March 16th, 2017
by Mike Finney
“Both candidates had different takes on what the most pressing problem facing Kent County is.
“Infrastructure, it’s that simple,” said Mr. Hosfelt, who is currently a Dover City councilman in the 1st District. “We can have all the residential business growth we want, but if we don’t have the infrastructure in place to support it, what good are we doing?
“We need to support initiatives like the pipeline assessment program. These are things that if we are doing it right it could’ve prevented what we had in front of Postlethwait Middle School which caused at least 300,000 gallons of wastewater to dump into the St. Jones River.”
It was Mr. Hosfelt and Ms. Kreiner who had the most to gain – or lose – at Thursday’s debate. Both candidates had differing views of what the most important issues are for Kent County’s residents.
“No matter where I go the one thing I hear from Kent County residents is they are concerned about public safety,” Mr. Hosfelt said.”
March 17th, 2017
By Jeff Brown
“Referring to his many years in law enforcement, including a term as Dover’s chief of police, Hosfelt said his main concern is public safety, which include supporting the county’s 911 center, and its paramedics and volunteer firefighters. He supported simplifying regulations dealing with agriculture, updating county infrastructure and increasing jobs.
“We need new and proactive ways of economic development, not just sitting back and waiting for it to come to us,” he said.
Supporting the county paramedic program is vital, Hosfelt noted, adding he considers state efforts to shift responsibility to the county as unwarranted.
The General Assembly required each county to have a paramedic system and in the beginning ensured it was fully funded. Over the years however, financial responsibility has slowly shifted toward the counties.
“We have to continue to support the paramedic program,” he said. “It’s an unfunded mandate if they force it back on us.”
Kreiner concurred, saying state mismanagement of its finances has caused the problem.
Hosfelt does not support the Victory Church’s efforts to build houses for the homeless on its county property.
“I’m not in favor of the tiny home village,” he said. “I don’t think it’s the right place, I don’t think it should be allowed.”
Hosfelt said Waddington’s office isn’t being given the money it needs.
“They have a budget basically to cover the salaries of those working in that position,” he said. “There’s no money there for economic development to be proactive.”
In his closing statement, Hosfelt said he supported efforts to improve county infrastructure; doing so might have prevented a recent accident that dumped untreated wastewater into the St. Jones River.
I strongly endorse and support Jim Hosfelt for the 2nd District of Levy Court. Jim is well known and well liked for many reasons. He will contribute greatly to the standing Levy Court. Well reasoned and sensible people are in demand everywhere. Jim fits that description. He is objective and practical as well as approachable and sincere. Please vote for Hosfelt on March 21.
Glen M. Howell
Commissioner, 6th Levy Court District
I write this letter as a show of support for Jim Hosfelt who is
running for the seat vacated by former commissioner Brad Eaby. I’ve
known Jim personally for many years and believe he will make an
outstanding addition to Levy Court. Jim Hosfelt has distinguished
himself through a lifetime of public service, joining the United
States Air Force early in life and then transitioning to a police
officer in the City of Dover. After rising to the rank of Police
Chief, Jim Hosfelt retired and joined the Dover International Speedway
administrative team. In keeping with his belief that serving others is
in his blood, he was elected to and currently serves on the Dover City
Levy Court, more commonly known as County Council, plays a key role in
many aspects of everyday life. Commissioners are tasked with setting
tax rates and fees as well as managing a multi-million dollar budget
that includes public safety, public works, planning, code enforcement,
parks/rec and many other functions. On March 21st, voters in the 2nd
District of the county will go to the polls and decide who their next
commissioner will be. The 2nd District includes parts of South Dover
extending west of Wyoming, Hartly, and North Dover.
I have had the privilege of serving on Levy Court for the past 10
years. During that time commissioners have dealt with issues ranging
from the simple to very complex. The key to Levy Courts success has
been the ability to have commissioners push partisan politics aside
and focus on doing what is right. It is without hesitation that I
offer my endorsement of Jim Hosfelt for Levy Court Commissioner for
the 2nd District. I am confident that Jim Hosfelt will be a positive
addition to Levy Courts continued effort to put the county residents
Commissioner – 4th Levy Court District
Posted Mar 13, 2017 at 2:34 PM
Kent County Levy Court District 2 residents will go to the polls Tuesday, March 21 to elect a replacement for former district Commissioner Bradley S. Eaby.
Voters will choose between Republican James E. Hosfelt Jr. and Democrat Andrea Kreiner to complete Eaby’s term, which expires in January 2019.
Eaby resigned his seat Dec. 27 to take a position in Gov. John Carney’s administration.
