40th District Candidates Questions, Part 3

Posted: 10/06/2008 by that's Elbert in Delaware, Delmar, election, Laurel, Laurel Delaware, Politics
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Questions presented to the candidates for Delaware’s 40th Representative District, Barb Hudson and Biff Lee, for the 2008 election.

(This is part 3 of a round of questions sent to the candidates. Part 1 is posted on Delmar Dustpan. Part 2 is posted on What A Smell.)

9. Delaware Emergency management and Sussex County Emergency have produced emergency plans for Delaware and Sussex County in the event of hurricanes etc but they are all directed toward the beach areas. As far as I know there is no disaster plan for Western Sussex County. What is your opinion on this?

Hudson: It is my understanding that the trainings conducted by the Delaware Emergency Management Agency are for all first responders so that everyone is ready for the worst.

Lee: According to current information I have had shared with me from the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, Sussex County does have a plan which addresses the entire county. Currently, Seaford and Bridgeville are also working on community plans as should the other towns in the area.

The plan Sussex County has is for the entire district and is incident specific. The plan was last updated in 2004 and is about 300 pages long. The plan is not available to the general public due to security reasons.

I have learned that within 30 days the county hopes to go out to bid for a consultant to rewrite this emergency plans that will also include any municipalities that have their own plans.

10. During this last legislative session, Governor Minner vetoed legislation that would have strengthened property owners’ rights. What is your stance on the state’s Eminent Domain laws?

Hudson: Eminent domain in Delaware should not be used to transfer private property to a different private owner. I was disappointed that Governor Minner vetoed the bill and believe the Kelo case overstepped the purpose of eminent domain.

Lee: I voted for this legislation. I believe property owners have rights that need to be protected. Taking property just for the taking is not what it means to be an American. If a piece of land is made available to the state that would accommodate economic enhancement or for the purposes of a road and the owners are compensated at a fair price and agree to the terms then this is acceptable. But to simply condemn and take land is not constitutional.

11. In our state parents have some choices within the public school system regarding where their children will attend school, whether it be in another district, charter school, or one of the technical high schools. Would you support continuing the state’s current choice system? For low income families, would you consider extending that system to a private school?

Hudson: I see nothing wrong with choice among public schools. I would not consider extending that system to a private school.

Lee: I support choice but not if it is for athletic reasons. I also believe the District has the right to limit the number of students allowed in during a school year based on their capacity allowances for students attending the school from the specific area it services. I am not in favor of subsidizing private schools.

for Barb Hudson:
This is a question many Democrats are asking in the national election, so lets bring it down to the local level. If it’s questionable for a potential Vice President, with all the amenities of that office, then how can you (in a much smaller state position), be expected to efficiently, share time between your teaching job in Delmar, the State House and your day to day family / home requirements?

Hudson: I have found that people who are productive and are involved in many things are the people who you can depend on and generally work harder at what they do. If for any reason I am not efficiently fulfilling either position, I will retire/resign my teaching position so that I can concentrate on my duties as State Representative.

Elbert: For my clarification on the last question regarding balancing your many responsibilities, would I assume that you would continue to teach while serving in Dover?

Hudson: I actually have not made a decision about continuing to teach or not. I will evaluate the situation if I win. I will also need to discuss options with the Delmar administration. As I stated, if I do decide to continue teaching and either job suffers as a result of trying to do both-then I would definitely retire from teaching.

for Biff Lee:
One of the big themes in this upcoming national election is “Change”. The state of Delaware will also be undergoing much change now that a non incumbent will be taking over the Governor’s Office. Many aging staff s and power positions throughout the state will also be passing the torch. What changes for the better do you foresee and what important changes, if any, will be credited to you, also what changes would you like to see and undertake during your next term?

Lee: Depending on the choice of Governor for the State of Delaware changes will definitely be made. I foresee each candidate if the winner to do a complete house cleaning of agency heads and senior staff that were part of the former administration. Clearly, if the candidate for Governor that I support is successful I would assume that I will be consulted on names for appointments to become agency heads and support staff. If not then I doubt that my voice will be of little consequence in the creation of the new administration.

Changes in terms of governmental structure, education, public safety etc. will not be dictated by the new administration directly but by the status of the current budget and the proposed budget for the next fiscal year. Any time change occurs in government there is a price tag attached and if the economy continues to fluctuate the proposed numbers for revenue available will determine policy changes.

It would be unwise of me to address this issue now without knowing what the budget forecast for next year is all about and if new revenue streams or existing streams are once again increasing revenues.

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