Frank Calio's Blog (www.frankcalio.com)

Current events, political, local, nationally

STATE AUDITOR SLAMS LAUREL, SEAFORD, WOODBRIDGE FOR MISUSE OF SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENDUM MONIES

http://auditor.delaware.gov/Reports/FY2015/School%20District%20Referendum%20Complaints%20Report%20-%20Final.pdf

DE TECH COLLEGE GETS NEW PRESIDENT

In a surprise move the current president of Wor-Wic Community College in Salisbury was named the 5th president of Delaware Technical Community College, succeeding Dr. Orlando George who is retiring.

Murray “RAY” Hoy, Ed.D. the second president of Wor-Wic was chosen by the Board of Trustees at a special board meeting yesterday, resulting from a search begun in March; Dr. Hoy was chosen from 20 candidates. Dr. Hoy has been president at Wor-Wic since 2000.

I say surprising because when George announced his retirement, vice-president of the campus, Mark Bainer was a sure successor to become president, even being paraded around by Dr. George. It was considered a done deal.

What happened will be interesting to find out. Dr. Hoy has an excellent background in education; Bainard is an attorney, has worked for Governor Minner, and has served as VP for DelTech for just a few years.

WEATHER ADVISORY FOR WED-FRI

• A series of cold frontal boundaries will move into the region Wednesday-Friday. Tropical moisture moving north is expected to intersect with these boundaries, producing showers and thunderstorms, mainly Thursday afternoon into Friday.

• Showers and thunderstorms could be slow moving with heavy rainfall. Some flash flooding is possible where thunderstorms stall or train over the same regions.

• An area of low pressure now forming off the southeast US coastline is likely to become a tropical system within the next 48 hours according to the National Hurricane Center. The interaction of this system with the aforementioned fronts could lead to an enhanced heavy rain threat.

• There is still some uncertainty with the track of this low pressure system. However, a majority of the data suggests an eventual northerly track to the Carolina coastline before curving northeast off the Mid-Atlantic coastline.

• Depending on the eventual track of this low, winds and tides may be of concern, especially Thursday and Friday.

• Rip currents will also be a major threat throughout most of the July 4th holiday weekend.

• This is NOT Super Storm Sandy. No landfall is expected in New Jersey or Delaware. However…heavy rain, winds, tidal and fresh water flooding, rip currents, and heavy surf are possible as we head into a major holiday weekend. Stay tuned for the latest information at http://www.weather.gov/phi.

STATE BUDGET OFFICE PLAYING GAMES WITH TAX PAYERS DOLLARS

With revenue falling and state spending higher, Delaware’s Joint Finance Committee has come up short funding Governor Jack Markell’s $3.8 BILLION DOLLAR budget.

But fear not my fellow taxpayers, government always finds a way to find money. Not by cutting expenses but by shifting money around to pay and screwing state employees for important budget expenses.

The budget minds used tobacco settlement reserve funds to fund a children’s insurance program and a bond premium and an $8.6 million debt payment.

They saved $5 million by delaying a raise for state workers until Jan. 1. They passed a $500 across-the-board raise. Markell had recommended a 1 percent raise beginning July 1.

Markell wanted to raise the gasoline tax by 10 cents per gallon because the highway trust fund was busted. Must not be too busted at they took $40 million earmarked for road and bridge improvements to balance the budget.

When our checkbooks say we don’t have any money left in the account, we stop spending, or most of us do. Not having enough money doesn’t deter government from spending; you just raise taxes.

Although businesses are struggling corporate franchise taxes were raised $100, raising $18 million to balance the budget.

STATES ROBS PETER TO PAY PAUL FOR SLOTS BAIL OUT

The State of Delaware is playing the shell game borrowing money they don’t have, and promising to pay it back not knowing if they will have the money to pay back the debt.

Almost $10 million in aid next year for the state’s three casinos has passed the state senate including another bill that gives similar relief in the future.

The nearly $10 million made a magical appearance during tough budget times to hand over to the casinos.

Money, $3 million came from the state’s strategic fund, money used to lure or keep industries in Delaware; $3.2 million from the new jobs infrastructure fund which was reserved for the Kent Count Regional Sports Complex and an additional $1 million in unallocated money from the infrastructure fund, which is usually used to new businesses or those businesses wishing to expand.

The sponsor of the bills, Sen. Brian Bushweller, D-Dover said the stated language in the bill says that money will be restored in 2016. Not the language; will vs must. If legislative language says ‘will’ it does not commit legislation to abide by that language; ‘Must’ means the bill has to be enforced.

Thus the state is hoping for a windfall in 2016 to repay the loans. The bill passed 14-4 in the Senate and now goes to the House.

Another red flag is the casino’s threat is they didn’t receive $20 million they would probably have lay offs. Since they only received $10 million President and CEO of Dover Downs Gaming and Entertainment and Dover Motor-sports Inc. now says any decision about staffing will come after discussions with banks that must renegotiate loans width the casino and hotel.

So taxpayers…screwed again.

