Letters to the Editor -- August 20, 2010


Frankford resident questions policies

Editor:

I am a resident of the Town of Frankford that has followed the water plant project for over a decade. I recently challenged the legality of the way our town hiked our rates. Our town has an ordinance that governs our usage rates, sinking fund fees, meter charges, impact fees, out-of-town user charges, etc.

This ordinance, titled Ordinance 26 – An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 3 and Establishing Water Rates within the Town of Frankford, has not been amended since Oct. 1, 2001, and still has the rate at $3.50 per thousand gallons.

Our town has raised our rates twice recently: July 2008, from $3.50 to $5 per thousand, and July 2010, from $5 to $8.75 per thousand, without amending this ordinance. This is purposely being done to deny the discussion of why our rates are increasing so drastically. These rates are increasing so drastically because of the mismanagement of the project and the mismanagement of our Water Department.

Our town charging more than they have the authority to charge is creating a situation that could easily bankrupt the town or further burden the town citizens.

Our town not acting legally has cost the federal and state taxpayers a lot of money recently. Our town not acquiring any permits for the construction of the new plant cost the taxpayers $1.35 million to fix a water plant that cost $2 million.

If our town simply acquired the proper permits, they would have been informed that that this plant was not legal and it would have been properly redesigned and built. This would have saved the $1.35 million spent to pay for this $647,000 project that is intended to fix this project fiasco.

I first challenged the increase by respectfully addressing our town council at monthly town meetings and the annual budget hearing. I have informed our council that they need to adopt a new ordinance or amend the current ordinance to reflect the rate change.

I have made a formal complaint to the Hon. Joseph Biden III, informing him that our town was not complying with the process or the ordinance. The AG’s office stated that they have no governing authority over the town. The AG’s office suggested that I hire an attorney and address the town clerk and council with my concerns.

I have requested our town council seek the Attorney General’s opinion on the lawfulness of the way our town has increased the rate. They have refused.

The laws that govern us are enacted, maintained and enforced in writing. The laws that we have enacted and maintained in writing are the laws that govern us.

As a citizen that has respectfully and properly participated in the process and have properly complained to the proper authorities and received their responses, I have established that the AG’s office and our town’s attorney are aware of the situation and are currently advising our town.

The Town of Frankford not following the established process of raising our rates is intended to deny the people of our community the discussion on why our rates are being raised so drastically. Our rates are being raised because of the mismanagement of this project and the mismanagement of our water department.

Greg Welch

Frankford

Millville woman puts support behind Roach

Editor:

Alma Roach is a candidate for Sussex County Recorder of Deeds. There is a primary election coming up on Sept. 14; please consider casting your vote for Alma.

I know Alma, and I support her run for this office 100 percent. She’s already out in the county campaigning, and friends and neighbors tell me that they feel good about Alma’s candidacy.

The Recorder of Deeds office is important to both you and me, because the public records documents, like the deed to your property or the official release of your mortgage, “live” in the Recorder’s office. It’s vital for us that our important documents receive the best care and maintenance, and that we can easily access them when necessary. If elected, Alma plans to create and provide public outreach programs so that you can better learn how to access these documents.

On Sept. 14, vote for Alma Roach, Democratic candidate for Sussex County Recorder of Deeds.

Joan Bennett

Millville

Inlet cleanup a hit, thanks to many

Editor:

I would like to thank the volunteers who came out Sunday for the Fourth Annual Indian River Inlet beach cleanup held by the Delaware chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.

It was a very successful cleanup, with lots of fishing line (some with hooks), cigarette butts, plastic bottles and other trash collected. A special thanks to the ones who gave up surfing some of the better waves we have had in weeks to help out.

Jim Bourke, Delaware Chapter

Surfrider Foundation

Thanks for those who helped with event

Editor:

I would like to thank, once again, the members of this community for their generous support for the 3 rd annual Tour de Har Ride for Pulmonary Fibrosis, in memory of my husband, Harry Walls. With the help of some dedicated people and local businesses, we again raised some money to help fund the research so desperately needed to bring awareness, find causes and ultimately a cure to this deadly disease.

My children and I are very grateful for all of the planners, sponsors and participants of our cycling event. We had a nice turnout of cyclists, some great raffle items, and we raised some money for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Fund at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Thank you again for your participation in the Tour de Har.

Doreen Walls

Tour de Har organizer

Chris Coons gets support from reader

Editor:

As a Sussex County resident, I am often surprised at how few people in this area research our candidates running to represent us in Washington. Politics should never be based on a vote of who is most popular, as so often happens in schools, but who can articulate a vision for what we as a state will need in the future. In this struggling economy, it is even more important for us to elect someone who is willing to find new ways to grow while also respecting tradition and what currently works.

I have had the good fortune to have met Chris Coons, who is running for U.S. Senate. I am impressed with his credentials as a Yale University graduate with both a law and divinity degree concentrating in ethics. He is a family man who has dedicated his life to public service. Even our own Joe Biden has campaigned for him in Delaware.

When I read the local papers and hear about the rise in crime in Rehoboth and Frankford, I think about how Chris Coons began the Safe Streets Partnership in New Castle, to remove parole violators from those streets. When I read about the safety needs of Millville, I think of Chris’s starting a new paramedic unit and station in New Castle, while also lowering wasteful spending by the county. Chris knows how to address the needs of his county residents in an effective, yet fiscally responsible way. Isn’t that what we need? Someone who will make sure our needs are met?

But on a broader scale, we need more jobs and businesses in Delaware. If Chris Coons can be so effective on the county level, I know he will prioritize these needs on the state level. I have neighbors who are stretching every penny to make ends meet; I have neighbors who have gone into foreclosure, not because they are irresponsible, but because they have lost jobs.

Some progress has already been made in this area, but we need someone in Washington who will continue this growth, not someone who votes “no” to new tax credits for businesses creating new jobs for the unemployed.

Please educate yourselves about the candidates before voting. Be a responsible citizen who elects a responsible senator.

Anne M. Weeks

Selbyville