Robert R. “Bob” Lawless and Gerald K. “Jerry” Mueller will be running to fill the District 4 seat in the Ocean View town council election to be held April 11. Roy Thomas, who has held the seat for the past three years, is not running for re-election.
Lawless, a retired property manager, has been a Delaware resident for three years. A self-described conservative from New York City, Lawless said he had never interacted with an elected official before moving to Delaware. “It’s more socially acceptable to be conservative here,” said Lawless, who now heads up the 38th District Republican Club and has been active politically since moving to the area.
Lawless said he counts opponent Jerry Mueller a neighbor, as both live in the community of Wedgefield. He said he was approached last spring by some concerned citizens who were de-crying the actions of the current town council, and they asked him to run for council in 2009.
“I said, ‘Why me?’ and they said, ‘Go to the meetings.’ And I did, and I was appalled,” said Lawless. “Appalled at the negativity and the hostility amongst the council. I thought, ‘This cannot be allowed to continue.’”
He said that, after researching and talking to more people, he came up with only two options: either sit back and grumble or do something about it.
“I’m retired and independently poor, and I had the time,” joked Lawless. He said his goals for council are to bring a more positive outlook to the town.
“I will listen and do everything in my power to make the council a positive influence on Ocean View. We can’t stay as the exemplar as what not to do in small-town government.”
Jerry Mueller, a local real estate agent and owner of Jerry Mueller Real Estate, said that he decided to run because he felt he could use his experience as something good for the town.
“I felt like I had something to contribute with my business experience. I am at a point now where I want to give back, and I feel I can offer a constructive and positive influence on Ocean View council business,” he said.
Originally from Washington, D.C., Mueller has been in the area since 1983 and has “never looked back,” he said. He hopes to bring a business sense to Ocean View and plans on making financial decisions that are both in the best interest of the town, while being transparent, he said.
“Also, I am very positive and have the enthusiasm to guide the town through these tough times,” he added.
Mueller is hosting a “Meet and Greet Jerry Mueller” at the Wedgefield Community Center on Saturday, March 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with refreshments.
The Citizens to Elect Responsible Government will be hosting a Meet and Greet Bob Lawless on March 28 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Bear Trap Pavilion, with light refreshments.
The Savannah’s Landing Homeowner’s Association is hosting a meet-and-greet for both candidates on Friday, March 27, at 1:30 p.m. And Ocean View’s official Candidates Night, at which the candidates will present their platforms and take questions, has been scheduled for Thursday, April 2, at 7 p.m. at town hall, at 32 West Avenue.
The election will be held Saturday, April 11, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at town hall. Voters must be registered to vote in the town of Ocean View and the deadline to register is 4:30 p.m. on March 27.
Voters must be at least 18 years of age; U.S. citizens; Ocean View residents for at least six months immediately preceding the election; and have no felony convictions. Absentee ballots can be mailed or are available by coming in to town hall. The affidavit to receive an absentee ballot must be filed no later than noon on April 9, and absentee ballots must be received by 5 p.m. on April 11.
Identification is required for anyone wishing to receive an absentee ballot and for anyone voting in person on election day. For more information on absentee ballots, call town hall at (302) 539-9797, ext. 4.