Delmar candidates react to victory, outline agenda
DELMAR, Md. – Mayoral Candidate Ben Jorden has defeated incumbent Mayor Karen Wells and will be taking the reigns of Delmar Maryland’s government, along with his fellow Delmar Change Ticket candidates for Town Council members Jacob Boothe and Cory Shaffer.
The election had some of the highest turnouts in the town’s history with a total of 539 votes cast between all the candidates. Mayor Ben Jorden and Jacob Boothe tell 47 ABC that they are thrilled with the turnout, but they say their goal now is to turn that excitement into action, on issues of public safety, infrastructure, police training, and schools.
“We want to deliver on the promises we’ve discussed and live up to everyone in the town,” she said. Delmar, Maryland Mayor-Elect Ben Jorden, and Councilman-elect Jake Boothe say they are looking to build on the previous administration’s progress and give Mayor Karen Wells all the credit for securing a pay raise for the police department but there’s more work to do.
“I would like to thank mayor Karen wells for seeing all that getting it resolved with pay for the police officers but now it’s time to recruit that’s what we’ve been working on with the chief is getting a plan to bring more officers in,” Jorden said.
He says their plan to attract officers, a comprehensive health care plan with more coverage. He says by merging all town employees on police on one plan, they could expand coverage and lower costs.
“Number one is the health care we want to work with not just the police but the town and get everyone on a joint health care so it’s not crazy expensive for officers or people that work in the town to be able to pay,” he said. He says that along with a new focus on funding academy classes will attract new officers, but to keep them they are looking to bump retirement benefits.
“Delmar is a wonderful place to retire and if we can get the word out on those benefits it can make sure folks stay,” Jorden said.
Boothe tells us he wants police to know he will work to build relationships with the police and decrease the time between an issue surfacing and being resolved.
“I definitely think it is very important for this police department to get recruiting we need to go work with them hand in hand to help them out,” Boothe said.
The two also have their sights set on Delmar’s schools, helping to secure funding for both districts, as well as preparing the schools for a rising population.
“The growth is there, and we are trying to get ahead of it to partner with them on both sides to see what we could do,” Boothe said. Jorden tells 47 ABC, “We need to be a part of bridging that gap and the disconnect between the two school districts.”
They say 1250 mobile school units are scheduled to come online, but they say longer-term solutions will require a new building that they hope to secure state funding from both Maryland and Delaware state legislatures.
The two elects tell us infrastructure is also on their list, as the two hope to take advantage of Biden’s infrastructure bill to fix up the town. Mayor-Elect Jorden says he hopes to involve many of Delmar’s voters in that process by letting them join volunteer committees and upping transparency in the town hall.
“One thing is to get some of these people who are very excited to get them on these volunteer boards with planning and zoning or different things where they can have that behind the impact of the scene,” he said.
He says he also hopes to build a community center and will lean on the expertise of veteran members on the town council to help them learn on the job and turn their ambitious agenda into a reality.