Georgetown Mayor Mike Wyatt, Greater Georgetown Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Karen Duffield and newly-elected state Sen. Brian Pettyjohn talk about their goals for 2013.
Ease the cost of living and investing in Georgetown
Name Mike Wyatt
Title Mayor of Georgetown
My goals for 2013 involve encouraging economic development in Georgetown and continuing to be attentive the needs of our residents, including re-evaluating the cost of building permits and finding creative ways to prevent any further increases in the town’s tax rate or water and sewer fees.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
I feel it’s important to look at our fee schedules and review the process for new and existing businesses because if we can make it easier for businesses to establish in town, or for an existing business to expand, it will only benefit the town and those who live here.
I think we also need to look at the price of our building permits because we do not want to burden the average homeowner, who is striving to improve their home or property. Home improvements will not only improve their home, but will improve the image of town. At the same time, I believe the town needs to look for ways to generate additional revenue without adding to the financial burden on our residents. I believe this will be the hardest to accomplish, but it is necessary to help the citizens of the town during these economic times.
Finally, I believe town government needs to be more accessible. As an elected official, I know the best way to learn about the issues facing the town is to listen to what citizens have to say. Listening will allow us to act upon what the citizen feels is most important.
Construir una comunidad más inclusiva
Name Karen Duffield
Title Executive Director of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce
As Executive Director of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, my first priority is to ensure the sustainability of this member-driven association, and to continue to seek out and develop projects and programs that will strengthen our existing member businesses, and attract new business to the greater Georgetown area.
At the top of my “To Do” list for 2013 is to establish a greater Chamber representation within Georgetown’s Latino business community. A meaningful collaboration between all businesses in Georgetown is long overdue. A new dialogue must begin, and a foundation built on trust, mutual respect and shared vision must be laid. From there, construction of a true community of business can begin.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
The 2010 Census confirmed what we knew, but to a great extent have, for whatever reasons, ignored: Nearly 48 percent of Georgetown’s population is comprised of persons of Hispanic or Latino origin. From an asset management perspective, we in Georgetown should be celebrating the cultural diversity that these figures insinuate, and embrace the greater experience and strength of enterprise that these (relatively) new stakeholders bring to Georgetown. Georgetown is complex – it is a Town; a County Seat; a thoroughfare to other destinations; and a place of historic and agricultural significance. I believe we can be a model of unity and collaboration too, and would like to see the Chamber work towards this end. These are challenging times. By coming together in 2013, our collective voices will blend in a song that sings of a greater and more far reaching prosperity for Georgetown.
Improve safety on roads and in schools
Name Brian Pettyjohn
Title Republican State Senator from District 19
As a newly-elected member of the Delaware Senate, my main priorities for 2013 will be to hold monthly meetings with my constituents, to improving highway safety, drainage and stormwater management issues in my district, and to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of students in schools throughout the state.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
With the abbreviated campaign, I wasn't able to do as much door to door as I would have liked to. Hosting meetings with constituents throughout the district will allow residents to come to me with issues that are important to them so that I may be able to look into solutions.
For instance, I have learned that several intersections in the area have a high number of traffic incidents at them. Working with DelDOT and residents, I hope to help facilitate improvements to increase safety in those areas. Also, many communities on the eastern side of the 19th District have issues with impassable roads when storms approach. Working with the Sussex Conservation District and other agencies, I hope to begin the groundwork to evaluate what needs to be done so that access to those communities is not cut off during severe weather.
For obvious reasons, we also have to ensure that our schools are as secure as possible; while still remembering that they are schools. Emergency response and contingency plans that are in place should be reviewed, and schools that do not yet have these plans should be expediting them. Schools should enact reasonable physical security practices to deny access to unknown or suspect individuals and keep a physical separation between our children and these individuals.