Pick­rum looks to fin­ish the job as com­mis­sioner

Kent County News - - NEWS - By JACK RODGERS jrodgers@thekent­coun­tynews.com

CH­ESTER­TOWN — For Demo­cratic in­cum­bent Wil­liam Pick­rum, the list of rea­sons to seek a fourth term as a Kent County com­mis­sioner is long. Estab­lish­ing strong eco­nomic devel­op­ment, ex­pand­ing in­ter­net ac­cess through a fiber-op­tic net­work and adding a trans­porta­tion sys­tem are just some of the county projects mo­ti­vat­ing Pick­rum to seek re-elec­tion. He was first elected in 2002. “The sim­ple re­sponse is, the job’s not fin­ished yet,” Pick­rum said in an in­ter­view March 3. “There are some things I’d still like to do, or see done in this county.” Pick­rum is cur­rently em­ployed by Delaware State Univer­sity in Dover, Del., as a project man­ager at the Re­new­able En­ergy Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter. A pi­lot, he also teaches flight safety at the univer­sity. Pick­rum also is a grad­u­ate of the United States Coast Guard Academy in New Lon­don, Conn. Pick­rum said he was the fourth African-Amer­i­can to grad­u­ate from the academy, where he stud­ied engi­neer­ing. Af­ter a year at sea, he then at­tended Navy flight school in Pen­sacola, Fla., where he flew he­li­copters. From there he was sta­tioned all over, in­clud­ing San Diego, New York and San Fran­cisco. Pick­rum also pi­loted com­mer­cial jets for US Air­ways Ex­press. Pick­rum then worked for the State of Delaware in the Of­fice of Man­age­ment and Bud­get, where he re­viewed and ex­e­cuted state-wide con­tracts. Pick­rum said his re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in­cluded dis­tribut­ing food com­modi­ties to Delaware schools and hem­ming the state’s ve­hi­cle fleet. Pick­rum said that with ex­pe­ri­ence liv­ing all over the world, re­turn­ing to Kent County has made him re­al­ize how stag­nant devel­op­ment within the area is. “I think the county has to progress,” Pick­rum said. “When you con­sider that one-third of our pop­u­la­tion here in the county is over the age of 60, that cre­ates cer­tain chal­lenges that we have here. ... We have to find a way to ac­com­mo­date all dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives.” Pick­rum said the is­sue of pub­lic trans­porta­tion through­out the county is one that is nor­mally looked over. While he said the county has a rudi­men­tary sys­tem through taxi ser­vices, a gov­ern­ment-sub­si­dized trans­porta­tion sys­tem is one he’d like to look into. “There are those at the lower end of our eco­nomic ladder that find it chal­leng­ing to get to point A to point B,” Pick­rum said. “We do have an on-de­mand pub­lic trans­porta­tion sys­tem through Del­marva Com­mu­nity Tran­sit, op­er­ated out of Dorch­ester County, but it’s very very lim­ited.” Pick­rum said he’d like to stay in­volved in the school district. He said fund­ing and uti­liz­ing space is­sues in the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem he’d like to im­prove upon. “We have a high school that was built in 1972 to han­dle 1,300 chil­dren, while we have less than 600,” Pick­rum said. “I think we can make bet­ter use of our spa­ces there.” Pick­rum also said he’d like to bring his ex­pe­ri­ences serv­ing on the Mary­land As- so­ci­a­tion of Coun­ties to the Kent County Com­mis­sion­ers. “The ad­van­tage of that re­la­tion­ship is the in­ter­ac­tion I get with other county of­fi­cials around the state,” Pick­rum said. “I am a strong pro­po­nent of not re-in­vent­ing the wheel. If some­one else has done it, let me em­u­late them and do it bet­ter. And there’s lots of ideas that go on there.” Pick­rum said that his wide range of life and work ex­pe­ri­ence are rea­sons he should be elected to a fourth term. “I will say this, I have an opin­ion about just about ev­ery­thing; but I’m not say­ing I’m al­ways right, and I can be con­vinced,” Pick­rum said. “Flex­i­bil­ity is very very im­por­tant in lead­er­ship, and pol­i­tics should be lead­er­ship.”


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