Kent county is facing some tough decisions. We have a new comprehensive plan. We are looking at new library facilities. We want to build new parks. We are grappling with whether to save a new civic center proposal. Crime is showing up in our county not just our towns.
I think we also need to look around us and use these opportunities to bring more economic prosperity to our county. We are third out of three in many economic measurements in this state. We need to change that sooner than soon.
The problems we face need cooperation with other interested parties to solve them. The go it alone approach by the current majority in council is showing an appalling lack of leadership. Don’t mistake me. These are good people with fine intentions. I am questioning their planning and execution.
I have seen time and time again where the city of Dover has begged for county cooperation in shared objectives only to see the county take a half hearted approach. It appears that the other towns don’t get any more cooperation. This costs us money. Why is the county going to spend millions to build a park just up the road from the Pitt Center? If the party is going to enhance a park, why wouldn’t it do it in cooperation with Smyrna? The county could use federal money by combining a recreational facility with a library facility and get have a partnership to run it with a growing town. The objective of a Northern Library could be achieved along with a new park with limited county money. With proper cooperation we could use several pots of money instead of draining our surplus. I haven’t seen enough creative thinking, just a lot of costly duplication.
What could we do with the money saved? We could expand our economic base. The money we save on the park could be used to expand the county’s share on the Civic Center. The civic center is being rumored to go to Middletown if we don’t get off the dime. That would be a bad deal for taxpayers because we will eventually be stuck with subsidising a DelState arena and a civic center somewhere in the state. The economic benefits we will receive are real. The question is not whether or not we are going to spend the money in this state? The real question is are we going to spend it efficiently in with a self sustaining facility. I can see it working best combining the University and the public interest. In that way, we will not have to subsidize the operations. It will stand on its own merit. Not many communities can build a center with as much non-public funding as we can. It is foolish to give up on it for projects which cost the same but have no economic benefit. Fortunately, tight budgets in the state government may give us another year to get our act together.
These are just two of the areas we need someone to show leadership in.