Piner wants to see long-sought dreams re­al­ized

Cecil Whig - - WE ATHE R - By BRI­ANNA SHEA

bshea@ce­cil­whig.com

— Af­ter three terms on the Town Board of Com­mis­sion­ers, in­cum­bent Earl Piner wants to see the fruits of the labors that he and oth­ers have worked for years.

Piner is one of four can­di­dates run­ning for two open seats on the Elkton Town Board of Com­mis­sion­ers in the May 24 town elec­tion. The top two voteget­ters will earn the seats along in­cum­bent com­mis­sion­ers Mary Jo Jablonski and DJ VanRee­nen, and Mayor Rob Alt.

ELKTON

Piner, 59, said three of his goals in­clude fill­ing po­si­tions within the Elkton Police De­par tment, in­creas­ing com­mu­nity in­volve­ment and mov­ing for­ward with a plan to build a com­mu­nity re­cre­ation cen­ter.

He is one of four can­di­dates vy­ing for two seats in the May 24 town elec­tion.

The Elkton Police De- part­ment needs to fill the eight open police of­fi­cer po­si­tions within the depart­ment to con­tinue to ef­fec­tively com­bat crime, Piner said, not­ing he be­lieves the depart­ment is do­ing a “phenom­e­nal job” at re­spond­ing to calls and ad­dress­ing is­sues. Piner said he plans to be more in­volved with the police depart­ment in a fourth term, as far as giv­ing in­put and com­ments from the com­mu­nity and fol­low­ing up with lo­cal con­cerns that in­volve the depart­ment.

“I like to be the cit­i­zens’ ears when it comes to con­nect­ing to the town is- sues,” he said.

Piner also wants more of the Elkton com­mu­nity to be­come in­formed on the is­sues con­fronting the town and have more peo­ple bring their ideas and thoughts to the board mem­bers to iden­tify lo­cal needs and con­cerns.

“I’m will­ing to lis­ten and learn from oth­ers to find out the is­sues we need to at­tack,” he said.

He said is­sues such as drugs, pros­ti­tu­tion and va­grancy have come up mul­ti­ple times within the com­mu­nity. Piner said the board would need to sit down with town res­i­dents to de­velop a plan to ad­dress the con­cerns.

“I lis­ten to the cit­i­zens and try to fol­low up on their con­cerns,” he said.

As a well-known youth bas­ket­ball coach, Piner has long been a pro­po­nent of a com­mu­nity cen­ter, which he be­lieves would give chil­dren a place to go af­ter school and res­i­dents some­where to so­cial­ize and ex­er­cise. He said he still iden­ti­fies the cen­ter as “a need for the com­mu­nity.”

Piner said he would like to see the re­cre­ation cen­ter be­come a re­al­ity. In the past, the com­mis­sion­ers have faced is­sues such as land, lo­ca­tion and fund­ing, but with a new of­fer on the ta­ble, he wants to see his dream fin­ished.

He said when it comes to eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, he would like to see the va­cant store­fronts in the down­town area oc­cu­pied by busi­nesses, such as restau­rants and stores cater­ing to spe­cific needs.

Piner at­tended Wilm­ing­ton University from 1977 to 1978 for busi­ness and fin­ished his As­so­ciate in Arts de­gree for busi­ness from Ce­cil Col­lege in 2009. He is cur­rently em­ployed at W.L. Gore and As­so­ciates.

PINER

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