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Issues

Education

I fundamentally believe that education is the base on which everything is built.  We have some great schools in the district and some very dedicated teachers.  But we also have a bunch of issues that take away many of the advantages we have - such as great new buildings, modern equipment, and a strong tax base.  Money is always important – but I think we are missing something else. 

Too many kids are being left behind in the classroom, and school life in general.  Test scores and teaching to the standardized tests is not the only or right approach – I think we need to focus on giving more responsibility to our kids – especially in High School.  I also think our teachers should be given more flexibility for how they teach in their classroom – and I think our principals should be given total authority over their school.  Sometimes we got too many fingers in the pie of education – and we know that has not given us the results we expect and need to stay sharp in today’s economy. 

One example – our school leaders, before they ever get the top job – should have been a teacher in the classroom first.  They should have a vision of what that school is about – and they should be given the complete authority to lead their school.  That means the District office does not micro-manage their principals.  They have been hired for a vision for that school…. let them lead.   

Finally – we always need to watch the money – and cutting the administrative burdens that are put on our districts so we can drive more money into the classroom, should be everyone’s goal.

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Housing

Our district has seen a lot of growth over the last numbers of years – and much of it is from folks just like me and our family coming here to find a life that meets our needs.  But things have gotten turned upside down.

Home prices for modest homes were already starting to climb before the virus hit, making affordability a huge issue for lots of families.  Now – jobs have been lost, hours reduced, layoffs – the middle class has been hurt. 

Because a lot of my private sector work is directly related to real estate, one variable to housing affordability is the State’s Transfer Tax at 4%.  This is the highest state tax in the land.  It adds thousands to the settlement sheet, and none of these monies can be financed – it all has to be paid up front by the buyer.  Also, something else to say about his tax, when the economy takes a hit, guess where you feel it first, housing.  Delaware’s economy is taking a huge hit from the virus, and housing across the state has slowed dramatically.  This means less revenue coming into Dover – and that means they are going to raise taxes to make up the difference.

Let me also be clear – Delaware does not have a revenue problem – not now, not ever – we have a spending problem.  I will not raise taxes, and I will continue to support the Budget Smoothing process to make sure that when hard times come our way, we have money set aside.Add your issue summary here. (Read More)


Safety and Police

As a former Police Officer in NYC, I was part of the community policing team, specializing in CPR (Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect). I think it worked well.

Today - we have a serious disconnect between Law Enforcement and the Community. We need to work with our Police Departments by increasing some state support of programs that re-introduce our officers to those they serve.  Having experienced this as a policeman, without the trust and confidence from the public, we really cannot do our jobs. 

One last issue:  While everyone has the right to speak, even to protest, but you don’t have the right to destroy their private property.  My whole life I was taught you didn’t call people names and you did not smash windows.  You can disagree but you do not steal.

As your State Representative, I will always do my best to uphold the laws of our state and will not accept riots or looting as simply an opportunity for them to “get it off their chest.”  If we are not a state of laws, and expectations for behavior, we will soon not have a state. (Read More)


Business

Delaware’s ranking continues to sink as it relates to new business formations and ease of building a business.  Permit times from state government takes months and months – this is too long.  We got to do better.  We need to make Delaware a place corporation’s want to relocate and bring their best talents. The trickle effect we will see if better paying jobs, schools, housing, etc. I strongly support the Governor’s “Ready in 6” efforts to dramatically speed up the processes of getting approvals form DNREC and DelDOT.  Business owners go where there is opportunity and this very true now during this tough time of Covid-19.  And one thing we need to do is NOT shutdown our small businesses anymore.   Some of our local owners are already done – they are closing shop, and if we do not get ahead of this quickly with reducing their tax burdens or new and innovative ways to help them, I think Delaware is going to be in rough financial shape next year.

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Senior Citizens

Delaware has been very tax friendly which brings many Senior Citizens to the state in retirement. We are consistently building Senior communities, but we aren’t looking out for their money.  Specifically – when the Assembly lowered the tax credit from $500 to $400, I heard from a lot or seniors that this was completely unfair.  Coupled with general property tax increases, some of our retirees are having trouble making ends meet.  Seniors on fixed incomes that face a $100 loss can make a great difference in their lives. I said this before – we cannot tax our way out of our problems and using Seniors, or any of our citizens, as a “piggy bank” to raid when you need more money – that is bad all the way around.

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Opiad Crisis

Introduce Bills that provide funding for long-term solutions, which are true rehab centers. Victims will be helped out of their addiction and provided job training and placement. We need to work on rehabilitation over incarceration with the opiad addiction skyrocketing in the state. (Read More)


Committee to Elect Dan Zitofsky
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