Education: The Dorchester Public School System is in need of help. According to the Maryland State Board of Education 2012 Report Card, Dorchester County has not met the Annual Measurable Objectives established for Maryland Schools. Students in this county, on average, did not meet proficiency standards in Reading and Mathematics, as well as not meeting the objectives for percent of students graduating high school. Our children are our most important asset. We cannot afford to let our students fall behind. I plan to work closely with the Dorchester County Board of Education to find solutions to these problems. I am currently talking with parents and school employees to find ways to turn these numbers around. Photo courtesy Dorchester County Board of Education Website.
Public Safety: Public Safety is one of the top priorities that a county government should have. We sometimes take it for granted that when we call 911, all of our problems will be taken care of for us in a quick fashion. Did you know that the Dorchester Sheriffs office has patrol vehicles that have nearly 200,000 miles on them? The maintenance costs on these vehicles are becoming more expensive than new vehicles. While our ALS medical units do a terrific job, they need to continue upgrading their equipment so they can provide the best possible care for you and your loved ones in times of crisis.
I also think the county government needs to work closer with our local fire companies to make sure they have the assistance they need to protect our lives and property. Having a strong volunteer fire service is such an incredible asset that we need to do whatever it takes to help them out. Photos courtesy DSO Facebook site and Hurlock VFD Facebook site.
Infrastructure: Dorchester County is the largest county on Marylands Eastern Shore, which means there is a lot of infrastructure and public works to maintain. We must ensure that we keep our roads, shore lines, culverts, landfills and other related systems in top working order. Ignoring these systems leads to costly breakdowns requiring replacement, while proper maintenance and upkeep leads to longer life span at a cheaper cost to the citizens. Photo courtesy www.docogonet.com.
Jobs and Economic Development: It’s evident that the more businesses that come to the county, the more jobs that will be available to our residents. More businesses also means more income to the county tax base which allows for better services to our residents. According to the US Census Bureau, the per capita income in Dorchester county is $26,208- more than $9,000 lower than the statewide average of $35,751. Furthermore, Dorchester has a poverty level 6% higher than the state average of 9%. (Source: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/24/24019.html . )
These numbers don’t have to stay this way and I think I can help us change them.I am working on some common sense ideas to bring business to our county and let our residents have good jobs with benefits. I plan on working closely with our county’s Economic Development office to ensure they are working hard to make our county a great place to live and work.
These are just some of the issues that face our county. We have taken a big loss to the county’s budget due to new Federal and State mandates, as well as a loss in tax revenue with the increased number of home foreclosures and residents losing jobs. We must work hard to turn this path around and make Dorchester County the place where people want to live, work, and visit. Together with your help, I will give 100% to make this come true.
If you feel I am addressing the issues and ideas that are important to you, your friends and family, please help by getting out to vote in 2014. By voting for me, we can work together to move Dorchester Forward!