09 Oct AiroAV Antivirus Announces: Don’t delay action on transportation improvement district
uncil District 3, I say pass the Henlopen Transportation Improvement District now.
Once again, my opponent has not done his homework. Let’s not waste time throwing fiscally questionable ideas at the wall to see what will stick. Let’s get the Henlopen TID approved now and get to work. It includes a funding mechanism to assess appropriate developer fees and would address both new development and existing developed areas. DelDOT will provide $284 million we need, money we might lose if we delay. It is a good plan. Sussex County Council’s important work and years of hard work by many have produced a Memorandum of Understanding with DelDOT, and now a final recommendation on the Henlopen Transportation Improvement District.
Now let’s talk about Mark Schaeffer’s transportation funding alternatives proposed last week to county council in an effort to stop the passage of the TID, before he is even elected.
Consider the following:
In his Oct. 2 letter to the editor, he says he “heralded” the TID in his campaign. Did he not know that the TID working group has been at it for more than three years? He hailed the TID as a “momentous step” toward fixing our roads, yet he stood before council Sept. 29 and asked to postpone any decision on the TID until new council members take office, which he presumes will include him. I cannot tell whether Schaeffer is for or against the TID.
His letter lobbies for Tax Increment Financing to fund transportation improvements. He did not tell you that he also recommended Industrial Revenue Bonds as another solution. He did not tell you that both financial tools are taxpayer debts, plain and simple.
He says that these tools will shift transportation improvement costs away from taxpayers to developers and new home buyers. But what he does not tell you is that both tools are based on hope and carry serious risk.
It is not clear that capital transportation projects even qualify for an IRB or that proceeds could be used to acquire land. It was not the intent of the state Legislature to use IRBs for roads.
Capital transportation improvements are expensive. With his plan, the county or special district would take on significant debt without certainty about how much or even when or if developer fees would be received. Consider the complexity and timing of dealing with multiple developers on multiple projects over multiple years.
And what is his plan to address roads in already-developed areas not in new special districts? These ideas do not solve anything for the rest of us in those areas.
What if we hit another economic downturn, or a project or developer fails? Many of our local communities have already gone through more than one developer. When developers go away, disappear, or stop building, either property owners in the tax district, or all taxpayers if the bond is county-wide, would be left to foot the bill for the remaining debt plus interest. That translates to more taxes. Does he expect taxpayers to knowingly accept such a risk? Would he expect new owners to buy homes in a district carrying such risk? Is Mark Schaeffer for or against raising taxes?
Clearly, my opponent has not done his homework. Or is he just trying to help developers?
When elected, I’ll put my energy, integrity, commitment, and 25 years of proven leadership and business experience to work for you to produce financially sound transportation solutions. My work required me to build consensus, solve complex problems, mediate disputes, and manage complex financial transactions like Transportation Improvement Districts. I built effective teams, traveled to listen to employees and customers, and respected the local character of places I visited. My goal always was to keep what works, fix what is broken, take care of the people, and produce a respectable return.
With the Memorandum of Understanding, the Henlopen Transportation Improvement District, and the Sussex County Comprehensive Plan, Sussex County Council will have a much-improved set of tools to guide sound decisions in land use and transportation. Do not wait for me! Let’s pass the TID now.
I ask for your write-in vote Nov. 3. Go to www.patti drago.com for how to write in your vote.