Full slate of primary elections set for Sept. 9

In an unusually busy primary election day for Delawareans, voters on Sept. 9 will decide which candidates will represent their parties in more than a half-dozen races in November, including candidates for U.S. senator, State Treasurer, Delaware Auditor of Accounts, Sussex County Register of Wills, Sussex County Council District 5 and Sussex County Sheriff.

Only registered Democrats can vote in each Democratic primary. Only registered Republicans can vote in each Republican primary. Races in which there is only one remaining candidate in a given party, including the Democratic candidate for State Treasurer this year, will not have a primary election. Aug. 18 was the last day to register to vote before the primary. The deadline to change party affiliation in Delaware is the last Friday in May. Voters can change their party affiliation again after the primary.

Primary voting will take place at the polling places assigned to voters on their State-issued Polling Place Card. Primary voters can also use the on-line Polling Place locator at (http://ivote.de.gov/) to find out where they vote and to view a sample ballot. A list of polling places is available online at http://electionsncc.delaware.gov/polling_places/2014/2014_primary.pdf. More voting information can be obtained by calling the State Department of Elections at (302) 577-3464.

To help inform voters ahead of the casting of ballots on Sept. 9, the Coastal Point posed a series of questions to each of the primary candidates for U.S. senator, State Treasurer, Delaware Auditor of Accounts, Sussex County Register of Wills and Sussex County Council District 5. Because of space concerns, we are listing the responses for Sussex County Council candidates here, and will have all the other responses posted online at www.coastalpoint.com. Here are the responses, in alphabetical order by candidate’s last name:

Sussex County Council District 5 Republican Primary

Rob Arlett

Q. What qualifies you for the position of District 5 county councilman?

A. I am a natural leader, a risk-taker and a reasonable, thoughtful person. I know what kinds of issues come before the council because I studied this both from a professional point of view as a Realtor with my own business and as a citizen.

Just because I haven’t lived here all of my life doesn’t mean I don’t understand land and property issues, environmental concerns and, maybe most importantly, economic development. I understand the delicate balance among these public questions, and I believe I have new energy and ideas to offset the old ways of doing business in Sussex County. I honor the past, but I would like to see Sussex County — particularly the western side of the county — come into its own.

They have the magnificent Nanticoke River over on the western side of the county and a lot of people who would like to see development of tourism, the arts and improvement of schools. Until they get manufacturing jobs coming in, with people who care how their quality of life is, not much will happen. Under Mr. Phillips’s tutelage, the western side of the county has lost its energy and economic vitality; it is time to build a better life for both sides of the county.

Q. What is the most pressing issue you believe is facing the county and how do you hope to address it?

A. Economic vitality is the most pressing issue. Environmental balance is also important. We can do both. Bringing broadband infrastructure to the western side of the county is one specific issue.

Q. It has been suggest that the County is in need of a code of ethics. Please explain your position on the matter.

A. Presently, the county council lacks transparency. They say there is a code of ethics from the State, but the people I talk to across District 5 don’t seem to know the process by which each member spends allocated funds on their favorite charities or projects. I believe every disbursement should reflect the vote of the full council. People need to know how the taxpayer money is spent.

Q. Where do you see Sussex County going in the next 10, 15, 20 years?

A. I see a bright future for Sussex County. It’s on the edge of becoming a leader in many ways: Not just agriculture, which is important, but tourism and economic development. This is a wonderful place to live and those of us that can should take responsibility for developing a vital business plan while keeping our quality of life. My hope and prayer is that we can bring enough jobs so that our growing kids don’t have to leave their home state to find work.

Q. Countywide property reassessments haven’t been conducted since 1974 — do you think the county needs a reassessment? Explain.

A. Well, I know my opponent is against the assessments because he believes it would lead to higher taxes. I’m not sure about that. Maybe it’s time to update the status — again, both of the eastern and western sides of the county. The disparity between the two would be revealed by an assessment.

Property values, small businesses and the lack of jobs are all problems in western Sussex, and it’s not a good thing for its citizens. The schools are struggling, as well as the county infrastructure. Maybe it’s time to reassess all of this — it could lead to innovation and upgrading of, as I said before, a wonderful place to live. There are a lot of good people in western Sussex that would like to see more interest in their areas.

