By Terry Rogers
On Tuesday, November 4, Senator Gary Simpson and Representative Harold “Jack” Peterman were reelected, both by sound margins. Senator Simpson, Republican, defeated Pat Emory, Democrat, with 66 percent of the vote, while Representative Peterman, Republican, defeated Democrat John Kevin Robbins with 57 percent of the vote.
Senator Simpson says that there are many things facing legislators in the upcoming session that will affect Milford. One area of concern is the Woods Haven overpass that residents have called for for decades.
“Trying to cross Route 1 is a safety issue especially with the high school located near there,” Senator Simpson said. “It is a safety issue for our young drivers, school buses and visitors to our area who are traveling on Route 1. I am concerned about the priority system being used by the Delaware Department of Transportation that does not recognize the urgent need for an overpass at this intersection.”
Representative Peterman echoes Senator Simpson’s concerns, but also sees another project important to the citizens of Milford. Representative Peterman says that the Kent County Sports Complex, although located closer to Frederica, will also be of major economic benefit to the citizens of Milford as well. However, this project has been contingent upon an overpass being built in the area the complex is proposed.
“I am concerned that this project has been put on the back burner,” Representative Peterman said. “I am also very concerned about the intersection at Northeast Front Street used by the community of Woods Haven. We need these overpasses moved up on the priority list both for economic and safety reasons in the city.”
Senator Simpson pointed out that much of what happens at the state level has an effect on municipalities like Milford and that he feels restrictive policies could slow economic development. He wants to continue a dialog with the business community in his legislative district in order to create policies that will help his business grow rather than restrict them unnecessarily. Representative Peterman said that he also sees the legislators as a liaison between state government and the businesses that they represent.
“I intend to focus my efforts on continuing to balance our budget by living within our means rather than by raising taxes,” Senator Simpson said. “I think we can achieve this goal by cutting governmental spending in areas that are frivolous and unnecessary.”
Representative Peterman says that he also feels the state spends unwisely. His main concern is the prevailing wage which he called a “minimum wage for a host of skilled and unskilled workers.” He says that the use of prevailing wage causes the costs of state projects to rise by as much as 30 percent.
“I would like to see reforms in the area of the prevailing wage in order to save taxpayer money,” Representative Peterman said. “This could save tens of millions of dollars annually.”
Both Senator Simpson and Representative Peterman will be sworn into office in January 2015. This will be Senator Simpson’s fourth term and Representative Peterman’s third term.