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Delaware Governor: Jack Markell


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  Archived Posts From: 2010

guest-posts

Agencies Come Together to Help Homeowners

Written on: July 6th, 2010 in Guest PostsHelping Our Neighbors

Guest post from Anas Ben Addi, Director, Delaware State Housing Authority:

In June, Governor Jack Markell and Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) hosted the first Governor’s Foreclosure Summit. The purpose of the Summit was to bring together people on the front lines of the crisis affecting Delaware to recap efforts over the past few years, assess the current status of foreclosures, as well as to share ideas, programs and best practices that are available to help families in danger of losing their homes. 

Delaware historically averages 2,000 foreclosure filings per year.  In 2009, that number tripled to more than 6,000 and the trend continues on track through 2010.  In response, last year Governor Markell introduced a three-part plan to help mitigate the impact of foreclosure filings in Delaware consisting of three basic ideas: 

  1. Creating connections between homeowners, housing counselors and servicers before the mortgage is in default;
  2. Providing tools to help homeowners with emergency financing and long-term solutions; and,
  3. Helping families and communities recover from the effects of foreclosure.

Since last June, DSHA, the Attorney General’s Office, the Office of the State Bank Commissioner, legislators, housing advocates, as well as a host of other partners throughout the state, have been busy implementing this plan.  We’ve been working together assisting housing counselors with getting the training they need and lobbying for grants to help the families and communities that have been affected by the foreclosure crisis.  Clinics, forums and seminars have been held throughout all three counties—bringing together the mortgage servicers and the homeowners to work out a plan to save their homes. 

Additionally, Delaware has several programs available to help homeowners in danger of foreclosure including:  Delaware Foreclosure Mediation Program, Delaware Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program and the Homeownership Grant Assistance Program.

It is important that homeowners be encouraged to take action as soon as they anticipate problems in paying their mortgage payment by contacting their lender, working with a HUD-approved housing counselor, and taking advantage of the Attorney General’s Foreclosure Hotline at (800) 220-5424. 

For more information about Delaware resources available to help families facing foreclosure, including the list of housing counseling agencies through the state, please visit www.deforeclosurehelp.org/.


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guest-posts

“The Signal State” with Trinidad & Tobago

Written on: July 5th, 2010 in Guest PostsRecognizing State Employees

Guest Post from Major General Frank Vavala, Delaware National Guard:

"The Signal State" partnering with Trinidad & TobagoWe continue to develop our State Partnership with the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago. Established in 2005, the program is designed to exchange ideas between military, government and economic leaders.

In June, a team of communications soldiers from T&T visited our Bethany Beach Training Site to learn how we communicate during natural disasters. We taught them about some of the unique capabilities and equipment here in Delaware that lets us talk among emergency responders when normal communications are down.  This is the first meeting for this group and the next step is to discuss how we can build on the exchange.

The Delaware National Guard is known as “The Signal State” because of our history and expertise in communications.

Our training site hosts a number of courses that are attended by Soldiers from all over the United States.  As a result of this exchange, one of the new tasks will be for the Soldiers in Bethany Beach to establish a communications line with the Soldiers in Trinidad. Its great training for both the U.S. military and the Trinidad & Tobago troops

Through sharing best practices and lessons learned, we agree communication is one of the most critical aspects in disaster response and management.  As part of the State Partnership Program we are working with our partners again next month as we participate in a regional disaster management exercise and conference with civilian emergency responders.

For news on the Delaware National Guard, please visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

"The Signal State" partnering with Trinidad & Tobago


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guest-posts

Sixth Annual Miles for Minutes Motorcycle Ride

Written on: July 2nd, 2010 in Guest PostsRecognizing State Employees

Guest Post from Major General Frank Vavala, Delaware National Guard:

First Sergeant Kemberly Hines-Fairfax sings the National Anthem

I was honored to kick off the Sixth Annual Miles for Minutes motorcycle ride, a fantastic event hosted by Clear Channel Media, WDSD radio, and the Delaware National Guard. The event raises money for the purchase of phone cards through the USO that are sent to Delaware servicemen around the world.  The Delaware Guard has about 250 Soldiers and Airmen deployed, but countless other Delaware residents are serving as well.

What a great day it was! The weather couldn’t have been nicer and the smiles were as bright as the sun. The event has become a “base-to-base” operation, with the rally starting and ending at military facilities. This year it started at the Delaware Army National Guard’s River Road Training Site in New Castle. The ride takes the biker-patriots along scenic Route 9 and ends at Dover Air Force Base’s Air Mobility Command Museum.

