Letters to the Editor - June 27, 2008

Resident puts his belief in Markell’s campaign

Jack Markell’s “A Blueprint for a Better Delaware” is remarkable. For the first time, Delawareans get a hard copy of an outlined, step-by-step plan of how a candidate promises to bring change. And he is a candidate whose abilities have already been tested.

All we have to do is look at his record as Treasurer where he used his office creatively to save the state money, to help low-income people and women increase their financial ability to buy more of Delaware’s goods and services — all this at no additional cost to the taxpayer. As Treasurer, he demonstrated how an elected official could, to use a hackney phrase, “think outside of the box.”

His “Blueprint” is further evidence of his ability to” think outside of the box.” More than that, Markell is willing to hold himself accountable for keeping the promises he makes to the people of Delaware. It takes a lot of guts for Markell to do this.

Once elected governor, this book can be used as a checklist of promises and obligations to be fulfilled. After reading “A Blueprint for a better Delaware,” there is little choice but to vote for Markell if a better Delaware is what we want. The book is so detailed, it shows that Markell is very both serious and passionate about bringing change to Delaware, charting a new course for the state. He understands that the old ways no longer work.

Politicians are always making unfulfilled promises, and I am tired of being let down year after year by those only seeking the power of political office and, with that power, the ability to avoid even a scintilla of accountability when promises are not kept or things go wrong such as the Indian River Bridge, a debacle over which heads should have but did not roll.

With Markell’s book, he is promising to be a different kind of governor, whose only interest is to bring change to Delaware. A fresh and different start is what we Delawareans have been looking for.

I would hope that each and every voter will look at this document and come to their own conclusions about supporting Jack Markell for governor and not be swayed by Delaware’s institutional party politics that only promise more of the same and seem to fear innovation and creativity. Markell believes Delaware deserves better.

I know that when elected governor, Markell will do everything in his power to execute and be accountable for achieving his “Blueprint for a Better Delaware.” For this reason I fully support Jack Markell in his race for governor.

Lee I. Dogoloff

CHEER director opposes budget cuts

The proposed 8 percent cuts will devastate senior programs in Sussex County.

As the county with the fastest growing elderly population in the state, Sussex County will be impacted the most from the budget cuts that are looming over our programs. An 8 percent cut in Grant in Aid alone will result in $80,000 in loss of services to those vulnerable elderly who need services the most.

Waiting lists for older persons needing services will become commonplace. The hot noon meal delivered daily to 500 homebound seniors may become a weekly frozen meal. Operating hours in CHEER centers may decrease, as most surely will transportation services. And, the irony of it all is that many will be institutionalized, which will cost tax payers and the State of Delaware much more than 8 percent.

Arlene Littleton
Executive Director of CHEER Inc.,
a private non-profit agency providing services for persons 55 or older in Sussex County

Bethany Seaside Craft Show is largest ever

On Saturday, June 7, 2008, on the Bethany Beach Boardwalk, 105 crafters exhibited their fine crafts under almost perfect weather conditions.

Kudos to the many volunteers that contributed to the success of this event, which has grown from 60 to 105 exhibitors in just a few years. Many positive comments were heard from the crafters regarding the smooth orchestration of the show. This was certainly due, in large part, to the community support of our many volunteers.

Our sincere thanks to: Maureen and Lew Killmer, Sue and Charlie McMullen, Theo and Fulton Lopatto, Nada and Bob Argonish, Ray Thiebeault, Mark Anderson, Chuck Peterson, Patti Dicarne, Dave Flickinger, Ernie Bernhardt, Pat Rogers, Betty Gullo, Carol Coyle, Dick Fox, Frank Barrett, and Monte Wisbrock.

We especially want to give recognition to the invaluable cooperation and assistance of the Bethany Beach Public Works Department and the Bethany Beach Police Department.

The show could not have been the great success it was without all of you, and be assured of our grateful appreciation!

Bethany Beach Seaside Craft Show Committee

Reader believes Carney’s experience is key

When it comes to the economy, Lt. Gov. John Carney has the experience and record we need from our next governor of Delaware. Carney understands that it is not just job loss that results from a plummeting economy, but the education system, health care, road maintenance and social programs all suffer when the state’s economy struggles. Carney also knows what it takes to grow the economy and create jobs.

Working for Gov. Tom Carper, Carney helped to create over 55,000 jobs in Delaware, and over the last few years he has done everything in his power to both protect the good jobs we have and bring new ones to the state. The commitment he secured from Bluewater Wind to make Delaware its regional hub will bring hundreds if not thousands of jobs to the state, as well as give many of these workers education and training through a grant program with Del Tech.