Vance Phillips

Q. What qualifies you for the position of District 5 county councilman?

A. Vance Phillips has a proven track record of keeping taxes low and serving his constituents in the Fifth District. I am the taxpayers’ best friend and as a sixth-generation Sussex Countian; my roots run deep. I have a profound interest in serving Sussex Countians, both old and new.

Experience counts for a lot and, through my efforts over the years, I know how to get things done. Be it getting clean water for residents in Shady Grove apartments in Selbyville, cleaning up dilapidated mobile homes in Swann Keys or helping flood victims keep their homes in Mallard Lakes, I have spent countless hours helping and, sometimes, fighting for my constituents. Finally, I have never raised taxes, and I never will.

Q. What is the most pressing issue you believe is facing the county and how do you hope to address it?

A. A destructive phenomena I call “Liberal Creep” has taken over Washington, D.C., and Dover, and if proven conservatives like me are not re-elected, Sussex County, too, can fall prey to the “Progressives.” This will lead to a government of, for and by the bureaucracy and not The People.

Spending will increase for many feel-good government programs, which will then require new bureaucrats to manage them. Surpluses will evaporate and reserves will increasingly be tapped. Then taxes will begin to increase. Slowly at first, but then at an accelerated pace and in many unconventional forms. As taxes rise, businesses suffer and so do good-paying jobs.

This is a pitched battle in America, and Sussex County is one of the few remaining bastions of conservative good government around. Please elect me and I will continue to keep your taxes low.

Q. It has been suggested that the County is in need of a code of ethics. Please explain your position on the matter.

A. The Sussex County Council recently heard a presentation from a representative of the State’s Public Integrity Commission. A cursory review of the process employed by the PIC in enforcing the State Code of Ethics was helpful for the public’s understanding. Upon my request, a three-hour public workshop is scheduled for Sept. 30, 2014, to review the State Code of Ethics, which oversees the vast majority of governing bodies in the State of Delaware.

If I find anything wrong with the State Code, I will offer an amendment for Council consideration. I encourage the public to attend this workshop and offer me your opinions following the meeting.

Q. Where do you see Sussex County going in the next 10, 15, 20 years?

A. I am very optimistic about the future in Sussex County if we can maintain a conservative government. With that said, change is coming.

Technological advances in today’s society will completely alter how we live in the coming years. Broadband availability will reach every corner of the county as companies like Google, Microsoft and Apple race to develop this lucrative market. Advances in medicine will allow our seniors to enjoy the very best healthcare in Sussex County and nearby research hospitals, like John’s Hopkins. The merger of computers and agriculture is already changing the way farmers produce crops and do business with markets both near and far.

The one thing that will not change is the sun and the beach, barring acts of God which no one can foresee. This means we will continue to be a destination for millions of visitors, placing a tremendous burden on our transportation infrastructure.

In this area, the State must stop robbing the Transportation Trust Fund to feed its bloated bureaucracies. Until the State will meet its obligation by repaying the misappropriated money to the Transportation Trust Fund and using this dedicated fund on capital road improvements, we will continue to see gridlock throughout the summer months.

Q. Countywide property reassessments haven’t been conducted since 1974 — do you think the county needs a reassessment? Explain.

A. No. Reassessment eventually leads to higher taxes in nearly all cases, despite proponents’ assertions. I am the taxpayers’ best friend and will fight against higher taxes no matter what they are called or in whatever form they are derived.

Sussex County Council District 5 Democratic Primary

Brad Connor

Q. What qualifies you for the position of District 5 county councilman?

A. I am the mayor of the Town of Dagsboro, Del., and previously Dagsboro council member with a total of 20 years as an elected official in Dagsboro. I am the past president of SCAT (Sussex County Association of Towns); vice president, Delaware League of Local Governments; and past president, Southern Sussex Rotary. None of these positions have been appointed positions. I have been elected in non-partisan elections for the past 20 years. I have not received compensation in the form of a salary for any of them.

I was able through my work with the state and federal governments to bring back 97 percent funding for water and sewer for the Town of Dagsboro. We have the cheapest rates in Sussex County. I am ready to bring my skills to Sussex County.

Q. What is the most pressing issue you believe is facing the county and how do you hope to address it?

A. Jobs are my No. 1 issue. We need to staff the office of Economic Development in the County with someone with a track record and prior experience in bringing/creating jobs. We then need to begin working with the State Office of Economic Development to develop a plan for bringing good-paying jobs to our County. I have worked with the State before and I know that if we establish a working relationship we can make things happen. Our children are graduating from our colleges and leaving, because there are no good-paying jobs in our county.

