My number one priority is jobs.
Our area has not recovered from the great recession. We currently have a 7.6% unemployment rate, even though that figure does not use those who have stopped looking for jobs, it still leaves Wicomico County as the fourth worst in the state. We're being left behind.
But what will you do about it?
That is the question every person running for office needs to answer. It is easy to just say that jobs are a priority- my opponent tells us every four years that jobs are his priority- but I offer details.
As a Delegate I have to be mindful of which administration is in charge and write, submit, and sponsor bills that are both effective and likely to be passed.
If Larry Hogan wins the race for governor, I will work with him and give him my support to lower taxes, including the corporate tax and taxes that help small businesses, including personal property tax. In addition, we will take a long look at Maryland's regulations on businesses and barriers to entry that make it more difficult than it should be to start a business.
If Anthony Brown is our next governor I will look to expand the business enterprise zone. Any county that is above the state average in unemployment will automatically be deemed an enterprise zone. Currently, the enterprise zones are dispersed and many communities, like Delmar, do not qualify even though they would greatly benefit from the designation.
Ok, but what have you done?
As the Mayor of a border town I am keenly aware of the damage inflicted upon our communities by bad state policy. Delmar, Maryland, has to compete with Delmar, Delaware, for commercial development. In an attempt to level the playing field Delmar, Maryland, has rejected proposed property tax increases, taken control of stormwater management from the county, and taken a hard look at our regulations, including our planning and zoning code book.
I am happy to announce that these changes have made a positive difference. We now have our first corporate headquarters. Think about that, while the state of Maryland has lost over 8,000 businesses who have either moved or shut down, in Delmar we now have our first corporate headquarters. In addition, we have started to see both commercial and residential construction.
While Salisbury is the local hub of economic opportunity and rightfully gets the lion's share of press, in Delmar we are likewise experiencing an exciting time of growth and poised to see a renaissance. However, the future of Salisbury, Delmar, Fruitland, and Wicomico County will be jeopardized if the state continues down the path that has been laid by the Conway-O'Malley team.