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Kent County Levy Court District 5

Kent County Levy Court is the County government. The Levy Court is composed of seven elected Commissioners, six of whom are elected from the districts in which they reside and the seventh is elected at-large to represent the entire county. The commissioners have both legislative (policy making) and executive powers and are responsible for county finances, facilities, personnel and rural zoning. They approve an annual budget, determine tax levies, issue bonds for county capital improvement, buy and sell land and buildings, manage real and personal property, manage facilities for sewage, develop recreational and employment programs, provide ambulance service, libraries and other necessary county infrastructure.Levy Court Commissioners serve staggered 4-year terms.

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  • Candidate picture

    Clint Brothers
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    George "Jody" Sweeney **
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

What motivates you to seek or continue in this office?

What are your qualifications for office, and what differentiates you from the other candidate(s)?

What do you see as the most urgent issues in Kent County at this time?

Of the issues discussed in question 3, which can the Levy Court address in the next two to four years, and what actions should be taken?

Do you feel any strategic changes are needed in the county’s approach to growth & development, land use or transportation planning for the coming decade? Please explain.

Kent County Levy Court’s actions affect the welfare of county residents. How will you keep the lines of communication open with your constituents?

Last edit date: published 10/1/2020
Phone: (302) 465-5549
Campaign email: clintbrothers@yahoo.com
Website or social media link: http://www.clintfordelaware.com
Age 35
Education Hodgson Vo-Tech HS graduate 2003, 4 year Electrician Apprenticeship program graduate
Work Experience 12 years as an Electrician -Residential and Light commercial wiring, 5 years Warranty Service manager K Hovnanian Homes
Community Involvement Director-Stonegate HOA, Church board member
My wife and I have three young children. I am concerned about what opportunities will be there for them and their peers when they complete school. Our children and grandchildren will need more good paying careers available to them to keep them here in Kent County. I am concerned about where we will be in ten years and beyond. Will we be able to bring in the revenue needed to keep up with the rising personnel costs of the County? The outgoing Levy Court president and finance director have both said that if nothing changes taxes may need to be raised. This concerns me deeply.
Qualifications include my experience as HOA director, church board member, and my job as a warranty service manager. I have well rounded experience in customer service, managing personnel, forging strong community relationships, and budgeting. I will look to bring this valuable experience to lend a fresh and more diplomatic perspective to Levy Court. I pledge to listen, and make reasoned decisions.
The need to facilitate more job growth in the county, hiring more paramedics and staffing the new paramedic station coming that will serve the western portion of the county, simplifying our permitting process to become more business friendly, dealing with the cost of a coming statewide property re assessment due to the county failing to handle the responsibility, addressing a shortage of affordable housing, holding the line on taxes and keeping a responsible budget, ensuring the most well qualified appointments to county boards and committees.
I believe there are some simple improvements we can make such as when a small business is looking at leasing or purchasing a building we can encourage more" by right" zoning vs conditional use when the business fits the area. This saves the businesses time and money. I would also look at reforming how long some of the processes take such as when variances are required. We will need to take a hard look at the employee cost share for health benefits. We will need to hire more paramedics for the next fiscal year. We need to work with the state on their ongoing efforts to bring broadband to rural areas of the county. We are late to the game on this and it has caused some unfortunate challenges. As far as affordable housing, I would take a hard look at bringing a voluntary inclusionary housing program to Kent County. We also need to get the MGO online system for applying for permits, submitting payments, and submitting documents up and running after three years in the works.
We do need to simplify some of our planning processes and become more business friendly. I would like to see more "by right" zoning vs conditional use as long as the business coming in fits the area. We also need to find a way to reduce the time it takes to go through may of the processes such as variances. I do believe we can address the lack of affordable housing partly by looking at a voluntary inclusionary housing program, this was actually recommended in the comprehensive plan. We need to find a way to provide more "shovel ready" sites. The biggest issue businesses have when they look to come here is the time the planning process takes, it needs to be reduced. We need to continue to balance development with agriculture preservation. The TDR(transfer of development rights) program helps do this and should continue. We need to continue developing our existing vacant commercial industrial land as well as our identified employment centers with access to water, sewer, rail ect.
