buyers planning to settle for specified number of years.

James Alan Henderson: No reply to questions sent him

Michael Gibb: The market for new homes is horrible right now. Until the local economy improves, this isn’t going to change. That doesn’t mean that we can’t keep an open mind about partnering with quality developers so that as the market improves, we can quickly get these developments moving forward.

I’d like to see us focus our energy on taking care of the blighted buildings first. These nuisances erode our tax base and drive down our home prices more than necessary. If we can do a better job enforcing our community standards, people will be more interested in the in-fill projects which are much easier, cheaper, and faster to undertake compared to a major development.

Thomas John McGuire: One of the things we could do as a town is buy up these abandoned dumps of property and foreclosures .Simply rehab them and sell them at low interest rates at or just below market value.Also giving 50 percent tax breaks to the new home owner, providing they live in the home as their primary residence for a period of 5 years. The town could even do this with the fire department .Flipping houses as it were putting the profits towards a community center. More importantly putting tax paying property owners back on the rolls . This would make Delmar a more desirable place to be. For this town to go in a forward momentum we must remember that Delmar is a diversified community

Thomas "Bunky" Luffman, Jr: I’ve already played a role in attempting to harness blight as a few months ago I helped author the Abandoned House Ordinance. The initial idea we were presented was to just use Smyrna’s ordinance, but I called an official in Smyrna who was not happy with everything that their measure included. I brought this up during a Planning and Zoning meeting and we asked our Community Coordinator to provide us with more examples. We then took similar ordinances from several towns and used this to forge a much stronger one that also was uniquely written to address Delmar’s concerns. This bill makes the lawful owner of the property register with the town. This way we have a contact person in case there is a fire, criminal activity, hazardous situation, etc…
What we absolutely should not do is have our town government purchase vacant lots. We simply do not have the money. Why should government be in the “flipping” or landlord business? Instead we should partner with people in the private sector to help turn the tide against blight.

7 - Recently there have been many discussions about controlling government employees when they are off the time clock and on their own time. The emphasis has mainly been about the employee use of social networking. Altho employees owe a common law duty of loyalty to their employer, and this duty doesn’t end at the end of their shift, do you feel the Town Of Delmar needs to address this issue?

Mary Stephanie Ring: No reply to questions sent her

Pamela K. Schell: Most responsible citizens are well aware of that is appropriate to be discussed in a public forum. Naturally the particulars of the workplace do not belong outside the workplace. This is common sense

Cory Shaffer: All government employees should be aware of their privacy settings on any social network.

James Alan Henderson: No reply to questions sent him

Michael Gibb: I firmly believe in everybody’s Right to Free Speech, and at the same time I hope they would use discretion in how they share to voice their opinions. If an employee is openly negative about their work environment, we need to know why. Hopefully we can use this information to improve the working conditions within the town. But if their complaints have no merit or are unreasonable, I would hope that they would find a better position for themselves elsewhere. Either outcome requires that we know how our employees feel about their job.

Thomas John McGuire: Absolutely not I think Delmar would be walking into a lawsuit of epic proportions. This should not need to be addresed as we genaraly hire good people. However some companys do require privacy clauses.

Thomas "Bunky" Luffman, Jr: The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) just weighed in on this issue. They filed a lawsuit against an ambulance company that fired an employee for negative comments that she posted on facebook, on her own time, “The NLRB said that policy was in violation of the National Labor Relations Act, which gives employees the right to discuss "the terms and conditions of their employment with others."

To read the full text go here: http://money.cnn.com/2011/02/08/technology/facebook_firing_settlement/index.htm

I am not aware of this being an issue in Delmar, but it is clear that if Delmar was to adopt a similarly strict policy against an employee’s speech, we would likewise be sued. If anything, Delmar needs to ensure all of their policies are compliant with the standard applicable by law. I have no information to suggest our laws and rules do not adhere, but this lawsuit is definitely one to be mindful of when considering changes to the rules that employees must follow.

8 - Water is a limited resource. With the drought we have had for the last two years there has been a ten-fold increase in applications for private irrigation wells in the town limits and an even higher number outside of the town limits. Many use the same aquifers as the town. What is your opinion on this?

Mary Stephanie Ring: No reply to questions sent her

Pamela K. Schell: Is our water source that threatened right now that this is a question that need discussion

Cory Shaffer: I do not see the problem in allowing the residence of Delmar, in or out of town limits, to have an irrigation well. Irrigation style wells are typically not as deep as potable water wells.

James Alan Henderson: No reply to questions sent him

Michael Gibb: The reduction of the aquifers’ levels should be a concern to us all. Water is a limited resource and it is not being replenished fast enough due to the recent lack of rain. The levels need to be monitored regularly to ensure that water is readily available for generations to come.

