The race to be Wilmington’s next mayor is an important one for all of us who live, work, and play in the City of Wilmington. TSD recently reached out to the mayoral candidates for their responses to several questions about their priorities and platforms if elected. TSD will publish their responses in the order received, beginning today with Scott Spencer.
Town Square Delaware: As Mayor, what will be your top three priorities?
Scott Spencer: First, more jobs. Second, less crime, and third, better neighborhoods.
TSD: Crime is clearly a major, pressing issue for all city residents, workers and visitors. What, specifically, are you proposing to do differently than the current administration to make a meaningful difference in reducing crime in Wilmington?
SS: As Mayor, I will implement:
Near-term solutions in the form of a Cut Crime Now Initiative, to include:
1. Interagency Homicide Task Force
2. Anonymous Text-a-Tip line
3. $25,000 reward for tips resulting in murder arrest and conviction
4. Off-the-shelf technology to detect suspects and wanted criminals
5. Take home patrol cars for police officers who live in city neighborhoods
6. Police horses to restore mounted patrols
7. Establish Youth Aid Division and Police Explorers Post for youth
8. Law requiring pharmacies to dispose of unused and expired prescription drugs
Long-term solutions – producing jobs and better graduation rates to reduce crime, including:
1. Returning JOBS to America Initiative
2. Youth Employment Set-aside (YES) Jobs Program
TSD: What are your plans for economic growth and creating jobs in the city??
SS: As Mayor, I will implement the following economic development initiatives:
1. Emphasize small business development with incentives on neighborhood corridors (Concord Avenue, Maryland Avenue, Vandever Avenue, Market Street, Union Street, Maryland Avenue) to revitalize and strengthen neighborhoods with jobs, restaurants and shopping.
2. Strategic coordination with New Castle County and the state of Delaware on economic development.
3. Transit Oriented Development — trade the proposed $40 million Riverfront bridge for a light rail trolley line linking Riverfront attractions/businesses/residences with the Amtrak station and Market Street to Rodney Square to generate over $160 million in economic development.
TSD: Do you believe the size of city government is too big? If so, what will you do to reduce the amount of government employees and make city operations more efficient?
SS: With the exception of police and fire, the current staff levels may be trimmed though attrition. Long term, as Wilmington grows with more businesses and increases population at least 6 percent to 74,000 by 2019, I will evaluate expanding public safety with a larger police force and fire department which are key to showcase the success and safety of Wilmington to attract new businesses and residents. The need to expand other city services will be evaluated on an as-needed basis to achieve my goals of more jobs, less crime and better neighborhoods.
TSD: What is one thing city voters should know about you?
SS: I have innovative ideas to improve Wilmington with More Jobs, Less Crime and Better Neighborhoods.
More information about Scott Spencer is available at www.SpencerforthePeople.com and on Facebook at “Spencer for the People.”