Through my work in Dagsboro, I have lowered the fees for businesses and we now have three new businesses opening on Main Street in our town. Again, I am ready to bring these skills to Sussex County.

Q. It has been suggested that the County is in need of a code of ethics. Please explain your position on the matter.

A. I am the candidate who first proposed a Sussex County Code of Ethics and, if elected, I plan to make it my first piece of legislation. First, a Sussex County Code of Ethics would help ensure that elected and appointed officials use public office for service to the public good, not for personal or private gain.

I’ve done research, and the City of Dover’s code is a good model, approved by the State. The only cost is for the City attorney to attend the hearings. Because they have such a strong code, there have only been about five hearings in the last several years. I have received strong feedback about this issue, and comments that the State code is cumbersome and drawn out and can be costly to an individual who files a complaint.

Q. Where do you see Sussex County going in the next 10, 15, 20 years?

This council has only focused on development on the east side and low taxes. We can keep our taxes low by other means. As stated above, we need to develop good-paying jobs on our side of the county and we need to expand some of the housing development including affordable housing.

I want to work with the State to develop business and industrial parks to provide employment for our children and grandchildren. They, in turn, will stay here, buy houses and pay their taxes! It is time to take care of our people in Laurel, Delmar, Selbyville and the other small towns in my district. This is where I will put my efforts.

Q. Countywide property reassessments haven’t been conducted since 1974 — do you think the county needs a reassessment? Explain.

Reassessments for our county could be a costly endeavor in the millions of dollars. Then there would also be a long and tedious appeals process. No, I would not support a reassessment at this time.

Bob Wheatley

Q. What qualifies you for the position of District 5 county councilman?

A. With 20 years’ County-level experience on the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission, the last nine as chairman, I’m uniquely qualified to serve on County Council. Land-use issues comprise the bulk of County Council’s work, and I will arrive with a thorough knowledge of the issues and the ordinances that govern them.

My business experience has provided me with the sound fiscal and management skills needed to do the job well. I am a proven leader in county government, in business and in the community, with the ability to think creatively to develop solutions that make life better for the people of Sussex County.

Q. What is the most pressing issue you believe is facing the county and how do you hope to address it?

A. As I walk the district, it seems the most urgent issue is jobs, followed very closely by land use. The avenue to job creation is the County’s economic development effort, yet we spend less than $100,000 per year on it, including personnel.

The Economic Development Office is unstaffed at this time, so let’s take this opportunity to reinvent economic development in Sussex, making it a function of the whole community. Let’s invest that same $100,000 in a public-private partnership initiative including the County, towns, educational institutions and existing businesses through SEDAC or a new task force.

With the County taking the lead and each member contributing financially, there will be funds for both personnel and program to address broadband access, utilities and other essentials needed to attract new manufacturing jobs and expand existing companies, and to promote Sussex as the best place to be.

By getting manufacturing companies to locate in Sussex, we will be growing our tax base and actually creating more organic economic activity through the “multiplier effect” than we get from the same investment in resort/retirement housing. Ultimately, it will give us the added benefit of reducing our dependence on the transfer tax. So, let’s pool our financial and creative resources to get more bang for our job-creation buck!

Q. It has been suggested that the County is in need of a code of ethics. Please explain your position on the matter.

A. Sussex County already has a code of ethics — the state code of ethics found in Title 29, Chapter 58, of the Delaware Code, which applies to all county and town officeholders and employees and is administered by the State Public Integrity Commission. The State Commission has years of independent, non-partisan collective experience in administering the code and its process, all of which it provides at no cost to the county.

Recently the Public Integrity Commission made a thorough presentation to County Council. I was there. I wish my opponent had been there, too, as he would have learned why the state code and the Public Integrity Commission serve us well. It looks like County Council is going to take the State Commission up on its offer to provide in-depth code of ethics training for county officeholders and employees, also at no cost to the County. Great idea! That’s what we really need.

There is another really good reason to continue to rely on the state code and the Public Integrity Commission. Having the process occur at the state level, one step removed from County government, ensures that it remains truly independent and free of local politics. That too is a great idea.

