To My Esteemed Fellow Residents of the Town Of Cheriton
As disappointed as I was seeing the intentionally misleading campaign signage distributed by four candidates acting as a group, I was simply appalled at the blatantly dishonest advertisement they chose to run in the Eastern Shore Post on April 27th, 2018. Doubling down on their fear-mongering, divisive tactic of “The taxes are coming! The taxes are coming!” to retain their positions on this representative body is distasteful at best and deceitful at worst.
What they aren’t telling you:
* Cheriton’s existing town ordinances allow for a personal property tax and real estate tax which have not to date been levied. No candidate for council has forwarded any plan that would result in the activation of that existing code. It is misleading to an offensive degree that these four candidates continue to campaign on the implication that their opposition intends to levy real estate and personal property taxes.
* The proposed budget for fiscal year 18-19 shows a profit, not a deficit, even with the loss of income AND expenses related to citation revenue from the Northampton County Sheriff’s Department.
* The newly formed Cheriton Police Department and its related start-up expenses were approved unanimously by the seated council, in multiple sessions. A local police department of our own opens doors to our town in many ways, including the ability to expand our borders.
These types of political posturing tactics may be routine in places like Richmond, but they do not well reflect the values and ethics of our dear Cheriton.
It is impractical and unsustainable to place the burden for the majority of the town budget on the shoulders of a single employee. “Policing for Profit,” an avenue being directly ordered by several members of the current council including the candidates who ran the Post advertisement, is an ugly practice; it undermines public trust in law enforcement, it damages open communications between citizens and their police, it discourages tourism and removes necessary safety resources from the streets of our town in the name of convenience. The current council is either unwilling or unable to envision any different plans of action for revenue generation and are reluctant to go out and get personally involved in developing any. We must be honest with ourselves; if our town is not providing specific services and amenities, funded by multiple revenue streams, why are we a town separate from the county government at all? To that end, we must plan and budget accordingly. This means getting creative with solutions for a fast-changing world while keeping our small town charm intact. It CAN be done!
I and several of my fellow new candidates have some exciting ideas for revenue generation that we believe will work for everyone’s best interests. I’ll be happy to discuss them at length and listen to your concerns about the current issues and future direction of our town at the Meet The Candidates event ( Candidates Forum ) on Sunday, April 28th, 2018 at the American Legion Hall from noon to 3 pm.
Your council was never intended to be a group of persons working towards their own goals and purposes. Your council’s objective is to be a body of individuals, elected by YOU, who represent YOU! Somewhere along the line, I believe some members may have lost sight of this perspective. Your voice and your interests must come first, with an eye always towards the service of the greatest good and best benefits to all citizens.
I’ve traveled extensively and lived in many locations but never chose one to settle until purchasing our home in Cheriton. The diversity in our community, the sense of belonging, the friendly faces I see every day; this is where my family chose to put down roots and we’re in it for the long haul. I’m a wife, mother, and volunteer for several community organizations including our local fire department. Seeing the potential for a more vibrant commercial zone I relocated my small business here too. I’ve invested in Cheriton, heart, and soul. And seeing for myself how much of the town government was conducted behind closed doors in secret executive sessions and unannounced meetings without opportunity for public participation, I chose to become more involved.
I am confident that my experience with the Main Street program, part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, for revitalizing historic districts will be of great value during my service to you on the council. The principles of design, organization, promotions and economic development are custom tailored for towns just like ours. I look forward to using these skills successfully as I have in the past to make our Cheriton a safer, brighter and more beautiful place to live, work, visit, shop and enjoy.
Donnella (Dannielle) Romeo
Candidate, Town Council