Dawn Fantasia, the outgoing Republican candidate running for Sussex County commissioner
Fiscal responsibility: The 2021 county budget represents a decrease of 1.9% or $ 2.2 million from the adopted 2020 budget, the smallest increase in tax levies in six years and the third smallest increase in tax levies over the past 15 years. All financial decisions must be carefully considered in the context of the county’s long-term fiscal health, especially during the pandemic. Budget 2021 maintains funding for capital improvement and continues funding for debt service. The county has not deviated from our 10-year debt reduction plan, first instituted in 2020, even in the face of crippling underfunding from the Murphy administration. With the receipt of $ 27 million in federal funding from the US bailout, we must support the county businesses that were wiped out by Murphy’s arbitrary executive orders, to fairly compensate our county employees who have persisted relentlessly for the throes of the pandemic and beyond, and to ensure that all counties and departments are well equipped and ready to provide high levels of essential services to our residents.
Service Upgrades: We continue to support health services for women, children and economically disadvantaged people, including free medical screenings, clinics, and free testing and vaccination options for all residents. We have strengthened health and social services by expanding medical transport for the elderly, improving mosquito control capacities, implementing new community awareness programs, expanding fire prevention services, improving county-wide emergency communication capabilities, supporting law enforcement and delivering agritourism programs alongside Sussex. County Chamber of Commerce to bring consumers to the county. Additional funding for the Health and Social Services Division for additional staff and programs should be a key objective to support mental health and addiction rehabilitation programs. Effective programs that are directly tailored to the needs of the community are essential to our health and well-being.
Strategic Investments: We have prioritized infrastructure through road resurfacing and bridge and traffic safety projects, with over 34 miles of new guide rails to improve safety on county roads, dedicating resources to improving the number of road personnel and replacing and improving bridges. Voters directly supported renovations to the Dennis Library funded in part by grants, and this project will now be launched, along with improvements to the technical school building, improving the safety and security of the college county and county facilities; and a storage facility for emergency management equipment. Growth that prioritizes security and critical services must remain at the center of our concerns.
Our primary focus must be on keeping Sussex County safe, affordable and moving forward. We must continue to demand fair funding and accountability from the Murphy administration, working in coordination with our excellent D24 lawmakers to ensure that we meet our obligations to the right people in Sussex County.