Q. Where do you see Sussex County going in the next 10, 15, 20 years?

A. From 2000 to 2010, the population of Sussex County grew by a whopping 25 percent. In the last four years, the population has grown by the much more sustainable rate of 1 to 1.5 percent, a trend that I believe will continue for the next few years, but could increase as the economy improves. The Baby Boomer generation will continue to retire to Sussex for our beaches and lower cost of living until 2030 or so, when the last of them reach retirement age.

If managed and incentivized correctly, development east of Route 113 will moderate, and western Sussex, with its small-town rural lifestyle and relative proximity to the shore will experience some of this growth as beach prices continue to rise. The generation following the Boomers is a good bit smaller, so the in-migration of new people perhaps will abate and with it demand for new places in the sun.

It is likely that we will see new types of housing emerge as the population chooses to “age in place.” Concepts like “co-housing,” smaller individual spaces with certain shared facilities and amenities that are easy to maintain and easy to transfer, will require us to adjust our zoning and housing ordinances. Also, the environmental concerns that accompany growth will play an increasingly significant role in land-use policy.

A growing and aging population will place greater burdens on our fire and emergency medical services. I shudder to think what our taxes would be if we had to pay for everything our volunteer fire services do! Our EMS system will have to grow along with the population so we can continue to provide the excellent service we do today.

If we get our economic development act together, economic growth in Sussex, western and central in particular, will be augmented by the location of new and the expansion of existing manufacturers in areas specifically designated for them with all the necessary utilizes and amenities to support thriving businesses.

Good-paying jobs and an expanding tax base will be the rewards. Poultry will continue to be an economic mainstay of our county as will crop farming and other agricultural activities. Technology will continue to impact nearly everything we do, and we will have to make a conscious effort to keep up and stay competitive.

Infrastructure over the next 20 years will continue to be a challenge because it is expensive and it requires coordination between federal, state and local governments to make it happen with a minimum of waste and confusion.

Change is constant, but it doesn’t have to cataclysmic. We see what is coming and if we start while we still have time to research the issues, consider the alternatives, and put the right policies in place incrementally, we can control the pace of change and effect a smooth transition from today to tomorrow.

Specifically, I will work to reinvent and reinvigorate our economic development efforts, reason our way together through the tough land-use issues, put a planning coordinator in place, support our fire service to keep it growing, fine-tune our EMS every year, and help our agri-businesses stay strong.

How will Sussex County look in 10, 15, 20 years? If we do those things, it will look just fine!

Q. Countywide property reassessments haven’t been conducted since 1974 — do you think the county needs a reassessment? Explain.

A. Reassessment is a complicated and difficult issue to understand, especially in Sussex County! I know this first hand, having recently researched the issue. It is very important to note that the county government would not be the sole beneficiary of a reassessment, since the school districts and the municipalities would use it, too; but first, a little history.

The last assessment was in 1974 and was performed at a cost of $3 million paid by the County to an outside firm. There were over 6,000 valuation challenge hearings that delayed implementation of the assessment until 1977. No mechanism for an actual reassessment was put in place and since no one was anxious to repeat the experience, they didn’t.

During the Carper administration, at the behest of the school districts, the State offered to pay for a statewide reassessment. The cost of the Sussex County portion was budgeted at $25 million. Unfortunately, money became scarce and the offer was withdrawn.

When we think of an “assessment,” we tend to think of it in terms of an appraisal that establishes the market value of property, which will form the basis upon which property tax is calculated. In many places, that is exactly what happens; the government takes the estimated budget for the fiscal year and divides it by the total value of all the real property to calculate the tax rate.

Not so in Sussex County. In the base year 1974, the market value was established for all existing properties, and then the assessed value was determined by taking the market value and subtracting the estimated cost of labor to construct the improvements (house, buildings, etc.) from the market value to determine the assessed value.

Every year since 1974, the assessed value of every new home or commercial building is established by discounting the actual cost of the improvements back to 1974 levels (there is a published formula for doing this every year) then subtracting the estimated 1974 cost of labor to construct the improvements. Add to that figure the 1974 assessed value of the land to get the current assessed value of the property. We are taxed on only 50 percent of that assessed value.

Reassessment by its nature will change the way we calculate assessments. The popular notion is that the east side of the county will bear the brunt of the resulting increase, but that is not necessarily so, given the way we do assessments now.

The improvements existing in 1974 went into the system at their depreciated market value, not their replacement cost. New properties go onto the system at the actual cost of improvements, which is essentially the same as replacement cost, reduced to 1974 value. This indicates that the increase will be more dramatic for older 1974 properties than for the newer ones, perhaps excepting those properties with the very highest land values.

