Incumbents uncontested again in Selbyville

For the second year in a row, there will be no town council elections in Selbyville. Incumbents Richard Duncan and Jay Murray – whose additional two-year terms on the town council were uncontested again this year – will retain their seats, as the March 6 elections have been canceled due to a lack of candidates. Selbyville joined Frankford and Millville as the third local town this month to cancel its 2010 elections due to a lack of candidates.

Duncan and Murray have a combined 30 years on the Selbyville council, and although there hasn’t been much contention for council seats in recent years, the town has seen much change.

“We’ve had a lot going on in Selbyville,” said Duncan, “especially in the last sixth months. Our water has been hit by contaminants, and we’ve conducted flushing to rectify this problem.”

Council members have worked closely with chemical engineers to better understand and assess the situation. Although the organic contaminants have been identified in the town’s water, their levels pose no health threats to the citizens, experts have said.

“We’re getting to re-bed our filtration system and bring the specs all up to grade,” Duncan explained. “The filter’s still in good shape, but we’ve lost some of the media that filters out the iron. We’re working with the [United States Department of Agriculture] USDA and doing what we need to move forward.”

The council has also advanced toward a grant that will help analyze the feasibility to recondition the current water treatment plant or construct a new one within town limits.

“We’re a small town,” Duncan added, “but we have a lot going on. We’ve been maintaining our tax base, and we’re really trying to keep the people in our community happy.”

Among the council’s upcoming agenda items is analyzing storm damage from the recent blizzard and winter weather.

“We’ll see how much damage the snow has done to the streets,” Duncan said. “We’re losing some of our municipal funding, so that’s been a little bit of a burden. This year, for the first time in a while, we’re going to have to tighten our belts a little more.

“We are also experiencing a loss in our realty tax money. The town is definitely feeling the pinch of the economy, but we’re doing everything we need to.”

Duncan credited the town’s ability to progress to a strong and viable council, and to the town manager, Bob Dickerson.

“We all get along,” he said, “and although we may not agree on every issue, knowing each other has really helped things work out. We put the best interests of the town at hand and work through it, and that’s the way a council should be. We support our schools and libraries within town, and that’s a big plus for us. We maintain our relationship throughout the community.”

Last year’s town council election process in Selbyville also saw incumbents Mayor Clifton Murray and Councilmen G. Frank Smith III and Clarence W. “Bud” Tingle Jr. retain their positions, as they were also the only individuals to file for those two-year terms. All three of those seats will be up for election in 2011.