Kent County’s Levy Court president plans to walk away from the position later this year after serving for nearly a quarter century.
84-year-old Brooks Banta announced this week he will not run again in 2020.
“I just felt it was time to move on” he said. “I’ve reached the point in life where I can take time and relax a little bit.”
Banta was first elected Levy Court president in 1996. He has served in public office for a total of about 60 years, including positions in the Town of Clayton and the Smyrna School District.
Banta has endorsed fellow Democrat and former Smyrna Mayor Joanne Masten to run as his replacement.
“I endorsed [Masten] because, number one, she’s a lifelong friend, and she is endowed with knowledge and wisdom that will guide the county in the right direction,” said Banta. “She is an outstanding wizard when it comes to finances. I think she’s the appropriate person to do the job and do it very professionally.”
Banta lists sewer infrastructure upgrades, adding paramedics and the purchase and maintenance of Brecknock park as some of his main accomplishments while in office.
But Banta adds the county’s chief issue remains monitoring its spending.
“Fortunately over the last ten or 15 years we were able to watch every invoice and pay everything appropriately, and if there’s any mistakes try to catch those and make sure the public is well served,” he said.
Banta points out it’s been more than 10 years since Kent County last raised property taxes.
He says he has been approached with other opportunities but is going to take some time to relax.