That being said, the County is required by state law to assess all properties at their true value in money. Whether the assessment is a new one or a new property with its value being reduced to what it may have been worth 40 years ago, the process does seem questionable if there is not a periodic review of sales data and a physical validation of the assessments.

The county’s school districts and its towns use the County’s assessments, but at least four towns have chosen to do their own, and the difference in valuations is significant. The County could benefit from periodic updates of the assessment data it uses so that the trending of assessments properly reflects more current market values, both up and down, and verifies the conditions of properties that have not been assessed in years.

My chief concern is fairness. In Sussex County, the actual value of property bears little resemblance to its assessed value. Whether that is good or bad is perhaps beside the point if the rule, no matter how convoluted, is consistently applied so that all County taxpayers are treated equally. The estimated cost of county reassessment today is about $40 million, an amount equal to roughly one-third of our total budget for FY 2015. Also, the school districts stand to benefit most from a reassessment, and the County has no jurisdiction over them — we must collect the tax they specify in the warrant and turn it over to them. The municipalities would benefit from reassessment, as well.

As your county councilman, I will be willing to investigate a reassessment program if the following conditions are met first:

1. The reassessment must be revenue-neutral. No windfall tax for the County.

2. We determine who is going to pay for it.

3. A method is established to prevent a huge increase in school and municipal taxes.

Delaware State Auditor Democratic Primary

Ken Matlusky

Q. What experience would you bring to the office?

A. I am the only CPA (certified public accountant) in the Auditor’s race. I have accounting experience in the CPA profession, the mechanical contracting industry, at a law firm and a trust company. Because I love education, I even taught middle school math in a Catholic school in Wilmington. I have a varied accounting background, and I am a versatile person so I can bring a lot to the Auditor’s office.

Q. What is the biggest issue you see facing the office, and how will you address it?

A. Four years ago, I said that state whistle-blowers aren’t really protected, and that statement still holds true today. The abuse of a State whistle-blower is essentially the abuse of taxpayer dollars, and that is something in which the Auditor needs to be involved. Over the years, the papers have run stories detailing how sometimes State employees reported problems and suffered retaliation, the most infamous example being the Delaware Psychiatric Center.
The ability of State employees to freely report problems is essential to helping the Auditor’s office stop problems early before they grow into big scandals. As Auditor, I will do everything in my power to protect State whistle-blowers. I will go to the head of the state agency and demand action. I will go to the governor and demand action. If that doesn’t work, I will go to the press, and also publicly protest, calling for justice until justice is done.

Q. What are your first priorities upon entering office?

A. Before anything, I promise that the Auditor’s office will never, ever spend a single cent of taxpayer dollars on out-of-state travel. Related to that, if there are any State credit cards in the Auditor’s office, I will cut them all up. The State Auditor must set an example for everybody in state government. Also, I will tell all State employees that if there is any fraud, waste or abuse that is not being properly dealt with, then they should come directly to me and I will do my very best to fix the problem.

Q. What else should people know about you?

A. On a personal note, I was born and raised in Wilmington, Del. My wife, Joana, and I have been happily married for seven years. Once a week, I teach English to immigrants at the Capuchin Poor Clares convent in the city of Wilmington.
On a political note, I am a 100 percent complete political outsider who doesn’t owe anybody anything. That means I will be able to run the Auditor’s office the way it is meant to be run, strictly and only for the taxpayers of Delaware.
Campaign information: 1401 Pennsylvania Ave., Unit # 1401, Wilmington, DE 19806. Phone: (302) 290-5168.

Brenda Mayrack

Q. What experience would you bring to the office?

A. As an attorney whose practice focuses on auditing, and a small-business owner with previous management experience in non-profit organizations and a graduate degree in government management and public policy, I have the right experience, leadership and advocacy skills to implement much needed reforms in the State Auditor’s Office.
I will work with the General Assembly to ensure the office has the resources it needs and use these resources fairly to help state agencies find and save money. I will then follow through to make sure that recommended changes are implemented.

Q. What is the biggest issue you see facing the office, and how will you address it?

A. The most significant challenge facing the State Auditor’s Office is making sure that the office has the staff and resources it needs to do its very important job of protecting our tax dollars.
When the current State Auditor assumed office in 1989, there were 57 people on staff. This number has dwindled to 14, with 11 budgeted, but unfilled positions — even though the State’s budget is more than four times larger now. I will undertake aggressive and creative recruitment strategies to fill these positions with qualified Delawareans.

