POCOMOKE — Candidate Joshua Nordstrom hopes to use a position on the board of county commissioners to bring attention to southern Worcester County.
Nordstrom is challenging incumbent Commissioner Merrill Lockfaw in next month’s election. If elected, he says he aims to do more for the Pocomoke area.
“I want to make sure we have strong representation for the lower part of the county,” he said. “It seems like we tend to be forgotten at times.”
Nordstrom, who grew up in Pocomoke, serves on a variety of boards and is involved with organizations such as Atlantic General Hospital, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Red Cross.
“I have a long list of things I help with and it’s led me to understand some of the needs in this community which is what led me to run for commissioner in the first place,” he said.
Nordstrom has been regularly attending commissioner meetings for several years.
“I’ve been coming to these meetings for four years trying to listen and learn and develop relationships with department heads and get to know the staff,” he said. “Those relationships can take a while to build and with every job there’s a learning curve, including this one, and I’m trying to cut my learning curve down to as close to zero as possible. I need to hit the ground running because we have a lot of issues in the southern part of the county that need to be dealt with, that have been ignored for years.”
Nordstrom believes the county needs to join those providing students with college education to those who can’t afford it.
“This is important to help our students get from high school to a career but it’s also important to our employers who can’t seem to find enough skilled workers like mechanics and electricians and nurses and teachers, things that are very important to our community,” Nordstrom said. “Government can step in and help with that, help bridge that gap.”
Nordstrom said another key issue for the county was getting broadband.
“I’ve been out knocking on doors in rural areas where people can’t even get Internet service,” he said. “These are people with kids who go to school, these are people who want to work from home, who want to operate a homebased business. People who want to go back to school who need to take online courses because they work fulltime, not to mention to bring in new business. To expand our tax base, to bring in new jobs and new careers, we need the Internet for everyone in every part of our county. Without it, we’re bound to lose out on a lot of opportunities.”
When asked why he was the best candidate for the District 1 seat, Nordstrom said he was willing to work for his constituents.
“I think that the best way to represent your district is to get to know the people in it,” he said. “That’s what I’ve been doing for the last couple of months, understanding what their issues and concerns are.”
He stressed that he wanted to ensure the commissioners addressed Pocomoke’s needs.
“Currently, we have seven county commissioners, only one of whom lives south of Berlin,” he said. “I see resources, I see money, I see all the attention heading to the northern part of the county. Certainly, there are needs there as well but our needs in the southern part of the county, especially District 1, are great and a lot of them have been unaddressed and remain unaddressed. These are things that affect people’s lives and their livelihoods. … I say together we’ll work to address these issues one by one. I might not get everything done but I sure am going to try.”