While State Treasurer Jack Markell claims that he has the experience needed to reform the economy, the fact is Carney has a record of creating jobs in Delaware. It is evident that the economy is perhaps the most important issue in the gubernatorial race this year in Delaware, and John Carney’s economic vision and experience makes him the better candidate to secure a strong Delaware economy.

Terri McCall

Ocean View Town Council doing good job

To some, it appeared that [Ocean View] town council motions were orchestrated. I didn’t see that. Anyone who read the agenda knew that these issues would be raised. In fact, why did Councilman Wichmann have his plaque with him? He knew exactly what was going to happen. Resolutions were prepared because the standing rules say that resolutions have to be written.

The council voted to reform CAP to keep it out of politics. CAP was heavily involved in the last two elections. In the prior election, it endorsed one of the candidates. In this election, candidates ran with an implicit endorsement of CAP. Candidates were supported by campaign volunteers that were CAP members. A coincidence? I think not. At the council meeting, no one denies that CAP endorsed a candidate two elections ago. If one observed Election Day, CAP had one of its members inside the polls as a challenger.

The council voted to keep CAP members off the council. CAP members on the town council present a conflict of interest. This conflict is easily seen by the council members who are in CAP over the last four years supporting excessive police expenditures. Look at their record on the council! Votes on police issues should be based from a neutral position, not on who has only supporting the growth of the police budget in mind.

The council did well. Let us support them.

Raymond Sileo
Ocean View

Haon offers his take on PCS at hearing

Editor’s note: The following testimony was to be read into the official record by Fenwick Island resident Martha Keller on behalf of fellow former Fenwick Island Town Council member Harry Haon at a June 23 hearing on the proposed Inland Bays Pollution Control Strategy. It was forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.

Below are comments on the buffer sections of the proposed Inland Bays Pollution Control Strategies:

(1) The proposed buffer width requirement in Section 4.2.1 for tidal wetlands and waterways is 100 feet. Based on in-depth analysis by the Center for the Inland Bays and by the University of Delaware this width is seriously inadequate to protect these critical resources long-term. Other coastal states surrounding Sussex County have already adopted tidal wetland buffers from 200 to 300 feet minimum. No evidence has been presented to justify why wetlands in Sussex County need less protection.

Recommendation: Section 4.2.1 should call for preferably 300-foot tidal buffers and a minimum of 200 feet.

(2) The inadequacy of the proposed 100-foot tidal buffers is further compromised by the proposed reduction of this width to 50 feet in Section 4.3.1 if there is a “nutrient management plan” for an entire site.

The assumption is that such a plan would include additional pollution control practices which would compensate for the reduced protection of narrower buffers. The practicality of this approach is very questionable as it depends not only on the technical validity of such a plan but also on the willingness and capability of future homeowners to implement the plan forever.

This process would, of course, be irreversible if any of the assumptions are not met. And the end-point of a 50-foot buffer is the same as has been in place under county rules for almost 20 years, while water quality has continued to deteriorate.

Recommendation: Section 4.3.1 should be deleted.

(3) Buffer is defined in Section 2 as an “area of vegetation which protects water resources from pollution.” However, unlike previous DNREC versions of these regulations or those already adopted by other states, there are no definitions or requirements here as to acceptable type or extent of vegetation in a buffer area.

Not only is the widely recognized value of trees in enhancing buffer effectiveness ignored but also, as currently written, there is nothing to prohibit total clearing (including trees) of all existing vegetation in a buffer area.

Recommendation: Add section defining minimum acceptable buffer vegetation, including limits on tree clearing.

(4) Section 4.10.4 clearly identifies 5-foot wide unpaved foot paths as being acceptable uses within a buffer. But Section 4.1.5 earlier allows that sewer systems, stormwater ponds, tennis courts, golf courses, and even streets can be included in the buffer. Such provisions contradict and essentially nullify the fundamental purpose of buffers.

Recommendation: Delete last five lines of Section 4.1.5.

The following comments address two issues of inter- governmental cooperation - density and enforcement

Density: Over the past few years there have been concerns expressed by some developers and landowners that implementation of a buffer strategy would significantly reduce the number of building lots on a given parcel. This concern has been largely based on the misinformation circulated by a few that the land required for buffers would be in addition to the land required to be set aside for open space. This is not true.

Both these proposed regulations and existing county rules allow buffer areas to be included as part of open space. In the rare instance where buffer areas might exceed open space requirements it would be easy for the County to allow smaller lot sizes to accommodate the difference.