Q. What are your first priorities upon entering office?

A. As State Auditor, I will make the case to the governor and the General Assembly to build the office back to a reasonable level over time, as the State budget allows, in order to recruit and fill the vacant positions. I will evaluate whether the amount and type of outsourcing is appropriate, improve whistleblower protections for state employees, and improve the functioning of the office, which should have a broad impact on our state’s finances and thus, all taxpayers.

Q. What else should people know about you?

A. In addition to running my law practice, I provide volunteer legal services by serving as a guardian ad litem to children in foster care. I also serve as a volunteer crewmember on the Kalmar Nyckel, the Tall Ship of Delaware. Last November, I was the winner of Startup Weekend Delaware 2013, where I led a team that designed WhipCount, an app to streamline the legislative process, during a two-day tech startup competition.

U.S. Senate Republican Primary

Carl Smink

Q. What experience would you bring to the office?

A. Education: AB in Geology, BS in Civil Engineering, MA in Political Science, Graduate - Industrial College of the Armed Forces, OSHA 40-hour basic course. OSHA Confined Entry Course, OSHA First Aid, OSHA CPR, 30+ years of engineering continuing education courses, Graduate courses in math and environmental engineering.
Experience: 21 years on active duty with the USAF, managing military and civilian combined work forces of up to 450 persons; negotiating material, utilities, POL and labor rates with foreign nations; operating an engineering design laboratory consisting of 14 engineers and two draftsmen; participated in the negotiations for the reversion of Okinawa to Japanese ownership and consolidated U.S. functions and facilities; managed numerous construction programs consisting of up to 160 new facilities in some of the programs; on four different occasions planned, programmed, budgeted and accomplished all maintenance and operations for USAF installations both in the Lower 48 and overseas. Managed commercial engineering offices of up to 40 professional persons, 12 persons, and operated a self-owned engineering practice providing property condition surveys and environmental engineering site assessments and the written reports thereof for commercial properties being examined by banks to determine the feasibility for placing loans on the properties.

Q. You’ve expressed frustration about government surveillance of American citizens. What would you change?

A. Changes to federal government surveillance: No drones hovering above our schoolyards and neighborhood playgrounds. No electronic surveillance of cell phones, Facebook or other social media. All prepared “no fly” lists and all immigration lists to be reviewed by state and commonwealth governments to ensure integrity.

Q. What’s your strategy to breaking gridlock and getting things accomplished?

A. The most important need we have to break gridlock is to have the U.S. Senate prepare its annual budget on time. For some four years they were unable or unwilling to do this. That is willfully imposed gridlock, for they had planned failure of a major system for getting things accomplished in this country. On the other hand, none of the military departments have ever been late with budget submissions.
Another way to break gridlock is to replace Democrats at the higher levels of involvement in governmental offices. We recently witnessed a minor assault against a U.S. Embassy in Bengazi, during a time where there were two command posts in operation and available to the White House, but the senior persons, unable to make any kind of decision, dithered while Americans were tortured and killed at the hands of terrorists.

Q. What can the federal government do to help Delaware?

A. The federal government can best help Delaware by getting out of the way. Taxes should be lowered both on individuals and on business. Regulations should be reviewed with the intent of reducing the amount of redundancy in the various laws. We need to address only the things that are mentioned in the Constitution.

Delaware State Treasurer Republican Primary

Ken Simpler

Q. What experience would you bring to the office?

A. I have spent the past 20 years as a finance professional. I managed a $1 billion portfolio for one of the world’s most successful private asset management firms. I oversaw finance personnel on three continents in five major money-center cities. I traveled the globe investing in companies and working to fix their fiscal problems. I serve now as the CFO of a Delaware-based hotel and property management business. In that role, I have day-to-day responsibility for all financial matters. I am the only candidate for state treasurer with the background and experience to be Delaware’s highest-ranking elected finance officer.

Q. What is the biggest issue you see facing the office, and how will you address it?

A. The State Treasurer’s Office has suffered from day-to-day lack of professional management. The current treasurer has mishandled our State’s $2 billion portfolio, the operational and financial reporting of the office and the leadership of Treasury personnel.
The solution to these problems is to elect someone as your next state treasurer with a proven capacity to invest billions of dollars, oversee a finance office and manage financial personnel. I have done all these things, and I want to bring my experience, skills and passion for finance to the administration of our State Treasury — “a finance guy for a finance job.”

