Ocean View to hold election, comp plan workshop Saturday


Residents of the town of Ocean View may want to make a point to stop by town hall on Saturday, April 13, as the town will be holding its annual council election from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Residents will vote to elect a representative for the District 1 council seat, currently held by Bill Olsen, who is not running for re-election.

Residents Gabriel Sarate and Bruce White are both seeking the position. District 2 incumbent Frank Twardzik was the only resident to file for that seat, and will serve another three-year term.

Identification will be required on Election Day for those wishing to cast their ballots.

The winner will be announced later that evening.

Simultaneously, the Town is seeking input from residents on its Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) update, and will host a workshop from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in John West Park, adjacent town hall. The workshop will feature raffles, prizes and refreshments.

The Town is required by the State of Delaware to review and update their plan every 10 years, and is — as Ken Cimino, director of planning, zoning and land use described — a roadmap for the future.

Four stations will be set up, on future land use, livability, community character and transportation.

“We’re looking for constituents’ feedback on how they see the town, what’s important to them and things they would like to see. These comments will be captured and incorporated and help us determine a path forward with what the town’s going to look like moving into 2030,” said Cimino at the April 9 council meeting.

For those who are unable to attend Saturday’s workshop, Cimino said a questionnaire will be placed on the Town’s website, and residents will have additional opportunities to comment on the plan.

Elements of the plan include transportation, affordable housing, economic development, community design, protection of historical and cultural resources, community facilities and more.

“Come out, hear our ideas, see what sort of things we’re passionate about and want to bring to town. We need the comments of the folks who live here to see whether or not this is the direction the town folk want to go. We’re hoping to see everyone Saturday between 8 and 3.”

To view the Town’s 2010 Comprehensive Land Use Plan, visit http://www.oceanviewde.com/Comprehensive-Plan/. To learn more about the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, visit https://stateplanning.delaware.gov/lup/comprehensive-plan.shtml.

 

Candidates make their cases

 

As is traditional at times of local elections, the Coastal Point asked each of the two candidates in the Ocean View Town Council election of 2019 to answer a series of questions. Both Gabriel Sarate and Bruce White submitted their replies for publication this week, ahead of Saturday’s election.

 

Gabriel Sarate

 

Q. What are your qualifications to serve on the Ocean View town council?

A. I am an eight-year resident of Ocean View and I have seen a number of changes since relocating here. After spending 40 years in the business world I have a good idea what effect budget restrictions will have on the final product. We will have to consider carefully what and where we spend our budgeted monies. I do believe my opinions will be fair and keeping with the Town’s guidelines.

Q. What are the three issues facing the town today and in the immediate future, and how do you hope to address them if elected?

A. We are quickly becoming something other than a beach vacation community. While having adequate housing at present, the future presents a different picture. We are using our present development space at a rapid rate and will have to find more space; that may require us to consider annexing more space. Prudent planning for various levels of housing, including single-family home, apartment and condos, will be necessary.

As we attract more folks to our area we have to expect that more than a few will move here with younger families with children. They will need schools, teachers and a varying number of activities to keep them here in Ocean View. We may find the need for a school tax that does not exempt anyone, perhaps raising the rate. This increase of fulltime residents will require a significant amount of study as to the number of people we may expect and the funds we may need to support the community.

The third issue will be the safety and protection of our citizens. As we know, at present we are the safest town in Delaware. Our predicament will be to ensure that it will continue to be in the years to come. As reality sets in, we’ll realize this also has a cost involved and we will need to support it.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish, if elected to the position?

A. If elected to the council, I will be a fair and reasonable voice and at the end of the term be able to say that I helped keep the town at the high level we are and provide the basis for the future of the town. I would encourage more residents to become involved in our town’s comings and goings, and even run for elected offices.

 

Bruce White

 

Q. What are your qualifications to serve on the Ocean View town council?

A. I have the qualifications and experience needed to serve on the Ocean View Town Council. During my 30-year teaching career at Gallaudet University I was a department head for two terms, and my responsibilities included budgeting, planning, and personnel evaluations and actions.

While living in Maryland I served two terms as a town council member and took many training workshops, such as risk management, ethics, budgeting, land use planning, and personnel issues. I have also held leadership positions during my 14 years as a local volunteer with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and am in my ninth year on the governing board of Coast Guard Mutual Assistance, which is the relief society for the U.S. Coast Guard.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish, if elected to the position?

A. Among the crucial tasks of Ocean View’s mayor and council are maintaining residents’ and business owners’ safety, ensuring the Town’s financial stability and resilience, and keeping Ocean View an attractive place to live.

We are very fortunate to have a first-rate police department under the energetic leadership of Chief Ken McLaughlin, who reaches out to all residents, including those who are deaf and hard of hearing. Ocean View recently made the news as the safest place to live in Delaware. I will support efforts, including the provision of adequate resources, to make sure that our Town’s growing reputation as a safe place is not jeopardized.

We need to ensure financial stability so that the Town can continue providing services on an affordable and sustainable basis in the face of fluctuating economic conditions. Ocean View continues to benefit from real estate transfer taxes on new homes, but we cannot take this growth for granted. Fewer homes will be built later on, and the economy is unpredictable, so we must continue to budget proactively and conservatively.

Similarly, our Town needs to have the resilience to recover quickly from future crises, such as destructive storms. Hurricane Sandy caused extensive flooding, resulting in limited evacuation routes, and the next big storm could be worse. We need to bolster our preparations for possible crises with more participation by residents as we “hope for the best but plan for the worst.”

Q. What are the three issues facing the town today and in the immediate future, and how do you hope to address them if elected?

A. Keeping our Town an attractive place to live will lead to greater pride in Ocean View, and I will encourage continued partnership with the Ocean View Historical Society, and additional efforts to preserve and publicize our Town’s charm and heritage.

We all have the chance to begin shaping the Town’s livability and community character over the next decade by participating in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan update exercises at Town Hall after voting this Saturday. The Town belongs to its residents and is defined by them; the more of us who get involved, the better Ocean View will become.

 

By Maria Counts

Staff Reporter