Short hopes to con­tinue ser­vice as county com­mis­sioner

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

— 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.

BILL SHORT

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