The Dover Post asked both candidates to complete a short questionnaire to give voters additional information about each.
James E. Hosfelt Jr.
Why did you decide to run for Levy Court?
It’s about service, service to our community. This is what I know, it is what I like to do and this is how I was raised. It started with the US Air Force, continued with the Dover Police Department and presently with my service on Dover city council. This is what my family knows best. My wife is a school teacher, our daughter is a nurse and our son serves our country with the Air Force. I see Levy Court as a great opportunity to continue serving, just to a larger constituent base.
What do you consider Kent County’s biggest concern right now?
Aside from the budget crisis that the state of Delaware is looking to make the responsibility of the three counties, the aging infrastructure is a real concern and one that could prove to be costly. Kent County has approximately 400 miles of wastewater transmission lines that are supported by 95 pump stations and some of this infrastructure is nearly 50 years old with no asset management plan in place. The Public Works Department is developing a “Pipeline Condition Assessment” program and as commissioners we need to support initiatives like this so we can prevent major failures. The recent break to a main transmission line that resulted in several hundred thousand gallons of wastewater spilling into the St. Jones River is a perfect example of the problems that can occur with aging infrastructure if not maintained properly.
The proposed state budget recommends counties fully fund their paramedic services and changes how the state shares real estate tax proceeds, which could cost Kent County 2.2 million. How should the county address this possibility?
If the state continues down this path, the cost to the county could be closer to $3.1 million. If the county is forced to assume the state’s 30 percent share of the paramedic program, this equates to $1.5 million and becomes an unfunded mandate by the state of Delaware. Additionally, recent conversations indicate state government is more likely to keep the real estate transfer tax at 3 percent. However, instead of splitting that money equally with the county they may take 2 percent, leaving us, the county taxpayer, with an additional 1.6 million dollar deficit.
As a result, Kent County Levy Court will need to explore cost cutting measures, but quite honestly this cannot be done at the expense of public safety. We also need to look closely at reserve funds and explore what portion of these reserves can be used to offset some or all of this cost. And lastly, streamline processes at the county level to encourage more economic development. I am hearing from businesses and farmers that they become frustrated with the lack of a streamlined process which encourages them to give up on plans.
Why should Second District residents vote for you?
I have always been available to meet with constituents to discuss their concerns and find the solution that best serves all parties. The Second District is a growing and developing district, with commercial businesses, family neighborhoods and an important farm industry. Continued growth is a good thing and something we should encourage by reducing unnecessary regulations. As your Second District Levy Court commissioner, I will remain committed to providing a safe, attractive and an affordable environment for everyone to succeed.
“Hello. My name is Jim Hosfelt and I am running for Kent County Levy Court in the 2nd district.
Over the last 2 years as a Dover City Councilman, and the last 8 weeks while I campaigning for Levy Court, the residents of the 2nd district have been sharing neighborhood concerns.
As a homeowner, I agree that public safety and land use issues are areas of concern that we share as County residents.
I am a common sense decision maker. I listen to my constituents and I’m here to help.
Come out on March 21st and vote for Jim Hosfelt.”
“Hello, my name is Sherry Hosfelt. My husband, Jim, is running for Kent County Levy Court in the 2nd district.
I wanted to let you know, we have been out talking to local farmers and small business people in our county, and Jim hears you!
Jim is a manager. He has worked to improve systems throughout his career, as the Chief of Police in Dover, as a Dover City Councilman, and as the current Director of Public Safety at Dover International Speedway.
He hears you and he’s here to help. Come out on March 21st and vote for my husband, Jim Hosfelt.”
March 11th, 2017
by Ian Gronau
Mr. Hosfelt’s background includes service in the U.S. Air Force as a security policeman between 1980 and 1987. He also served with the Air Force Reserve prior to being hired by the City of Dover in 1988 as a police officer. He was promoted to chief of police in 2010. He retired in 2014 after 26 years of service.
He is a graduate of Delaware Technical Community College and the FBI National Academy. He is currently Dover city councilman.
Q: Why are you running for this office?
“It’s about service, service to our community. This is what I know — it is what I like to do and this is how I was raised. It started with the U.S. Air Force, continued with the Dover Police Department and continues with my service on City Council. This is what our family knows best. My wife is a school teacher, our daughter is a nurse and our son serves our country with the U.S. Air Force. I see this as a great opportunity to continue serving, just to a larger constituent base.”
Q: In your campaign thus far, what seems to be the most pressing concerns to the constituents of the 2nd District?
