Clarksville resident and former state trooper Douglas B. Hudson was appointed this week to the Sussex County Council Planning & Zoning Commission.
At the May 3 county council meeting, Hudson underwent a public interview before the council.
A native Sussex Countian, originally from Bethany Beach, he has lived in Clarksville for the last 25 years. Hudson is married to Lou Anne Hudson, director of curriculum for the Indian River School District, and spent almost 27 years with the Delaware State Police. In 2013, he took a position as a school safety monitor in the Indian River School District.
When he was young, he joined the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company, and later attended Delaware Technical Community College and Wilmington University, to study criminal justice.
Asked about his previous experience, Hudson said he has served as vice president and fire chief of the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company, as president of Lower Sussex Little League, as a member of the Delaware State Police Federal Credit Union’s board and as vice president of the Indian River High School Football Boosters for four years.
“I enjoy working in the public. I think I have a lot to offer, and my honesty and integrity will go a long way, I think, in Planning & Zoning. It would be an honor and a privilege to serve,” said Hudson.
Councilman George Cole nominated Hudson in April to fill the seat vacated by then-commissioner Rodney Smith, who resigned in March for health reasons, after serving 12 years on the commission.
“Land use is the single largest function of County government. We need people who understand the role of government in serving the people, the needs and trends within the development community and, most importantly, how to work with people who have differing perspectives,” Cole said. “Doug has spent his career working with people of all types, sometimes in stressful situations. I think he will be a great fit on the commission.”
While Hudson acknowledged he doesn’t have experience with the commission, he said his background makes him a good candidate for the position.
“I don’t have much experience at all with the Planning & Zoning Commission in and of itself, but I do know a lot about building developments, what it takes for setbacks, stormwater management, things of that nature,” said Hudson.
“Planning & Zoning plays an important role, as far as land use. I think responsible growth is a big part of it, but I am a property rights [advocate] — but you have to see how it impacts community and environment as well.”
Hudson also stated that he is a part-time Realtor with Beach Bound Realty, which is owned by Sussex County Councilman Rob Arlett.
“As far as the conflict of interest goes, it’s a simple matter of integrity, as far as I’m concerned,” said Hudson. “If a conflict does come up, I will quickly recuse myself from any discussion in the matter.”
The council voted 4-0 to appoint Hudson, with Councilwoman Joan Deaver absent. Hudson’s appointment took effect immediately and will last through June 2017, when the current three-year term ends. Commissioners are paid $250 per meeting.