HUNG JURY IN BODENWEISER SEX TRIAL

breaking news from WBOC.com

Mistrial Declared in Bodenweiser Sex Trial
GEORGETOWN, Del.- The sex abuse trial of former Delaware state senate candidate Eric Bodenweiser ended with a hung jury on Monday afternoon.

Eric Bodenweiser had been on trial in Delaware Superior Court in Georgetown on charges of molesting a young boy in the late 1980s. On Monday, a Sussex County judge declared a mistrial in the case.

More details forthcoming.

DOING THE BEST HE CAN

Unfortunately in this country the minority political party does not have much chance of passing legislation. If they do introduce legislation, their is a good chance it will die, or a majority member may reintroduce the same bill as a substitute bill, or, the minority author could get some majority sponsors and have a better chance of passage.

In Delaware the Republicans are the minority party from the governor’s office to the basement of Legislative Hall. The two times I worked in Dover I had a split general assembly, Senate controlled by Democrats, and the House controlled by the Republicans. Trade offs happened so both parties passed legislation.

Wednesday I was in Legislative Hall to testify on legislation written by the governor, but a piece of garbage to me. I spent time waiting to appear in the office of Rep. Tim Dukes, (R) Laurel.

Now Rep. Dukes could sit on his duff or walk around chatting to people like I saw many of them do, but he did what I like best about an elected official; constituent service. He was returning calls himself, not a staff member and bringing them up to date on their issues; then he checked on pending legislation he had in the oven.

I have had several one on one serious conversations with Rep. Dukes; he has it on the ball. I have been very impressed with his attention to details and his willingness to take issues head on.

I am not impressed by legislators who introduce tons of legislation; I like mine to take care of the home front. Ask Congressman Ed Cantor.

Keep up the good work Tim!

BITTERSWEET UPSET

The Virginia Primary Tuesday was unique in which David slayed Goliath. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost to Tea Party candidate David Brat, a major upset to say the least.

What made the win so sweet is Cantor spent $5 million dollars to Brat spending less than $200,000. This doesn’t mean you can expect such miracles to happen in the general elections.

In primaries voter turn out can be as little least 10% where a general election will bring from 45% to 75% depending upon the issues. Five million can buy a candidate an election in most states. Those who have the best get out the vote organization can easily win most elections.

And like the story of the turtle and the hare, Cantor was told by his pollsters he was going to win by 35 point over the little known Brat, so Cantor saw no need to spend time with those in his district and he paid a heft price; a seat as future Speaker of the House.

Cantors loss should be a wake up call for incumbents who forget to make a presence in their district. Cantor was on the road raising funds for congressional races and spent very little time at home, duly noted by many voters who expressed that after the election.

STARVE THE POOR, FEED THE RICH

No one including me wants more taxes, but we all want fairness in taxes, that is those of us who are not extremely wealthy and greedy.

Currently their is House Bill in Dover which has passed overwhelming and now in the State Senate which prohibits municipalities from instituting new taxes. Which on surface seems like a good idea but saddles smaller towns Like most in Sussex County who may want to as an example put a tax on motel occupants. Doesn’t hurt the locals, the tax is paid by the tourist who travel.

In one beach resort a new high rise motel has been built and the town wants to put a hotel tax on to the room charge. Now this is not a novel idea. I have been a guest of many motels where I paid a local, state, and county tax on to my bill.

Admendments have been added to exempt of course the City of Wilmington where votes are needed to ensure passage of any legislation and a few other towns that have certain language in their charter. Basically the bill is aimed at one town.

It’s not that the owners can’t afford the tax, heck it doesn’t come out of their pocket, it’s that they don’t want to let go of their money and they have had many disputes with the community this bill is targeted.

Interesting to me is the sponsor up for re-election, rumored aspirations to run for Lt. Governor…and it takes money to run.

Special interest legislation seems to run rampant these days in all branches of government, and it’s a shame.

LAUREL ALUMNI NEEDS YOUR HELP

A crowd of 300 alumni and guest attended the annual Laurel Alumni Banquet at the Laurel Fire Hall Saturday night where $27,500 in scholarships were 15 scholarships at $1500 each were awarded to 12 students from Laurel and surrounding schools. To date the organization has presented over $450,000 in scholarships.

Alumni President Dr. Bill Campbell expressed concern the membership had dropped, now around 900 from a high of around 1300 asking the audience for help.

The problem here is he is preaching to the choir, the problem is the kids receiving scholarship and their generations are not joining the organization or any organization for that matter. This organization is not the only group suffering losses, all organizations have the same complaint.

Driving home my wife and I discussed the decline. She offered during our era, many moms stayed home, and getting out to the PTA meeting, or groups like the Laurel Alumni offered a night out; today moms work, and their work continues when the come home, thus no time for social organizations; a shame, but a sign of the times I guess.

State Senator Bob Venables was given a resounding round of applause twice, once at the urging of former State Representative/Insurance Commissioner David Elliott and Dr. Campbell for finding funding to preserve the entire façade of the former Laurel High School, the 1921 building that was slated for demolishing.

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