I am honored to announce my candidacy for the Ward 6, Dover City Council seat. My husband Chris, 8-year-old daughter Sydney and I have been an active part of the Dover community since we purchased our home on Sixth Street in 2016. We were drawn to Dover’s vibrant community, blossoming schools, and rich history.
I believe my diverse professional background, years of volunteer work, and military service have prepared me to serve as a City Councilor in Dover. Currently I am the Director of Marketing & Education for a small, local pet food company that donates all profits to organizations that support those living with disability. I have worked as a project manager, in operations, and as a corporate trainer. I have also had the pleasure of serving as a public school music teacher from 2000-2008. Throughout my professional career I have maintained budgets, found methods of alternative funding, created and nurtured relationships that increased collaboration, and have consistently used cost/benefit analysis to justify plans and actions.
It is no secret that the budget process has become contentious in Dover. I believe we can work together to fund city programs, services, and our schools, without pricing residential property owners out of their homes. We must continue to increase the value of our commercial properties, work with local organizations to maximize available resources, and work together to promote statewide policy change regarding how current tax dollars are allocated for municipal and school funding.
As a mental health advocate and educator, I have been heavily involved in the grassroots Dover Mental Health Alliance focused on helping Dover understand and address the complexities of mental health. At least 50% of us will face a mental health challenge in our lives, while one in five of us will be diagnosed with a mental health disorder (this includes our kids). Over 80% of our largest health and social problems, including homelessness, substance use challenges, and criminal activity are caused by trauma. To help those facing these challenges, we must address the root cause. We must help them access the programs and services they need to learn new skills and reduce the chance of recurrence. Each recurrence increases the hardship for the individual and their family, as well as increases the cost to taxpayers.
By working with local organizations and coming together as a community, we can begin to address some of our biggest challenges at their foundation and create long-term, positive solutions without relying solely on city departments. If we do not address root causes, we will continue chasing our tails, keeping our community locked in a vicious cycle of underfunding and lack of resources.
During my military career I learned to work with individuals with extremely diverse backgrounds, opinions, and life experiences. We learned how to support each other as a unit, always looking out for one another, even if we did not agree or get along. We, the City of Dover, are in this together. We can support each other even when we do not agree and use our differences to learn from one another. We can move forward united and stronger than ever. I believe I have the experience and skills to help lead this movement for a stronger and brighter future for all of Dover. I would greatly appreciate your vote and support on November 2nd.
If you would like to learn more, please visit www.jodifordover.com or follow me on social media @JodiforWard6. I would love to hear from you; I may be reached at email@example.com or 603-397-9509.