With that being said, there are areas of improvement that other states have implemented that could help to maintain the levels at an acceptable level. One such thought is to limit pumping for certain uses to certain times. This could help reduce the impact on the aquifer involved while giving everybody a chance to use this shared resource. We could also take a look at Texas’ approach - which includes using storage tanks to collect water for use in irrigation. While this would increase the cost of new systems, it would allow the person to decide if they want to pursue the decision of irrigation. Another idea would be to require use of a different aquifer.

With as many irrigation systems that are currently in use, I do not feel it right to reject a request for a well. Every citizen has equal rights in Delmar. However, we must all be diligent in protecting our resources for the future generations.

Thomas John McGuire: They all need to be addressed on a case by case basis

Thomas "Bunky" Luffman, Jr: An ordinance needs to be written to not allow wells to be drilled in town unless there are some extraordinary circumstances that warrant it. A well that is permitted today for the irrigation of a garden could be abandoned in ten years. Unattended abandoned wells are a hazard to the local water supply as they supply a route for pollution to go from the ground to the source without the filtering that the natural process of the hydrological cycle provides.

9 - Infrastructure is a key maintenance item in Delmar Maryland. Do you have a plan to improve the streets (and the utility lines under the streets) and what is that plan?

Mary Stephanie Ring: No reply to questions sent her

Pamela K. Schell: In a perfect world every wire would be buried. However, the responsibility of wires, roads etc. mainly do not fall on to the town but the individual companies that own them.

Cory Shaffer: The infrastructure should be under constant evaluation so we can prioritize the multiple projects that need to be done to keep a town functional.

James Alan Henderson: No reply to questions sent him

Michael Gibb: It’s obvious that many of the streets are in Delmar are in dire need of repair. We need to do a better job of prioritizing repairs when we set our budgets. We have revenue, but we have chosen to spend that money elsewhere. I think we need to change that.

Obviously, at this time money is especially tight. We need to find the most cost effective way to tackle this problem. For example, if the streets were completely milled down, we could upgrade the utility lines in that area at the same time.

But rather than waiting until we have a large sum of money to do a lot of work, I think we should look for maintenance items that fit within the money we have and tackle those projects first. If we show people that investing in Delmar is a good idea, new development will follow.

Thomas John McGuire: In a perfect world all the utility lines would be underground,however these are the responsibility of the power and gas company's. Except for Walnut street, No more money exists so I am open to any suggestions.

Thomas "Bunky" Luffman, Jr: My website talks a lot about this issue. Our roads are the welcome mat to our town. What we need to do is create a priority list for projects and then do them as we are able. Once the priority list is set it should be considered during the budget meetings every year.

Currently, we are waiting on a grant to address the deterioration on Walnut Street. However, Commissioner Wells had to ask what the status of the project was during a town council meeting. $800,000 was earmarked for this project, when our budget was only about $3 million. The public should have been given monthly updates on the status of this project. Any project that makes up such a large percentage of our budget should be automatically on the agenda every month- even if it just to say “it’s in the design phase” or “we are waiting on additional grants”. Improved communication between the town government and its citizens is a goal of mine.

10 – It has been suggested the town should buy the Woodcreek Golf course. Do you support the Town buying the Woodcreek Golf course?

Mary Stephanie Ring: No reply to questions sent her

Pamela K. Schell: At first glance this does seem like a a solution to an eye sore. However, If there is no benefit to the town ( financial) why would we take this on?

Cory Shaffer: I believe it is important for the golf course to remain in the private sector. However, I believe at this point the town should use its resources to promote the revitalization of the Woodcreek Golf course.

James Alan Henderson: No reply to questions sent him

Michael Gibb: The golf course is in terrible shape. We don’t have the money to buy it, or the money to repair it. We would have to learn how to run a profitable golf course. And if we owned it, we would miss out on tax revenues that can be collected from a non-government owner. That money would be gone forever. I think this property would be a distraction to the core mission of our small town government.

I would rather see a private enterprise with adequate capital purchase the golf course. This way we can focus on essential services and preserve our tax base at the same time.

Thomas John McGuire: No proper business plan has been presented ,so no it would be better in private hands at this point.Plus in private hands it still stays on the tax rolls and not off. I can not ever be cut up for development as that would violate Woodcreeks green space requirements.

Thomas "Bunky" Luffman, Jr: I would like to see a business plan first. Give me the details. To arbitrarily say yes or no without any financial paperwork or details would be a rush to judgment on the idea. Are other communities our size that own municipal golf courses? If so, do they turn a profit? Does the tax payer have to provide funding for operational expenses? Give me details.

