With Dover’s April 21 municipal election fast approaching, Kent County SUNDAY reached out to the three candidates for mayor for their take on the future of city finances.
With this issue, we are publishing replies by former Mayor Carleton E. Carey Sr., who is hoping to return to the office he resigned in April 2014, incumbent Mayor Robin R. Christiansen, who succeeded Carey after winning a five-man race, and newcomer George J. Gaudioso.
We asked each candidate, “Does the city of Dover need new sources of revenue? If so what would they be? If not, how do you propose to balance the budget?”
Carleton E. Carey Sr.
Absolutely! We need to bring in new businesses, which helps bring new jobs to our city and income to our city. We also need to work with our existing business owners to help them expand their businesses. While we are doing this it is very important that the city make sure that our electric, water, sewer and tax rates are comparable or less than other communities, cities and states.
Doing this will help keep our existing businesses so we can be competitive and attract new businesses to our city that will create new jobs and revenue for our city.
Robin R. Christiansen
For the FY 2016 budget process we must consider how to maintain the standard of service that our community expects and deserves and part of that may be through the creative revenue sources such as aggressive economic development efforts for both businesses and residential growth. We must work to build our tax base which will allow us to reap the benefits of transfer taxes as well. We have not seen the growth in the past few years. Finally council and staff must work conscientiously to, as a last resort, combine small tax increases and conservative transfers from the enterprise funds, (water, sewer and electric) until the economy and development strategies kick in. We will get there. I believe in Dover.
George J. Gaudioso
I can answer these questions by either honoring what I truly believe is the answer to each or as a politician, which I definitely am NOT!
To maintain the services that the city provides or expand some of them, such as in the case of hiring additional police officers, we have to increase the city’s revenue stream.
I believe in the philosophy of pay-as-you-go as much as possible. The only viable way I see of doing this is to increase taxes. I’m sure that this answer will not be well received, but it is my answer.