Q. What is your philosophy of office operations?

A. Whether managing multiple offices around the globe or one office right here in Delaware, I subscribe to a few core principles: (i) lead by example, (ii) manage by “walking around” and (iii) groom your successors. These lessons apply to the management of the State Treasury.
Finance personnel working in the State Treasury want to be led by someone with actual finance experience, someone who can make them better at their roles. Successful office operations also require a manager who gets out of his/her office and interacts with staff and employees at all levels of the organization. Finally, organizations that succeed over time do so because managers groom their successors. I will actively look for ways to impart my knowledge, skills and leadership to others in the Treasury to ensure that the practices and processes that I implement become “institutionalized” for the benefit of future state treasurers.

Q. What else should people know about you?

A. I was born and raised in Rehoboth Beach. I grew up in a restaurant family that operated the iconic Avenue Restaurant for many years. I learned at an early age the merits of hard work, sound money management and entrepreneurialism. My extended family lives throughout Delaware but is clustered in Eastern Sussex County. This state is my home and I want to do all that I can to secure financial opportunity for all Delaware families.
Occupation: Chief Financial Officer for Seaboard Hotels, Rehoboth Beach, DE
Address: The Simpler Campaign, P.O. Box 9233, Newark, DE 19714
Phone: 302-727-9955
Email: campaign@kensimpler.com
Date of Birth: 07/15/1967
Education: St. Andrew’s School (Middletown, Del.), 1985; Princeton University, AB political economy, 1989; University of Chicago, MBA and JD, 1993; University of Delaware, MPA, currently enrolled
Community involvement: Finance Committee Member of Beebe Healthcare; Board of Directors of Draper Holdings, the parent company of WBOC and Fox 21; Leadership Delaware Alumnus, Class of 2011
Additional information: Married for 23 years to my college sweetheart, Liz. We have three children: Blakeley (17), Gillian (14) and Emmett (11). We live in Newark, Del., on a 200-year old farm that we are working to restore.
Website: www.kensimpler.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kensimplerfordelaware
Twitter page: https://twitter.com/kensimpler

Sussex County Register of Wills Republican Primary

Editor’s note: While both Republican candidates for Sussex County Register of Wills responded to the Coastal Point’s request to answer our Q&A, neither candidate responded directly to the questions they were sent, which were:
Q. What experience would you bring to the office?
Q. For Delawareans who aren’t familiar with this office, how do you view this position?
Q. What is the biggest issue you see facing the office, and how will you address it?
Q. What else should people know about you?
We are printing the responses the candidates did provide.

Brian Butler

I’m a current resident in Greenwood and a lifelong resident of Sussex County, born and raised in Bridgeville. I am 37 years old and the current owner of East Coast Restorations in Greenwood and also the owner of East Coast Collision Center in Bridgeville. I am a proud father of four children and happily married. I graduated from Woodbridge High School in Bridgeville.
My reason for running for office is simple: because I want to bring business sense to the Register of Wills office. With 13 people I employ, I have learned very successfully how to manage people and have those employees want to excel in their positions.
Customer service in this office is where we are dealing with people who are at their most difficult time. I want to make sure that when someone comes into the office of Register of Wills, throughout the process of closing an estate, that they are able to talk to the same person time and time again, so they can build that relationship of trust and they feel comfortable, cared for and secure.
My promise to the voters: Less bureaucracy, more transparency and more service, with this view from someone who hasn’t been in government, and that why I’m asking for your vote on Sept. 9.

Cindy Green

I am from Greenwood, Del. I am running for a second term to the Register of Wills in Sussex County. I want to preserve the conservative values we have in Sussex County, with lower taxes and less fees, save money for the taxpayer and provide a great service.
I am a self-employed elderly care giver and work part time. I have the time available to serve in this office and provide a great service to the residents of Sussex County.
In my first term, we have worked on moving the office from manual to electronic. This provides more efficient service and safeguards the files. We have updated the policies and procedures to standard, allowing us to be more effective.
We are back-scanning 60 years of files to provide a full title search. The oldest files are being scanned, then archived, to free up office space. I would like to return to a second term to complete the back-scanning project, and move forward to e-filing. I'm asking for your vote on Sept. 9. Thank you!