Sheeran running for reelection to Ocean View council

The Town of Ocean View will be holding its annual council elections in April, and last week, District 3 incumbent Councilman Tom Sheeran filed to run for reelection.

“I enjoyed doing it, and I enjoyed working with the Town’s people, so I thought I’d go for three more years,“ he said.

The Town is currently seeking candidates to run for election as the council member representing District 3 and as mayor, both with three-year terms. Currently, only Walter Curran has filed to run for mayor and Sheeran is running unopposed.

Sheeran was elected to the town council in 2011 to represent District 3. He and his wife, Patricia, moved to Hunter’s Run in 2001, having retired from a 35-year career with the federal government.

After Sept. 11, 2001, Sheeran worked with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), giving family-preparedness briefings. He was later approached by Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin to help put together the town’s Citizens Auxiliary Patrol.

Sheeran said he decided to run for office because of the contentiousness that seemed to plague the town at the time.

“I thought we could do better than that,” he said. “I feel that the current council has done a great job in placing the Town of Ocean View on a comfortable, less contentious plain, with a reasonable budget in the process.”

During his years in office, Sheeran said he’s proud to have helped the Town in numerous ways, including repealing the censure of former councilman Bill Wichmann and the reorganization of the police department’s staffing level.

“I also instigated a formal salary study of all the Town’s employees, which placed them on a comparable level with surrounding towns. That will come up again next year, to be relooked it,” he said. “During the last three years, it took some time to get the public works building started. We’ve finally got that contract signed, and I’d like to see the accomplishment there.”

Sheeran also chaired the search committee for the current town manager, Dianne Vogel.

“I think we got a good one,” he said of Vogel. “I believe so, anyway.”

In the past, Sheeran has voiced his concern about the Town installing sidewalks; however, he said that he’s no longer adamantly opposed to it.

“I’m not totally against it now. I’m just waiting to see how it comes about,” he said. “My main feeling at the beginning was that the timing was wrong. It was going to cost us about $20,000 per section, and there were about five sections. At that time, the economy was totally in the pits, and I just thought that was the wrong time for the Town to be spending $20,000, even though we were getting many returns from the state and federal funds.”

Sheeran said that a smart budget is important and, if elected, he plans to maintain a good budget without increasing taxes, if possible.

“I’d like to see us maintain a good budget without increasing the taxes drastically,” he said. “There’s a possibility that some of the cost we have could be outsourced. I believe our new town manager is looking into that — getting a better job done for less money, in regard to the budget.”

He added that he’d like to continue to update the town code and procedures, and maintain public safety, as well as see the town become more contiguous.

“I’d still love the boarders of the town contiguous, without all these little pockets in the middle of people who are not in the town,” he said. “It makes no sense, especially since the Ocean View Police Department services all these people.”

In the future, when the Route 26 improvement project is complete, Sheeran said he’d like to see the town’s main thoroughfare beautified.

“I’d love to see, once that’s done, some beautification along Route 26 in Ocean View, so you don’t cross the bridge between Bethany Beach and Ocean View — I think we could be as good as they are.”

Sheeran said he hopes the town’s residents will support him in the upcoming election, so that the town may continue to run smoothly, with the best interests of its residents in mind.

“We’ve had a good group of people on the council, and we have a great group of people working for the Town. Just working with them together has been a real delight. Nobody has their own agenda. Everybody throws ideas out, and we figure out which works best, and we go from there, rather than any one person trying to dictate anything. It’s just been a teamwork effort across the board.”