There were almost 700 motorcycles and nearly 1000 participants in this year’s event. It speaks volumes about how the Delaware community supports our troops. I couldn’t be more proud to be a First Stater than on a day like this.

The riders raised enough money to buy almost 750,000 minutes this year. That’s right, almost a quarter of a million minutes!  That’s a lot of talking, and I am sure the men and women in the Armed Forces serving around the world will be glad to have a free opportunity to call their loved ones.

I want to personally thank Eric Fendt from WDSD for the tireless work he and his team do in putting this event together. Also, thanks to Joan Cote from USO Delaware for getting these cards to our troops. But most of all, thanks to all the riders who registered and rode to make this event such a success.

For news on the Delaware National Guard, please visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Nearly 1,000 Delawareans participated in Miles for Minutes 6!
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effective-efficient-government

Keeping Commitments, Cutting Costs

Written on: July 1st, 2010 in Effective & Efficient Government

This morning, the General Assembly passed and I signed a balanced budget – on time – that will help shape our state’s future and get people back to work.

The budget funds fewer state positions, while meeting increasing demands for government services like education, healthcare and public safety. The Fiscal Year 2011 Budget is over $50 million less than the budget passed two years ago. We will be implementing new efficiencies while keeping our core commitments to education, public safety, the health of our environment and our quality of life.

Keeping Commitments & Investing in the Future

With this budget, we are:

Cutting the Ribbon for Testing Machines Inc.

Creating Savings for Taxpayers

We worked together to ensure that we did not have to follow other states into raiding our rainy day fund and looked instead for common-sense ways to cut some costs:

Compared to 2010, this year’s budget has over 520 fewer state employees meeting even greater demands on state service. Compared to the 2009 budget, we have eliminated over 1,000 positions and are spending $50M less in our operating budget.

Our hard work last year did make some things easier this year. All three bond rating agencies recognized our commitment to fiscal responsibility and sound budgeting for 2010, by reaffirming our Triple-A bond rating. This recognition gave us the opportunity to cut an additional $16 million in costs for taxpayers.

Across Branches, Across Parties

Governor Reads with StudentsBecause of a bill we signed last year to create more open government, the votes and debates on this budget were fully open to the public. The citizens that attended the meetings had a chance to see branches of government work together, across party lines, focused on improving our state’s future.  It was a bipartisan vote to pass this budget, as it was a budget built by months of bipartisan effort and compromise.

At the end of the day, that cooperation truly is the Delaware difference and that’s how, together, we’re moving Delaware forward.

More information:

Have a Great Fourth of July!


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effective-efficient-government

Special Budget Edition: Governor Markell’s Update

Written on: July 1st, 2010 in Effective & Efficient Government

This morning, the General Assembly passed and I signed a balanced budget – on time – that will help shape our state’s future and get people back to work.

Listening to StudentsThe budget funds fewer state positions, while meeting increasing demands for government services like education, healthcare and public safety.

The Fiscal Year 2011 Budget is over $50 million less than the budget passed two years ago. We will be implementing new efficiencies while keeping our core commitments to education, public safety, the health of our environment and our quality of life.

Keeping Commitments & Investing in the Future

With this budget, we are:

Cutting the Ribbon for Testing Machines Inc.

Creating Savings for Taxpayers

We worked together to ensure that we did not have to follow other states into raiding our rainy day fund and looked instead for common-sense ways to cut some costs:

Compared to 2010, this year’s budget has over 520 fewer state employees meeting even greater demands on state service. Compared to the 2009 budget, we have eliminated over 1,000 positions and are spending $50M less in our operating budget.

Our hard work last year did make some things easier this year. All three bond rating agencies recognized our commitment to fiscal responsibility and sound budgeting for 2010, by reaffirming our Triple-A bond rating. This recognition gave us the opportunity to cut an additional $16 million in costs for taxpayers.

Across Branches, Across Parties

Because of a bill we signed last year to create more open government, the votes and debates on this budget were fully open to the public.

Governor Reads with StudentsThe citizens that attended the meetings had a chance to see branches of government work together, across party lines, focused on improving our state’s future. It was a bipartisan vote to pass this budget, as it was a budget built by months of bipartisan effort and compromise.

At the end of the day, that cooperation truly is the Delaware difference and that’s how, together, we’re moving Delaware forward.

For more information on our budget, please click here.

Have a Great Fourth of July!


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