Short hopes to continue service as county commissioner
— Incumbent Kent County Commissioner Bill Short said his favorite part of being a public official is helping the people he serves and being accessible to them. “I’ve always given my cell phone (number) to anybody,” Short said. “They know to call me, they know how to find me I don’t turn anybody away, I never have.” Short, a Chestertown native, owns Eastern Interiors on High Street, which specializes in window treatments and interior design. Short has owned a few different businesses in town, including a lawn care business, Short’s Lawncare. Short was appointed as a commissioner in 2012 after former commissioner Alex Rasin retired, due to health issues. While Short previously campaigned in 2010, he was not elected. In 2014, he was successful in his campaign, winning election to his current seat. Short initially announced in July that he would not seek a second term as commissioner, due to increasing demands of his business. On his decision to run again after all, Short said now that his business has added more full-time employees, he has more time to focus on other aspects of his life. Short said that he’s always looking for ways to move the county forwarde, including sitting down one-on-one with Washington College Presi- dent Kurt Landgraf to discuss ways to bolster the college’s involvement in the county. “You can’t beat him, he wants to be part of this community,” Short said of Landgraf. “To have somebody like him in the community now, that wants to see that college participate in what this town is, it’s never been that way.” Short said having construction underway on the Chestertown Business Park by Dixon Valve and Coupling Co. and KRM Development is one of the greatest economic development achievements since he’s lived in the county. He said that finding a balance between economic development and protecting the county’s heritage is part of his job as a commissioner. Short said bringing more families into the county is another essential task before him as a commissioner, but he thinks more industry needs to be established in the county before it will attract new residents. Short said that he thinks the reduction of dairy farms in Kent County in the 1980s is why less people live in the area. “You dry up the dairy farm industry, it doesn’t take as many people to plow the field and harvest the crops,” Short said. “So our families went away because our industry changed here.” Short supports Superintendent of Schools Karen Couch and improving the county’s school system. As a commissioner, he has to make sure he serves all citizens of the county. Short said some people think it’s responsible to spend half the county’s budget on education. He disagrees. Short thinks a project currently underway to expand internet access in the county is very beneficial. “I think the school system is well funded,” Short said. “Could we or should we do more if we had it, or as things grow? There’s no bigger supporter of Dr. Couch than Bill Short. ... I’ll support her any way I possibly can.” For Short, serving the people will be his biggest edge with gaining votes. “I’ve done nothing but serve the citizens of Kent County since I’ve taken this office,” Short said. “You don’t take this office for yourself, you take it to serve, and I feel as though I’ve done that. And that’s why they should vote for me.” This article is part of a continuing series of interviews with the 2018 candidates for Kent County commisisoner.