11 - Are current salary and benefits for town employees sustainable? If not, what do you suggest we do about future employee contracts?

Mary Stephanie Ring: No reply to questions sent her

Pamela K. Schell: Heaven help us if they are not sustainable. Increases in the near future highly unlikely. The present state of the economy doesn't allow of anything more that marking time until the pendulum swings back the other way

Cory Shaffer: I would like to do more research to prepare a more informed response.

James Alan Henderson: No reply to questions sent him

Michael Gibb: Our current compensation packages for town employees are sustainable if the governing body of Delmar acts now to make some changes. As I stated above, we need to attract new businesses to generate more revenue. This will allow us to fulfill our commitments now and into the future.
Thomas John McGuire: At the current rate yes but if things get worse all things must be addressed.However retention bonuses need to be explored also non competition clauses.

Thomas "Bunky" Luffman, Jr: Delmar, Maryland, only provides a partial amount of the funds for our employee compensation package. What needs to be stressed here is that both sides of town need to continue to work hard to eliminate wasteful spending. A responsible town government can both fight waste and provide an attractive compensation package for its employees.

Training expenses need to be taken into account. It costs money to train new people. Sometimes it is more economically feasible to offer employees a higher salary than it is to lose them to another town and be forced to train a new employee.


12 - A large part of any elected official’s job is trying to maintain cooperation between various groups. Cooperation with Wicomico County is very important but at the same time issues in the Town of Delmar must be recognized. How would you address some of these issues as public safety, double taxation, the growth or lack of growth of the Delmar Elementary school, urban utility agreement etc.?

Mary Stephanie Ring: No reply to questions sent her

Pamela K. Schell: Public safety is first and foremost. Taxation is what it is, we have no control over the county and state taxes and if taxes are our main source of revenue in the town itself, lessening taxes would cause certainly cause less then what we expect from the town.

Cory Shaffer: Forming a small committee to mediate would help keep the balance between the town of Delmar and Wicomico County which would help meet the needs of both parties.

James Alan Henderson: No reply to questions sent him

Michael Gibb: All too often, people take an “us vs. them” attitude towards negotiation and cooperation. This leads to lack of progress and distrust. We all have needs and wants, and a lot of these are mutual between the town and the county. First and foremost, I’ll look for the mutual concerns and goals between us and work towards those ends. This is the low hanging fruit – easy to harvest and enjoy.

There are areas where the town’s priorities conflict with the county. I’ll prioritize these issues and express their importance to the appropriate county official as often, loud, and in the manner they need to ensure they understand how we are affected. Hopefully we’ll have a great working relationship and through negotiation we can make changes that work for everybody involved.

Above all, remember that we’re all county residents, too. Nobody should attempt to short-change the other.

Thomas John McGuire: If Delmar population explodes at the rate p&z has allowed .This all will come to the fore front. By holding more public meetings we could better address this. I believe that building a new elementary school and high school would keep in place the bi-state agreement if the population increase as expected. P&Z need to stop giving extensions and this town need to keep it small town charm.

Thomas "Bunky" Luffman, Jr: I attended Delmar schools from kindergarten until graduation. I believe our school system is not only strong, but an important part of the town’s heart and soul. I fought on the re-districting committee to keep Delmar children from being bussed to East Salisbury Elementary, but the fight will continue until we are able to come to a resolution with the Wicomico County Board of Education about the under-sized elementary school. It is obvious to all that the school needs to be expanded. Because of our unique place on the map our schools are asked to educate people from another state, which causes trouble at the state level.

What I have heard from a former Wicomico County Board of Education member and others is this: Why would politicians in Annapolis want to give money to expand a school with Delaware students?

The answer is simple, because our Maryland kids enjoy a high level of education on the Delaware side. What we need to do is set up a meeting with both governors- preferably at once- to discuss funding an expansion project at Delmar Elementary. This can be done. Both Governor’s Markell and O’Malley recently spoke together at Salisbury University. It will not be an easy fix, but it is definitely worth the effort.

With regard being “double taxed”. Delmar helped fund an independent study that proves the county taxes us for services that are not provided. We must partner with Salisbury and Fruitland and present a unified front to the county council and work with them to find a resolution.

13 - How do you differ from the other candidates in this race?

Mary Stephanie Ring: No reply to questions sent her

Pamela K. Schell: We are alike we are all human and love our town

Cory Shaffer: I bring fresh ideas that help with new approaches to town issues.

James Alan Henderson: No reply to questions sent him

Michael Gibb: It’s not my place to pass judgment on the other candidates in this race. That privilege belongs to our voters.

