Delmarva Mayors discuss challenges during forum at Wicomico Civic Center Thursday
DELMARVA – Six mayors on a panel from Delmarva, discussing issues they’ve been facing and how they plan to tackle those problems.
That’s what took place at the Wicomico Civic Center Thursday.
“We are all in the same boat, I think there are a lot of solutions out there there seems to be great energy to address the issues post the pandemic,” Mayor Robin Christiansen, of Dover, said.
During, that forum leaders addressed a range of issues from COVID-19 to the housing crisis.
“I think many of the things that we are grappling today have a connection back to the COVID-19 crisis, but the things that we are really grappling with are the labor shortage and housing shortage,” Mayor Jake Day, of Salisbury, said.
Salisbury Mayor Jake Day says right now people want to move to Salisbury, but there’s still a huge affordability crisis the city is trying to solve.
“We now know what crisis mode feels like we are now in a building recovery and growth mode, and growth hurts sometimes and it’s hurting right now because again we don’t have the people to fuel the business and we don’t have the housing to house the people that we need to make those businesses run,” Mayor say said.
And, in Dover, Mayor Christiansen agrees getting people back to work is needed.
“We need to get our folks back working so that they can take care of their families, so we don’t have the issues faced of people being put out on the street,” Mayor Christiansen said.
Homelessness is another big issue they’re seeing.
“With the end of the moratorium for evictions, the number was 584 this morning, I don’t want to see any family out on the street, there’s nothing more heartbreaking,” Mayor Christiansen said.
But, the Dover Mayor said he’s not letting the problem slip through the cracks.
“I’m going to do everything that I can within my power as mayor along with my city council, although it’s out of the whelm of our charter to get somebody’s attention, to come up with some stop-gap band-aids to help these folks,” Mayor Christiansen said.
While the road ahead is uncertain, the Mayors told us they are hopeful and will continue to learn from one another.
“You learn so much from your peers, there is no one town, no one city that has all the solutions in the perfect way,” Mayor Day said.
“I feel optimistic for the future, I always have for the city of Dover and it’s nice to see other communities that are optimistic as well,” Mayor Christiansen said.
Mayor Jake Day said the next challenge the city will be tackling is transportation, and they are focused on how to make it a more easily accessible city and that’s going to require multiple means of transportation.