To meet our current challenges in healthcare, education, and local economics, we need innovative leaders that have a proven track record of entrepreneurial success. The residents of Delaware deserve public servants that possess the determination and grit to create community-driven solutions to achieve success for the people of The First State.
We cannot rely anymore on campaign promises or job titles to drive our decision on who we choose to represent us in the General Assembly. This is a critical position that carries the voice of our people and we must look for leaders that have proven track records of meeting real challenges with real solutions.
My greatest qualification, through all three of my occupations, is the ability to listen to those I serve, create a plan that seeks community-driven solutions, and accomplish the goals alongside local partners. As a small business owner, public servant, and journalist, I have proven my ability to use innovative solutions to meet large challenges in our community
Small Business Owner
As a small business owner, of Fur Baby Pet Resort in Downtown Milford, my wife and I have demonstrated our ability to understand the local economy, made prudent decisions that have enhanced our community and created local jobs. Nine years ago, my wife and I took our savings and opened up our small retail business on Walnut Street. As the only employees of the company for many years, we worked diligently alongside other downtown merchants to create a sense of place in Downtown Milford and improve the quality of life for local residents.
Through the support of our community, we continued to grow and had the opportunity to rehabilitate four buildings in our downtown area that now are occupied by small businesses. As we grew, we continued to invest in our local workforce and we are proud to now welcome 15 employees to the FurBaby family.
Public Servant – Mayor of Milford, State Representative
As the former Mayor of Milford and now State Representative, I am proud of the accomplishments that our teams have achieved. Working alongside our residents, businesses, and nonprofit organizations, we have seen major accomplishments in creating access to quality healthcare, investing in our local workforce, and protecting our residents from fraud and abuse.
The creation of the Bayhealth Sussex Campus speaks to the success of public, private partnerships that our team developed during my tenure as the Mayor of Milford. Although the original plan for a new hospital in Milford called for the construction of additional floors on top of the Clark Ave facility, CEO Terry Murphy, the Bayhealth Board of Directors, and the City of Milford reimagined the future of healthcare in Sussex County. This collaboration resulted in the construction of the Bayhealth Sussex Campus that is not only home to a new hospital but is welcoming Nemours Pediatric and Senior Care in November. I also have the privilege, now as your State Representative, of working with the Milford Wellness Village as they continue to invest in the former site of the hospital. To date, businesses including Polaris wellness, La Red Health Center, Aquacare Physical Therapy, and Kidz Ink have opened their doors to serve the healthcare needs of our community.
As Mayor of Milford and State Representative I have partnered with DELDOT, the City of Milford and invested Community Transportation Funds (CTF) in over 40 roadway projects to rehabilitate of local infrastructure and create safer roads. Completed projects include Airport Road in Milford, Benson Road in Lincoln, the installation of a 4-way stop at the intersection of Route 30 and Johnson Road in Lincoln, parking for the Ellendale Volunteer Fire Company, and Lovers Lane which serves as the roadway for families of Mispillion and Lulu Ross Elementary schools. Projects underway include SE 2nd Street in Milford, speed limit reductions on Johnson Road in Lincoln near Logans Run and Blueberry Hills neighborhoods, and water infrastructure needs for Ellendale homes on New Hope Road. In order to create more transparency in State funding for Community Transportation Funds, I worked on and sponsored bipartisan legislation, HB 58, that requires the Secretary of the Department of Transportation to publish the transaction history for funds allocated to each member of the General Assembly under the Community Transportation Fund.
Protecting our residents from fraud and abuse has been a cornerstone of my successful track record as a public servant in the City of Milford and as a State Legislator. As Mayor of Milford, I created the City of Milford Rental Inspection Program to ensure quality housing conditions in our town. Since its inception, the program has inspected thousands of properties as we focused on safe living conditions for our residents. As State Representative I have worked alongside the residents of Hearthstone Manor in Milford as they seek more representation in their neighborhood organization and challenge past building practices. I have also worked with DELDOT and Sussex County government to fix outdated paving requirements for developers that have left local developments in our district, in Ellendale and Milford, with unpaved roads and no funding sources identified. Through our discussions, representatives from DELDOT are currently drafting language to fix codes that can be then taken to the State Legislature for a vote.
Leading the City of Milford as Mayor, out team balanced four budgets without raising taxes and changed the City Charter to update an outdated tax delinquency process that left $358,000 on the table in unpaid taxes. Since implementing the new process, over $300,000 has been collected from delinquent payers. During my first year as State Legislator, I sponsored HB17 that helps our local school districts and local municipalities collect delinquent taxes, giving them priority collection status over other claimant agencies, including surrounding states.
Local journalist – Founder of Milford LIVE
As a local journalist, I created the local news site Milford LIVE.com, which now is under the direction of Delaware LIVE.com. This source for local news and information, brought accessibility for residents to connect with their local government, businesses, and our community as objective journalism was brought back to the forefront of local news. Since its creation in 2010, Milford LIVE.com has played a critical role in driving newsfeeds across the State of Delaware back to a focus on our communities and neighborhoods, instead of national news and agendas. By challenging the status quo, we have seen a new revitalization in hyper-local news, blogs, and websites focused on the ideas, people, and movements that have an impact on our daily lives.
We cannot rely anymore on campaign promises or job titles to drive our decision on who we choose to represent us in the General Assembly. The residents of Delaware deserve public servants that possess the determination and grit to create community-driven solutions to achieve success for the people of The First State.
In my role as a small business owner, public servant, and local journalist, I have demonstrated my ability to bring residents together to create real solutions to our challenges.