“The majority of the voters are concerned with the State of Delaware’s budget deficit and what impact it will have on their county taxes. Most are frustrated that we find ourselves in this position with an estimated $350 million shortfall. Rather than the state taking responsibility for its deficit, most of us anticipate they will push some of the responsibility onto the counties. Presently, Kent County residents should be anticipating anywhere from a $2.2 million to a $3.1 million shortfall at the county level because of the position the state is in and what they may force upon us. The state is preparing to remove the 30/70 split it has with the counties to support the paramedic program and this equates to about $1.5 million. The state creates the law (T-16, Chapter 98, Paramedic Services) which includes the 30/70 split along with the mandatory requirements to be met, but yet is prepared to push their responsibility onto the county governments.
“The county’s share of the real estate transfer tax is also still in question. With the state possibly reducing the county’s share from 1.5 to 1 percent, this would create an additional cost of about $1.6 million to taxpayers living in Kent County. After speaking with various directors in county government and attending the current budget hearings, it appears to me that our tax dollars are used appropriately. The county has managed its revenues and expenses and is able to balance its budget without tax increases.
“Also, there is a concern about public safety no matter where we live in the second district. The state and the county are overrun with illegal drugs, especially heroin. As a community, we then fall victim to the other crimes such as theft, burglary and robbery committed by those addicted to drugs and willing to do whatever it takes to get them.
“And lastly, our farmers have spoken to me about the impact of regulations and fees that take a toll on our farming and poultry industries. While agriculture is one of the top industries in Kent County, many in the business find it difficult to work their way through an exhaustive permitting process. One local farm family spoke at length about the cost and difficulty in working with the state and county while trying to work their way through all of the regulations.”
Q: What important skills from your background will you bring to the Levy Court?
“I pride myself on my work ethic, the ability to work with others and my management experience. No matter what positions I have held with the military, the Dover Police Department and now with Dover International Speedway there has been a simple philosophy when it comes to work: show up, work hard while you are there and treat others as you would like to be treated.
“I choose to treat others with respect even when we disagree and I believe this will serve me well as a Levy Court Commissioner. I understand the concept of doing more with less and did so as Chief of Police during the recent recession. In that capacity, I managed a multi-million dollar budget under constant scrutiny and reduced crime across the board throughout all areas of the city. In my current role as a city councilman, I am well versed in the complexities of a $138 million dollar municipal budget and the need to work within the confines of the budget.
“A commissioner has to be responsible to the residents they represent; they need to be available and willing to help when necessary. A commissioner also has to develop professional relationships with staff and other members of the court to help find common ground and solutions that will ultimately present themselves during the coming years. I have this experience.”
Q: What are the personal or professional accomplishments of which you are most proud?
“Personally, I am most proud of my family. Simply put, my wife Sherry is my best friend and we have been married for 34 years. We have raised two incredible children who I know will go on to do great things in life.
“Professionally, I am proud to be called a veteran most of all. I believe service to our country is one of the most honorable things a person can do.
“As a police officer, I was recognized as the NRA’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year and was able to attend and graduate from the FBI’s National Academy.
“In 2015, I ran for City Council and once elected, I was appointed Chairman of the Safety Advisory and Transportation Committee, a position I still hold today. Presently, I work for Dover International Speedway as their Director of Public Safety and Track Operations, and this year I was honored to receive NASCAR’s Security Director’s Award.”
Q: What issues facing Kent County need the attention of the Levy Court and how do you intend to deal with them?
“First, continuing to balance the county budget without impacting county taxpayers will be my priority. As a county commissioner I will make tough but decisive decisions and move forward serving the best interest of the county residents.
“Next, the aging infrastructure; Kent County has approximately 400 miles of wastewater transmission lines and 95 pump stations and some of this infrastructure is nearly 50 years old with no asset management plan in place. The Public Works Department is developing a ‘pipeline condition assessment’ program and as commissioners, we need to encourage and support initiatives like this so we can prevent major failures in the future. The recent break to a main transmission line which resulted in several hundred thousand gallons of wastewater spilling into the St. Jones River is a perfect example of the problems that can occur with aging infrastructure if not maintained properly.
“As important as the issues above, job creation is a must as Kent County continues to fall behind New Castle and Sussex in job growth. Initially, we need to retain the jobs we have, work to expand the businesses creating the jobs and develop new strategies aimed at job creation. County government has to ensure the Economic Development Office has the tools necessary to develop a proactive approach to job creation.”
“Some Kent County voter head to the polls next month to fill a vacant Levy Court seat. Two candidates are vying to replace Democrat Brad Eaby in the Second District. Eaby is stepping down to take a job with the state. And that special election to fill his seat is set for March 21. Delaware Public Media’s James Morrison recently sat down with both candidates to discuss the race and the issues they’re focused on.”