Incumbent Commissioner Bill Short and 4 hopeful County Commissioner candidates spoke to attendees and gave us their story, their ideas and some of their positions on matters of importance to residents and voters.  We covered all the HOT the topics such as “the yet to be built bridge”, school funding and discipline issues, county taxes and tax differentials, police, substance abuse issues, economic development and economic road blocks, gaining public consensus for necessary changes.  It is difficult to discuss many of these topics casually or in formal sessions.  Many people have well established views developed over years and are not about to compromise.  We mostly see the need to be good listeners.  We mostly see the need to understand viewpoints which don’t exactly align with our own.  To get the progress that fits our County and Communities, we need to listen, learn and create a bit of flexibility in our thinking.  From the liberal to the conservative, we should consider how to best live with one another.  This is what Kent CBG has been doing with success.  

Once the Primary election is completed, we will have all the County Commissioner candidates, both Democrat and Republican, speak to Kent CBG.  We hope those who came to one or both of our two pre-primary election sessions will return along with additional local citizens.  Everyone will get a unique and personal contact with all the chosen candidates.

 

The discussion and questions were long and lively.  The questions were wide ranging from leniency in sentencing, to opinions on the opioid crisis.  We asked each candidate why they were running, what their work and educational history was and what they hoped to achieve if they won the election.  We saw their enthusiasm, the learned about their much different experience set in their legal professions and what they hope to bring to the job.

You need to meet these individuals in person to understand them better.  Both are quite different, but both have the residents of Kent County in mind as primary motivation.  Either individual would be good in the job, but every voter has the right and duty to make an informed decision.  That’s why Kent CBG exists.  To help YOU to make those big decisions wisely.

We will host the winner of the primary and the incumbent after the Primary election.  Please plan to attend.

 

When Sam Shoge was finished speaking and responding to many thoughtful questions, he really opened up the thought process going on in the minds of many of those in attendance.  He sees the need to figure out how Kent County can quickly connect to the growth that is around us, such as in Middletown.  We don’t need to wait until there is a decision on a bridge only a few people want to have built to get the wheels in motion to have sufficient population growth and economic activity here to save our local county.  Saving the nature of our area without waiting for a bridge decision sounds like a very smart thing to consider.  

Shoge “painted a picture” with sound statistics showing we are not headed to a good place if we don’t look for positive changes.  Admittedly, one could paint a different picture with other sets of statistics, but the process was definitely thoughtful and thought provoking.  It opened up some eyes to what else might be good to try and that waiting is not the only option.  Sam would like to come back and speak specifically about the bridge at a later date, but the presentation appeared even-handed, open and heartfelt.  We have to appreciate his  obvious sincerity and his youthful enthusiasm.  He is a great example of what Kent County Public Schools can produce.  We need many more like him.  It would be a pleasure to have Shoge return with other programs.  We will look forward to it.

 

Jay gave us his take on the broad range of activity and bills which were worked on and then voted on in the most recent sessions in Annapolis.  It has been a big season with quite a large number of bills going to Governor Hogan for signature.  Jay recounted a special success he had with one bill which he managed to get past by knowing more than some of the other members.  Such knowledge is gained by experience, so when one blindly calls for short term limits on every participant in government, we might forget that experience can count in good ways sometimes, too.  The process of writing legislation and then getting it to a vote is a daunting and complex business.  It is learned over time by doing the work and allowing one’s peers to teach and mentor younger or newer legislators.  Those in attendance were surely impressed with the level of care and concern Jay Jacobs brings to his elected position for all the residents of the Counties he represents.

 
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