Enforcement: On the critical question of effective enforcement of the proposed regulations, it is recommended that the State and County cooperate to assure that no Certificate of Occupancy be issued for any new dwelling until a site review and inspection confirms that all applicable sections of the Pollution Control Regulations have been met.

Thank you for your consideration of these recommendations and for DNREC’s hard work to-date on this endeavor. Someone once said if it’s worth doing, its worth doing well. And protecting the Inland Bays for recreational fishing, swimming, clamming, boating, crabbing and sight-seeing is certainly worth doing well.

Harry Haon
Fenwick Island

Keeley comments on previous letter

I would like to comment on Mr. [Allen] Ide’s expansive letter in the June 13 Coastal Point under “What Are Our Options Now?” I cannot help but admire his Constitutional knowledge and agree that the courts are usurping power through their interpretations of the Constitution that was never intended as theirs. And this is certainly exacerbated with our currently left-leaning Courts.

However, I disagree with his interpretation of the use of executive orders and presidential signing statements because he uses them as foils against President Bush. Of course, President Bush has used them more than any other president. They are relatively new vehicles with which to perform his duties and his predecessor did use them.

Mr. Ide advises that he prays that John McCain’s campaign self-destructs while somewhat dreamily endorsing Ron Paul. He even suggests that Ron Paul become a third-party candidate. This is well beyond scary!

Nothing personal, but while Ron Paul touts many excellent positions, he is unelectable, as proven in the primaries. Also, have we forgotten that other third-party candidate, Ross Perot? Because of him we got der Slickmiester.

Therefore, I am dead against a third-party candidate unless it is Hillary, because she would siphon votes away from the Democrats latest Slickmiester, Barack Obama.

I certainly cannot see nor understand the thinking behind the support being given to a political neophyte from the bowels of Chicago. I will grant he is smooth. Yes, he is every bit as smooth as the silver-tongued Bill. My prayers are for our country and John McCain because he is so much better prepared to be our commander-in-chief.

I do, however, agree with Mr. Ide’s closing comments. We can expect no help from either the CFR or the one-world organizations that desire a North American union. Unfortunately, it seems that most of our leaders in both parties support this notion as appalling as it is to the rest us.

Do we really want to absorb or be absorbed into corrupt Mexico or socialist Canada? As with the European Union there are winners and losers. In a North American union what would we be? Duh! It’s a no brainier that we do not want, but as Mr. Ide so eloquently puts it, we seem to have little say in what our leaders do for us.

Thomas M. Keeley III
Ocean View

Despite party line, reader ‘backs Jack’

We heard from the ultimate smoke-filled room (now minus the smoke) last week, with the state Democratic Party executive committee endorsing John Carney as the party’s gubernatorial candidate.

Yes, these are the people who, aligned with the Minner-Carney administration, brought us a healthier indoor environment in Delaware. But, unfortunately, they are also the people who brought us inadequate monitoring of Millsboro pollution, extensive negligence at the state psychiatric hospital, irresponsible staffing levels in state education, and, of course, that expensive pile of sand at the Indian River Inlet.

Well, now that the “executives” have spoken, it’s time for the “real people” to speak, the rank and file of not only the party but also the various unions throughout the state.

When the average Democrat, the average union member or the average citizen (such as myself) enter the voting booth, we will vote our “minds,” not someone else’s mandate. We will vote for the man who has utilized his professional, pragmatic leadership skills to craft a record of achievement that spans decades and includes careers in both the private and public sectors of our society. We will vote for not only “good intentions,” but also “good management.” We will “Back Jack” and elect Markell our next governor.

Bob Slavin

Reader comments on Democrats’ dilemma

It is not often that voters find themselves in the fortunate position of having too many good candidates from which to choose. This is the reality Delaware Democrats are dealing with in this year’s gubernatorial race.

I know people who have gone to forums to hear the candidates, obtained information from the candidates’ respective Web sites, read articles in the newspapers and had discussions with other voters to get their perspective. All of this in an effort to make the most informed choice in the primary being held in September.

Unfortunately, the Delaware Democratic Party has trumped the voters of Delaware. Based on an article in the Sunday News Journal, the committees from New Castle County and the City of Wilmington found it necessary to endorse one candidate over the other. The majority of Kent and Sussex County Committees chose not to endorse either candidate until after the primary.

If this practice is allowed under the party rules, something needs to be changed. Committee members are not elected officials, but volunteer citizens. Even if they were elected, their choice for candidate should never influence or sway the general public. By endorsing a candidate at this time, I think they are trying to do just that.

John Carney and Jack Markell are both good men. However, most of us can figure it out on our own. Just in case the party leaders are confused, Kent and Sussex are known for raising chickens, not sheep.

Janet Skibicki