I will say that I am a very motivated go-getter, with a strong commitment to the position for which I am running. I have excellent listening skills and a true desire to improve the quality of life in our town. Matters brought before me will be addressed promptly, and be handled to the best of my ability at all times. If you agree that I am the type of candidate that deserves your precious vote, please elect me as one of your next town commissioners.

Thomas John McGuire: I do not know all the other candidate so I can not give a unbiased opinion. However my vote will go for Stephanie ring ,Mike Gibbs ,Pam Schell and myself. Please go to THEDELMARDAILY.BLOGSPOT.COM for all my reviews of the candidates .You can use the search feature in the upper left hand corner . You just put in a candidates name and hit search.

Thomas "Bunky" Luffman, Jr: I am unique in that I grew up in Delmar, but I also spent years of my life living in a city. I believe the blending of these two environments has given me a perspective on Delmar that none of my opponents share. I experienced what the “from here” has and when I moved back to town I experienced what the “come here” does, as most of the people I went to school with had moved away. I had to go out and meet new people and make new friends. I think this perspective is the reason why I am the candidate that can bring Delmar together.

I also have experience in infrastructure that I touched on earlier. This has served me well as a member of our Planning and Zoning Commission and it would serve me well as a Town Commissioner.

14 - What town-related issues do you feel have gone unaddressed and what would you do to address them?

Mary Stephanie Ring: No reply to questions sent her

Pamela K. Schell: Back to the aforementioned community center.

Cory Shaffer: The parking ordinances issues got pushed aside. A thorough review of the proposed ordinances needs to be conducted so that they are applicable to the citizens needs.

James Alan Henderson: No reply to questions sent him

Michael Gibb: One major issue that impacts the town is the dilapidation of many residential and commercial structures. Properties in disrepair create a reduction in property values, which lead to lower assessments and ultimately lower tax revenue for the town. It’s not fair that negligent property owners have been able to enrich themselves by placing this financial burden on their neighbors like they have been doing.

I believe that stricter code enforcement is needed. Hopefully, we can resolve most issues by using carrots rather than sticks. Enforcement officers can be effective by educating owners about property deficiencies, and in some instances point owners to private sources for help to resolve the problem. If the owner is uncooperative, then it becomes time for us to take a tougher stance towards enforcing compliance with our community standards.

Thomas John McGuire: The water runs clean .The kids for the most part are well behaved . So right now budget survival is the most important.

Thomas "Bunky" Luffman, Jr: Our sidewalks need help. I am aware that the stance of the town is that the home owner is liable for the sidewalks. However, this has not been enforced. Now we have sidewalks that have literally crumbled to nothing. If you take a walk down some of our “numbered” streets you will see a bed of grass growing where a sidewalk used to be. Given our lack of maintenance, I believe the town should replace some of these sidewalks free of charge to the homeowner as we can afford to do it. Of course, like roads, the sidewalks would need to be placed on a priority list with the worst getting attention first and only when there is money in the budget to do so.

I’d like to see more volunteerism especially amongst our young. We need to foster and encourage a community that is given opportunities to give back. The first step in this process is to identify areas of need. The second is to ask for help.
The tour of homes that the Historical Society has every Christmas is a wonderful occasion and I think we could build upon it with other events. Likewise, the Heritage Day celebration is one that brings people together. We should come together as a community and discuss ways to continue this trend and develop more social interaction within our community.

15- Do you have an email address or a phone number you wish to give out for people to ask you questions?

Mary Stephanie Ring: No reply to questions sent her

Pamela K. Schell: pamschell4commissioner@aol.com

Cory Shaffer: All questions can be directed to CoryRShaffer@gmail.com.

James Alan Henderson: No reply to questions sent him

Michael Gibb: Absolutely! Citizens are free to contact me via email or cell phone with any concerns they may have. As an elected official, there is an expectation that I will be accessible and responsive to my constituents. I began doing my best to meet this expectation the day I announced my candidacy to run for town commissioner. My email is mgibb101@comcast.net and my phone number is (443) 523-9278. Please contact me if you have any questions related to my candidacy.

Thomas John McGuire: TOM4COMMISIONER@aol.com

Thomas "Bunky" Luffman, Jr: tomluffman@gmail.com or www.bunkyluffman.com

1 comment:

T.J. said...

At last month’s Town Council meeting Chief Joe Morris said he needed permission from the county to use the elementary school as a sort of shelter during extreme weather. This needs to happen immediately.
MY ONLY PROBLEM IS THAT BUILDING is not under the towns jurisdiction . THE COUNTY did SAY IT WOULD BE OPENED IF NEEDED.