King Farm, industrial park issues clarified

There has been some confused discussion on the proposal to integrate what is known as the King Farm into the Sussex County Industrial Airpark.

Having served as both a president of the Greater Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and the first chairman of its Economic Development Committee during the period that this proposal took shape, I feel particularly qualified to make three points. I hope they help clarify the issue.

The first point is that the concept of an “airport business park” was home-grown and was not thrust upon us by some outside developer. The Economic Development Committee first met on Nov. 5, 2003, to discuss ways to improve the local economy. Those present — all locals — were in agreement that we find “good developers” to bring in businesses that would provide well-paying jobs for our expanding population, and it was decided at that meeting to ask the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) to advise us. DEDO did, and they recommended a meeting with The Commonwealth Group, an experienced, third-generation, highly-regarded firm.

At our request, representatives from The Commonwealth Group began attending our monthly meetings in June 2004. As I understood it then, what we wanted from The Commonwealth Group was something similar to Milford’s Airport Road business park, and, as I understand it now, that is what we are getting.

The second point is that this process has been transparent to the public from the start. Not only does the Economic Development Committee report to the Chamber Board at its monthly meetings, but, even more importantly, reporters from the Sussex Countian are regular and welcome guests at its meetings.

For example, Valerie Lemoi, the paper’s editor at the time, attended its first meeting that November, and an article titled “Town, chamber explore business park possibilities,” appeared in its April 21, 2004 issue. Please note that this article pre-dated The Commonwealth Group’s involvement. The Sussex Countian has carried many articles on the efforts of the Committee, and, however one feels about development, this proposed expansion of the industrial park should be no surprise to anyone who follows the local news.

My third point about the business park is: “If not the King Farm, then where?” The Committee’s goal was to bring to our community a business park providing non- polluting, well-paying jobs at an attractive, “economically-sensible” location. The plans for the King Farm provide exactly what we have wanted from the “git-go.”

Obviously, we cannot please everyone, and, as a native myself, I do sympathize with those who feel that their quality of life will suffer as traffic increases because hundreds of new jobs are being created. However, just as I shake my head when a newcomer to our county complains about the farmyard smells that waft over his “rustic paradise,” I must wonder what someone who hates noise could have been thinking when they bought property on a truck route near an industrial park next to an airport.

I hope that these three points clarify the discussion on the King Farm development, and I wish to conclude by emphasizing that neither at the Economic Development Committee meetings nor at its parent Chamber Board meetings did anyone doubt that a business park, such as the one projected, would be a boon for Georgetown. After all, why have an award-winning college like Del Tech if you can’t provide jobs for its graduates?

Randall Cash

Carmean offers thanks for election win

I would like to say “thank you” to all my Fenwick Island friends and neighbors who supported me with their votes in Saturday’s town council election. I promise to work with the community and the other members of the council to keep Fenwick Island the best and most beautiful “Quiet Resort.”

Thank you again.
Vicki Carmean
Fenwick Island

Frederick maintains love for Fenwick Island

The Coastal Point is to be commended for maintaining its policy regarding the publishing of political letters the week before an election. Doing so assures that the information provided to your readers is correct and not simply partisan rhetoric. This demonstration of editorial integrity is certainly refreshing if not unique along the coast.

I would like to thank all the Fenwick Island residents that voted for me last Saturday and especially those that worked so hard on the campaign. I sincerely appreciate the many kind words of encouragement received before and especially after the election. I hope all my supporters will continue to be involved in Fenwick Island municipal activities.

Congratulations are due to the four newly elected members of council. I hope the unity they exhibited in the campaign will continue as they assume the responsibilities of their positions. However, it is essential that in their effort to maintain the appearance of non-controversial solidarity, they don’t forget to listen to the public and conduct open discussions of all the issues facing our town.

Peter Frederick
Fenwick Island

Smallwood thankful for voters’ support

I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all the residents of Fenwick Island who supported me this weekend in the election. I feel very honored that you have chosen me to be on the council and I will do my best to help you with your thoughts and concerns regarding our great town. I am looking forward to working with our six other outstanding council members and the great staff at Town Hall.

Thank you all.
Todd Smallwood
Fenwick Island

Density trade not good for coastal Sussex

Vance Phillips, Sussex County councilman (R-Laurel), is the prime sponsor behind a proposal that grants developers the privilege of building more homes on fewer acres. Last week, the Sussex County Council voted to embrace his scheme.

Phillips suggests that there will be a trade-off because the developer will pay into the Sussex County Land Trust, a fund that will preserve land from additional development. What Mr. Phillips does not tell you is that he and Councilman Dale Dukes (D-Laurel) are members of the board of the Land Trust and that they play a significant role in determining who benefits from these funds. And yes, the small town of Laurel is home to two of the five members of the County Council.

Perhaps Mr. Phillips’ proposal would make some sense if it excluded development east of Route 113, or if the funds were used for infrastructure in coastal Sussex, or if the funds were used exclusively to limit land use in the sensitive and highly desirable coastal areas.

But Mr. Phillips and Mr. Dukes do not represent the interests of coastal Sussex. They and their fellow council members represent large landowners and developers. Mr. Phillips and Mr. Dukes will use the density trade agreement to channel funds to large farming interests in western Sussex where there is no pressure to sell land for development. These landowners do not need to benefit from the funds paid by the purchasers of new homes in the congested areas of eastern Sussex.

The County Council continually transfers revenue from the people of the shore communities to their friends who own land and develop properties in areas that put pressure on the quality of life of those of us who are privileged to live at the beach. Mr. Dukes is famous for his comments to those who object to his plans. He tells us to move.

The County Council needs to publish the Comprehensive Plan and impose a one-year moratorium on the approval of all new development east of Route 113. The county and state need to build a plan that jointly supports the current infrastructure needs. Only then can we determine if new developments can move forward.

Dennis P. Cleary
Bethany Beach

Young an ideal candidate for Bethany council

We are delighted that Margaret Young is seeking a seat on the Bethany Beach Town Council, and we hope that your readers will support and vote for her on our town election day, Sept. 8. If you won’t be here on that day, consider your absentee ballot choices.

Margaret has a long-running, deeply felt attachment to Bethany Beach. No one I know has a better sense of what the citizens of Bethany Beach are thinking. Few have dedicated more time and energy over a longer period of time to building a better community through volunteer work in so many areas of need.

Heart, hard work, innate common sense and the dedicated volunteer’s devotion to the common good and the needs of our community are among Margaret’s many qualifications for service on the Town Council. I see her as a council person who will adopt the common sense approach that concentrates on things that matter most to the most people.

Council members have commented on how much time and effort are required these days to do the work of the council. And who is better prepared to do all that work — and all of it is volunteer work — than a woman who has expended vast amounts of time and energy over the years in serving her community through volunteer work?

Take a good look at Margaret Young’s candidacy for the Town Council, and if you like what you see, find the time to vote for her on Sept. 8, or even earlier if you intend to cast an absentee ballot. And be very attentive with absentee voting. Read and follow the instructions with great care. Your vote counts. Make sure your absentee ballot is counted.

Pat and Dan Costello
Bethany Beach