On Tuesday, November 6 voters of Milford in the 33rd District will be deciding which man they want to serve as their State Representative during the 147th General Assembly. Small business owner Kevin Robbins (Democrat) is challenging the incumbent Harold “Jack” Peterman (Republican).
1. Why are you running for the 33rd Representative District?
I’m John Kevin Robbins and I want to be your State Representative. For those of you who may not know anything about me, I am a small produce farmer on Paradise Alley near Killen’s pond and I’m a milk hauler. I drive a tanker truck to local dairy farms in Kent and Sussex counties then deliver the milk to the plants for processing. I’m married to my wife Kim for 22 years and we have two children, J.T. 20, a student at Del tech and Marybeth, 14 a freshman at Lake Forest High School. I am a hardworking family man, who thinks it’s time for middle class, sensible people, like me, to be heard. The people of the 33rd Representative District deserve clear and focused representation in Dover. We need reasonable, common sense, solutions to our current problems and I will bring a “no-nonsense” approach to creating a brighter future for our families.
2. What personal or professional background will be critical to performing the duties of State Representative?
As a small business owner and a blue collar worker, I understand just how much taxes and fees hurt middle class people like me. I feel that taxes should stay at the current level until the economy improves, and then hopefully in the next two years, lead the fight to lower taxes and fees on the middle class. More specifically I believe that the gross receipts tax on small business owners should be more clearly examined. In order for the economy to improve, the small businesses need to thrive. Helping them with the lifting of gross receipts taxes would be one way the State could aid the prosperity of small businesses.
3.Name a specific example of something the State House of Representatives has done to improve the quality of life for citizens in Delaware.
There were a number of bills passed that will increase the quality of life for Delawareans. First, through the budget bill, Delaware was able to raise the percentage of high need children in the quality-rated early childhood programs from 20% to nearly 80% over the next four years. Investing in our children will continue to improve everyone’s quality of life. Second, HB 275, is the Veterans Opportunity Tax Credit. It helps recent combat veterans return to work. The bill allows companies a $1500 annual tax credit for each veteran they hire. We must invest in those who protect our country. Third, the budget bill supported the Delaware Young Farmers Program which is a no-interest loan program for young farmers looking to begin an agribusiness operation. New farms and new small businesses will begin because of this program.
4. Name a specific example of something you would like to change in your first term if you are elected to the 33rd Representative seat.
Since I began this campaign to be your representative, two methamphetamine labs have been discovered in the 33rd district. These illegal labs are extremely volatile and could easily explode, which is a serious public safety issue, along with these illegal drugs making their way to the streets. Methamphetamines are made from a common over the counter product, Sudafed, used for nasal decongestion. Currently you can buy this product without a prescription, in a limited quantity, but you have to show your state issued photo ID to get it from a pharmacy. This information is not sent to the authorities in a timely manner. I would be in favor of this product being added to the state’s Prescription Monitoring program, to get a clear picture of who is purchasing a large amount of this drug and to properly investigate who may be making methamphetamines. Pharmacies in Delaware are required to send in all narcotic prescriptions filled each day to the Prescription Monitoring program, I would suggest that Sudafed products be added to this system, to allow the authorities to investigate those who make be purchasing large quantities of these products.
5. What issues do you feel are important to the citizens of Milford, Delaware in particular?
I believe that the changes to Route 1 north of the city will impact the citizens of Milford. When the overpasses are put in at both Bowers Beach and at the Thompsonville light, it will be extremely difficult to cross the highway from NE 10th St and Route 14, since these traffic lights will be eliminated. I propose that the overpasses for these non-traffic signaled intersections be completed prior to the overpasses at Bowers Beach and Thompsonville. We must make sure that people in and around Woods Haven can easily come into the City of Milford.
6. How will you offer help to the City of Milford’s focus on economic development?
All you have to do is walk down Walnut St. in Milford to understand how important the small businesses are to this city. I believe that the best way to increase jobs is to give small businesses incentives to start or grow their businesses. My wife, for example was able to start a small business early this summer with the help of DEDO, creating eight new jobs in Kent County. The Department of Economic Development mentored on the business plan and to steer the business in the right way to proceed. I believe that small businesses that work with DEDO and meet their set criteria should be given additional tax breaks for creating jobs in Delaware. I don’t believe that all job creation should come via government with big programs. I believe, however, that the best way to create jobs is to give incentives for the small businesses to grow. When the small businesses are growing, the city is healthy.
7. If elected to office in November, how will you help small business owners in your district?
Both my wife and I own small businesses. I understand what problems and concerns these owners have. I will be an advocate for all the small business owners in this district, fighting to keep them strong and viable. I will support more small business incentives such as Project Pop-Up, which gives a small start-up business 3 months rent free during the holiday season, to encourage them to move into the downtown Milford area.
8. Why should voters choose you over your opponent on Tuesday, November 6, 2012?
It’s pretty simple to sum this all up. If you want to be represented in Dover, I will be your voice. My opponent has placed “not voting” casts 7% of the time. He voted against campaign finance reforms and lobbyist reforms. My opponent voted against manufactured-home community owners from raising rent above certain criteria. He really voted for the owners to be able to raise rent on those on fixed incomes or young families at a whim, without regard to market trends, inflation rates, etc. That was a vote against the working families and elderly and a vote for the wealthy land owners. Your concerns will be my concerns. I will work for you and I will vote in the interest of the people. As a farmer and small business owner, I have worked hard every day to ensure that my family is provided for and their needs are met. I will bring this same passion to Dover. We need a commitment to strengthening our economy, maintaining our schools’ top quality, and protecting our land so we can leave it to our children. I promise to uphold that commitment for this district now, and in the future. I will bring fresh ideas with an old fashion work ethic. I’m John Kevin Robbins and I am your common-sense, no-nonsense choice.