On Tuesday, September 9 Delaware voters will go to the polls to determine the winners of the 2014 Delaware Primary races. In the Milford area, Rep. Jack Peterman and Charles Postles are running to represent the Republican Party as the candidate for House of Representatives in the 33rd District. Only registered Republicans can vote in the Republican Primary. The winner of this election will challenge Democratic candidate Kevin Robbins in the November elections. Polls are open from 7 am until 8pm on Tuesday, September 9. Voters can find their polling place location online at https://ivote.de.gov.
Harold “Jack” Peterman, Candidate for 33rd House of Representatives District, Republican Party
Occupation: Retired farmer, full-time legislator
Family: Widowed (formerly married to late wife, Sandy, for 46 years), children Barry Peterman and Scott Peterman
Education: Graduated Milford High School
Experience: State House of Representative for 33rd District since 2010, Former Kent County Levy Court Commissioner and President
1. Why are you running for the Delaware House of Representatives?
I was born here, went to school here, married here, and raised a family here. I care deeply about what happens here and I have always had a desire to give something back to the community that has given me so much. It’s why I served as a commissioner and president of Kent County Levy Court and why I have served the last four years as a State Representative. I would like to continue to have the opportunity to help the people I have been fortunate enough to call my friends and neighbors.
2. What personal or professional background will be critical to performing the duties of State House of Representatives?
As mentioned above, I have many years of experience serving the people of this district on the county and state level. Just as importantly, I know this community. Those two factors give me a detailed knowledge of public policy issues as well as the positions I need to take on these topics to accurately reflect the desires of the people of this district.
3. Name a specific example of something the Delaware State House of Representatives has done to improve the quality of life for citizens in Delaware.
The governor was pushing to raise the fuel tax and create a new water tax. Along with my colleagues in the General Assembly, I successfully prevented these proposals from coming to fruition. Our first response to problem solving should not be higher taxes and fees.
4. Name a specific example of something you would like to change in your first term if you are elected to the Delaware House of Representatives.
As the incumbent, this would not be my first term in office. However, I am troubled by Delaware’s sagging economy. We have yet to fully recover from the Recession that officially ended five years ago. Part of the problem is state agencies that are often more concerned with carrying out their missions than the impact their actions have on citizens and businesses. I propose backing legislation to require state agencies to justify the need for new regulations; to analyze the cost those regulations would impose on those being regulated; and to first seek the least intrusive, least expensive way of accomplishing their goals without promulgating new rules.
5. What issues do you feel are important to the residents of Milford, Delaware specifically?
While closer to Frederica, the Kent County Sports Complex is a project that will have a positive impact on Milford’s economy. This project relies on the construction of an interchange on Delaware 1 to service the complex. I am also concerned about the building of a proposed interchange at NE Front Street to serve the community of Woods Haven and surrounding residents. The construction of these projects is extremely important to Milford, both for reasons of safety and economic development. Both need to move ahead as quickly as possible.
6. How will you offer help to the City of Milford’s focus on economic development?
In Delaware, land use decisions are made at the local government level. I would argue that land use and economic development are often interlinked, with decisions made in one area impacting the other. The battle over the Data Center in Newark is a good illustration of this. The governor backed the project for its economic development potential, but it was ultimately derailed at the local level by local concerns. As a state representative, I believe my job is to help facilitate the economic development plans shaped by city and county officials in consultation with local residents.
7. Does the state spend too much money? And if so, where would you specifically cut spending?
I believe the growth of state spending needs to be curtailed. The state mandates that “prevailing wage” be paid on all projects using state money. Prevailing wage is basically a minimum wage for a host of skilled and unskilled occupations, which varies by county and type of project. The flawed system the state uses to set these rates raises the cost of public works projects by at least 30% when compared to the same projects performed in the private sector, which (fortunately) is not required to use this antiquated system. Reforming the system for setting Delaware prevailing wage rates would save tens-of-millions of dollars annually, not only for state taxpayers, but also for many city and school projects.
8. If elected, how will you affect the quality of public education in your district?
The quality of public education starts at the local level. This is why we have multiple local school districts and not a single statewide district. It’s so school teachers and administrators can be held accountable for their results by the people most affected by their actions – local residents. It is not the job of a state representative to tell local schools what to do. It is the job of a state representative to help local school officials realize their vision to provide the best education possible.
9. Why should voters choose you on Tuesday, September 9th?
I have a track record of proven service to this community, both at the state and county level. My voting record was recently rated by one advocacy organization as being among the most consistently conservative in the General Assembly. In short, I think I have effectively represented our district’s traditional values in voting on a wide range of controversial public policy issues. I hope the people I’ve been privileged to represent continue to place their faith in me and allow me the honor of acting as their voice in the House of Representatives.
More information on Jack Peterman can be found online at http://www.jackpeterman.com.