No council elections in Millville this year

Millville will not hold a general election in 2007, with all three of the town council seats open for candidates this year going uncontested as last Friday’s deadline to file for council candidacy passed.

Incumbents Donald Minyon and Richard Thomas will retain their seats, with no challengers. And Interim Mayor Tim Droney retired from the field, electing not to file for re-election. His seat will instead be occupied by Millville Centennial Committee member Kami Banks — the only other person to file for a council seat this year.

The council members will officially take their seats at a March swearing-in before that month’s regular council meeting. Deputy-Mayor Joan Bennett, who has been serving as acting mayor while Droney has been out of town in recent weeks, and Councilman Gerry Hocker were unopposed in 2006. Their seats will be up for re-election in 2008.

Droney, a 19-year councilman, became the acting executive of the town when former Mayor Gary Willey resigned upon moving outside town limits last year. Having previously handled some of the town’s code enforcement issues, he will step off the council for the first time in nearly two decades.

Minyon was appointed by the four other council members to fill the seat Willey left open last year, but that term will conclude in March. After less than a year in office, Minyon has taken the lead with the town’s revitalized annexation committee and was noticeably eager to get citizens more involved with the town’s decision making at that committee’s most recent meeting.

Looking ahead to his first full, two-year term, Minyon told the Coastal Point he was looking forward to continuing the ongoing update of the town’s zoning regulations, as well as beginning work on its comprehensive plan update, which is due to the state in 2008.

In March of 2005, Thomas was sworn in to fill the seat of Councilman Bill Lee, which was left vacant after Lee’s death in 2004. He has been a voice of concern for the impact of large new development on the town’s existing areas and citizens, as well as the Millville Volunteer Fire Company.

Kami Banks served on the town’s Centennial Celebration committee last year and often was its voice before the council as the events they organized came together. The committee organized a parade and other festivities related to 2006’s 100th anniversary of Millville’s incorporation.

Referendum vote still set for March 3

Despite the uncontested council election, there will still be voting in the town on March 3, with a referendum set for property owners to vote on a possible de-annexation of portions of the Lord Baltimore Elementary School property. Election times for the referendum are set by town charter, for 1 to 5 p.m. on that day.

The school property has been under three different sets governmental control over the years — parts annexed in to Ocean View, parts in unincorporated Sussex County and parts inside Millville.

Recently, Ocean View annexed the county portions of the property, allowing its renovations to move ahead more smoothly last year. Now, Millville property owners will consider whether the remaining small portion of the school property not in Ocean View should be de-annexed by Millville so that Ocean View can finally annex the entirety of the school grounds.

Eligible voters in the referendum include all property owners, whether an individual, partnership, a corporation or other entity, both in the Town of Millville and in the territory proposed to be de-annexed, who have one vote.

Every resident of either the Town of Millville or of the territory proposed to be de-annexed, who is over the age of 18 and who is not a property owner also has one vote.

In the case of property owned by more than one person, firm, corporation or other entity or any combination thereof, whether as tenants in common, joint tenants, or as tenants by the entireties, each such joint owner has one vote.