Frankford candidates get in the last word before election


Four candidates are vying for three seats on the Frankford Town Council in the Feb. 6 election. Voters will choose between incumbents Pamela Davis and Marty Presley, and challengers Dawn Beck and former councilman Edward “Skip” Ash.

Polls open Saturday at 1 p.m. and will close at 4 p.m., with voting at Frankford Town Hall. Those who are voted in will serve a two-year term.

A qualified voter must be a citizen of the United States; at least 18; have resided within the corporate limits of the town for at least 30 days prior to the election; and already be registered to vote in the town, as the registration deadline for new voters has passed for this election. (Registration to vote in state elections does not qualify residents to vote in the town council election.)

Those who wish to vote must remember to take with them proof of their identity and address, such as a current State of Delaware driver’s license or ID card and a current utility bill, bank statement, credit card statement, a paycheck or another type of bill or statement.

In preparation for the election, the Coastal Point has asked the four candidates questions about some of the issues. Their responses are listed alphabetically by the candidate’s last name.

Edward ‘Skip’ Ash

Q. What qualifies you to serve on town council?

A. I have been a resident of Frankford since 1987 and a member of the Frankford Volunteer Fire Department for 29 years. I have regularly attended town meetings for the last two years, and am up to date with the current issues facing the town. I am on the town Handbook Committee and the committee to make amendments to the town charter.

Q. What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the Town, and how do you plan to address it if elected?

A. I believe there are two big issues facing the town currently. One issue is creating a budget that is prepared in a timely manner. Moving forward with a complete balanced budget will be vital for the town. The water tower is a major topic that needs to be addressed immediately. I am in favor of the grant money being discussed in the general meetings.

Q. What role do you think a town council should have in the management of a town?

A. The town council’s main function should be transparency to the citizens of the town about projects and current issues.

Q. If you could talk directly to the voters, what would you say?

A. I have a good working relationship with other town council members, and I would like to be a part of that council to achieve the goals that we would like to see for the town. My goal is to continue the transparency, that we will reach out to the town citizens for input.

Pam Davis

Q. What qualifies you to serve on the Town Council?

A. As a lifelong resident of Frankford, I have a vested interest in our town and I understand the needs we are facing. I feel the residents know they can come to me with their questions and concerns, and they know I will address those issues. They know that what matters to them matters to me.

Q. What is the biggest issue facing Frankford and how do you plan to address it?

A. One of the greatest concerns we are facing in Frankford at this time is the need to replace the water tower. It is important to get input from all town members, and we need to come together on this major infrastructure issue.

Q. What role should a town council have in management of the town?

A. I believe the role of the town council is to be an advocate for the people and the needs of the town.

Q. If you could talk directly to voters what would you say?

A. Let’s continue to make Frankford move forward while addressing the needs and concerns of the people. We need to look to the future of Frankford while remembering the past.

Dawn Marvel-Beck

Q. What qualifies you to serve on town council?

A. In my hometown, I want to do things for the town’s people. I want to help make this a more of a balanced, family-oriented town, where people come together and help work to put this town back together, so the people of the town could be proud of where they live.

Q. What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the Town, and how do you plan to address it if elected?

A. There are things that (the council) are trying to change for certain people (for their own agendas) and not for all of the town’s people. There are things being done in town that the town’s people don’t even know about.

Q. What role do you think a town council should have in the management of a town?

I would like to help make better communication between the council and the town’s people, because not all of the town’s people have computers or the ability to get to the meetings, or are able to go to the town hall to read the bulletin board.

Q. What role do you think a town council should have in the management of a town?

A. The town council should help hire and retain the best quality employees that would benefit the town.

Q. If you could talk directly to the voters, what would you say?

A. I would like to be the voice of the town’s people. I would like to help to change the town for the better. I would like to help bring the town council and the town’s people together as one community, instead of being against one another.

Marty Presley

Q. What qualifies you to serve on town council?

A. I have been a resident of Frankford for 13 years, and my wife has lived here for over 30 years. Professionally, I am a certified financial planner and, as such, have been advising both individuals and businesses’ on taxes, investing, budgeting and risk management for 33 years. These are some of the same issues facing the town currently and into the future.

Q. What is the biggest issue facing the town?

A. I believe over the next 10 to 20 years our area will see a tremendous amount of growth, and it will be up to the council and residents to manage this growth. Delaware will continue attract retirees from the Northeast, and the coastal expansion will continue its westward push into Frankford and all along the Route 113 corridor from Georgetown south to the state line. This expansion is going to create winners and losers among our neighboring towns, and it is up to us to recognize this and plan for it, so that we are one of the winners.

Q. What role do you think a town council should have in the management of the town?

A. With a town our size and with our budget, it is a necessity that the council has a hands-on approach to how the town is run. Ideally, if money was no object, Frankford could have a town manager, which would serve as the CEO, and the council, would be a de facto Board of Directors, overseeing the manager. I don’t think we are there yet budget-wise, but possibly in the future.

Having the council involved on a day-to-day basis, like we currently do, has some decided advantages. A small-town municipal government may very well be the last government structure where a resident can voice their opinion to a council representative and possibly see immediate results and action.

Q. If you could talk directly to voters, what would you say?

A. The town has come a long way in the last year, but there is still a long way to go. It is going to require a lot of time and effort from all of us — residents and council — to get the town on a firm foundation. If we simply go back to the way things were a few years ago, where hardly anyone was involved in town matters, the town will resume the downward trend it was on before. I believe it is absolutely true that you get the government you deserve.