I pride myself on being responsive. That would continue if I'm elected to Levy Court. I will always be available by phone or email. My community and work experience has me well versed in customer service. I will attend HOA and other community events and meetings to keep my finger on the pulse of the community.
Last edit date: published 10/1/2020
Phone: (302) 697-3778
Website or social media link: http://www.friendsforjodysweeney.com
Age 60
Education 1978 Graduate of Caesar Rodney Associates Degree from Del-Tech Bachelors Degree from Wilmington Univ
Work Experience 35 years of supervisory management Burris Foods, Computer Operator State of Delaware, OIS, Computer Mgr DelDOT, Technology Manager Wesley College, Chief Info. Officer Smyrna School District, Supervisor of Technology
Community Involvement Camden-Wyoming Little League Felton Little League CDSA Soccer VCF Ruritan Beach Clean-up Make A Difference Day Earth Day
Additional Information I have lived in Kent County for 58 of my 59 years and raised four children, all grown, here in the county. I am not an employee of, so not beholden, to any developer.
As the incumbent Commissioner, I want to continue to assist residents with their interaction with Kent County. I want to make it easier and quicker to get a permit; I want them to get answers quicker for their issues; I want to continue to guide them through the process; Understanding the issues they may encounter and concerns they have with these processes guides me to make changes and improve Kent County. I have received a reputation as a Commissioner who “gets things done”, no matter who asks. That was apparent during the recent cleanup from Hurricane Isaias and the accompanying tornado. Many residents throughout the County were reaching out to me for help.
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and Certified in Project Management. I have 25 years of supervisory and project management, so I know how to analyze and improve processes. I have helped to financially manage a Kent County small business for the last 34 years. I have lived in Kent County for 58 of my 59 years (year one as a baby in Lewes, DE). I have raised four children in Kent County, attending Caesar Rodney Schools, Lake Forest Schools, and Polytech High School. I have been a Levy Court Commissioner for 12 years and have built a reputation in the County as someone who can and will help anyone in the county, not just my district. I am different from my opponent as I am not an employee of nor am I involved with any Developer; I have lived here virtually for my entire life; I graduated from Caesar Rodney School District and Kent County Vo-Tech (the precursor to Polytech). My children are all grown, giving me time to attend to my duties as a Commissioner.
We must continue to improve the economy. A better economy brings better jobs. A better economy attracts new businesses and allows for small businesses to start up or existing small businesses to grow. We must complete the modernization of County systems. We must continue to implement technology that allows permitting to be processed online, payments to be made online, and research to be done online. That technology will improve transparency. We must continue to review every process and ordinance that interacts with customers to improve it. All applications for permits must be online. We must provide the ability to pay permit fees and taxes online. We must improve customer service at every counter in the Kent County Administration Building.
Levy Court can continue to grow the economy and make it easier for businesses to start or move to Kent County. We must partially develop the two new Workforce Enhancement zones to have the shovel ready for a new business looking to move here. We must look at ways to balance growth with our continued desire to remain a rural and agricultural community. We must continue to manage growth inside the growth zone, where road and sewer infrastructure already exists. We will continue to implement the MyGov solution to put all applications for permits online to improve the permitting approval process.
The County needs to take a more active role in Statewide planning, including working with those agencies that tie up the permitting process for long periods of time. Working closer with the Preliminary Land Use Service (PLUS) process to improve permits quicker. My many conversations with applicants who have issues with the permit process have revealed that it is not generally a Kent County issue, but a State issue that delays permit approvals. The County needs to continue to use the Kent County Strategic Development Fund to attract new businesses with incentives to create jobs.
I use my website (www.friendsforjodysweeney.com) and social media to continue to share on the Internet. I attend Town Council Meetings in Camden, Wyoming, and Viola to share information with the Councils. I attend annual and executive meetings of homeowner associations to share information. I attend community organization meetings to share information and answer questions concerning County business. As a resident of the County, I participate in cleanup efforts, beautification efforts, and other projects that involve communities.