Blogs

Dear Neighbor

I want to wish you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday! I hope you will join me in helping make the holiday bright for families in need this year. The Food Bank of Delaware has a year-round food drop off site at the Brandywine Hundred Library, and the Claymont Food Closet has drop-offs at area grocery stores. 

Below are some updates from the 6th Representative District. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office if you have questions or concerns about anything in your neighborhood. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Recently, certain groups, agencies and legislative colleagues have made statements in support of prevailing wage reform or repeal. Their belief is that with revenue down and spending tight, we should look at cutting costs through deregulation – in this case, Delaware’s prevailing wage regulations. There are a lot of misconceptions and misinformation about this law, which must be addressed.

The New Castle County Police and Attorney General’s Office have informed us of two scams currently being perpetrated against people in the area, so we are providing information about these scams, how to spot them and what to do if you receive such a message. 

This morning, representatives and senators with the General Assembly’s bipartisan Kids Caucus took an early look at several of the top legislative priorities we’re hoping to address when the Legislature gets back to work in January.

Concrete patching on Milltown Road should be completed in the coming weeks depending on weather.

I want to make you aware of several community meetings and events coming up in the next week or so.  Please make a note of them if you’d like to attend.

The Department of Transportation (DelDOT) is holding a public workshop to obtain comments from surrounding businesses and the general public for two projects along Old Baltimore Pike.

As we move into November, I wanted to share with you some information about various community events throughout the district. Recently, I joined our Congressional Delegation and Governor Jack Markell in officially opening the Mike Castle C&D Canal Trail, a nine-mile path for walkers, runners and cyclists to enjoy the outdoors. I have used this trail, which runs through our district, several times already and highly encourage everyone to get out and take a walk or a ride.

I have included upcoming community events that will be taking place over the next couple of weeks.

Summer is over, but there is plenty of activity in our community, with the Sea Witch Festival and Punkin Chunkin

It has been decades since Delaware has seen a major job-creating economic development project like the one The Data Centers proposes to build at the University of Delaware’s STAR campus.

The Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau has issued its filing for 2014 and its recommendation would saddle these businesses – and ultimately their employees – with yet another double-digit increase in workers’ compensation rates. We object to this rate increase recommendation and urge you to reject it.

Governor Jack Markell brings his town hall meeting series to New Castle County this week. Thursday, October 10, 6 p.m. Governor Markell will hold a town hall meeting at Delcastle High School (1417 Newport Rd, Wilmington, DE 19804).

The continuing fight over federal government shutdown might be taking place in our nation’s capital, but its effects can be felt here in our state’s capital.

Last fall, Delaware employers were shocked by Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau’s recommendation that workers’ compensation rates needed to be raised by more than 40 percent. This request was following a rate increase the previous year of 11 percent. Ultimately, a rate increase of 15 percent was approved for last year – not an insignificant amount. But today, here we are again.

Next Wednesday, October 2, I will be holding my monthly Community Coffee Talk at the Panera on Main Street from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Please stop by to discuss current issues in Newark and our state.

Reps. Kowalko and Baumbach holding September 24 forum at Newark High School auditorium

WHO: Reps. John Kowalko and Paul Baumbach
WHAT: Town Hall on proposed data center and power plant
WHEN: September 24, 7 to 9 p.m.
WHERE: Newark High School auditorium, 750 East Delaware Avenue

On a personal level, I have been appointed to serve on two national committees: the Council of State Governments’ Budget and Tax Chairs Committee and the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Budget and Revenue Committee. I am hoping to use this as a networking opportunity and can hopefully bring some good ideas and practices to Delaware since I’m co-chair of the Delaware Joint Bond Bill Committee.

The House Democratic Caucus is seeking to fill the Deputy Communications Director position. Resumes and cover letters should be sent to Sean.Finnigan@state.de.us by no later than 4:00 p.m. on Monday September 23rd. Interviews will be scheduled for the week of September 30th- October 4th in Dover at Legislative Hall.

I love how responsive people are to our state representatives. When a resident contacts me with a problem, I first identify what department is responsible for helping. Then, when I call on behalf of the resident, it is always so great to see how quickly we are able to have their concern addressed. It makes such a difference to people - knowing that they matter - and it’s an honor to know I can help get answers for them.

In 1971, Delaware put itself at the forefront of environmental preservation by passing the Coastal Zone Act, which has helped protect hundreds of thousands of acres along the Delaware River and Bay from industrial development by regulating heavy industrial activities and preventing the offshore bulk transfer of raw materials in the Coastal Zone.

In 1971, Delaware put itself at the forefront of environmental preservation by passing the Coastal Zone Act, which has helped protect hundreds of thousands of acres along the Delaware River and Bay from industrial development by regulating heavy industrial activities and preventing the offshore bulk transfer of raw materials in the Coastal Zone.

Red Clay School District attempted to break the world record for the tallest structure built with interlocking plastic bricks. How high did they go?

When Pinnacle Foods announced it would be closing its Vlasic pickle plant in Millsboro, we shared the concerns of its several hundred employees and local residents who worried about the impact on Sussex County's economy.

If building a tire incinerator a mile from New Castle City – and less than a half-mile from several schools and parks – sounds unbelievable, you’ll understand why I and many of my constituents are angry.

On a personal level, I have been appointed to serve on the Council of State Governments’ Eastern Regional Conference’s Transportation Committee for the upcoming year. I am hoping to use this as a networking opportunity and can hopefully bring some good ideas and practices to Delaware since I’m also the vice chair of the ‎Delaware House Transportation/Land Use & Infrastructure Committee.

I will restart my community coffee events Tuesday, September 3 at 7 a.m. at the Friendly’s on South College Avenue. I am looking forward to discussing current events and issues with you.

Please be advised that DelDOT has reopened Route 40 several days earlier than expected. Limited lane closures will be ongoing in order to finish paving. Please expect these lane closures to begin in the evening, around 7:30 p.m. and continuing until 5 a.m. until work is finished.

Recently, I spoke at the Brandywine Hundred Rotary meeting and fielded questions from business and community leaders. One of the first questions was about the $8 million bailout the state gave our three casinos. People are still confused and frustrated by this move.

Norfolk Southern Railroad to Close Crossing at
US 40/Pulaski Highway for Repairs
7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 9 until 5 a.m. on Monday, August 26 

(24 hours/7 days a week) weather permitting 

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