Despite the fact that Sussex County is a COVID hotspot, particularly in the Georgetown, Millsboro, Millville area, and despite the fact that the COVID vaccine program is early in its rollout stages and despite the fact that many senior citizens in the communities surrounding the proposed Evans Farm Apartment site have asked for time to get vaccinated so that they could safely attend a public hearing, the Sussex County Council has ignored these facts and ordered the scheduling of the hearing for Feb. 18 at Del Tech in Georgetown — a county hotspot.

Now the Council and County leadership will tell you that the facility they have arranged at Del Tech complies with the Governor’s guidelines on conducting County business.

What they cannot defend or even explain is the plethora of confusing and contradictory information that we as citizens have been provided by our government from the federal level all the way down. Our own governor, in a statement Jan. 27, has again renewed the state of emergency for another 30 days due to the shortage of vaccine supply and rollout logistics.

“Each day, we are getting the life-saving vaccine out to more Delawareans, including our most vulnerable friends and neighbors,” Carney said. “But until supply increases and we can make vaccinations more widely available, let’s do what works to fight community spread of COVID-19. Avoid gatherings. Wear a mask… Stay vigilant ….”

The Governor's guidelines on conducting county business were issued at a time when a vaccine had not yet been approved and infection rates were stabilizing. That has changed.

How does the Council defend its decision to ignore the Governor's advice and schedule a meeting on a development proposal they know is very controversial? One can only conclude that the business of business is more important than protecting the lives of our at-risk citizens.

County leadership will tell you that a call-in option is available for us to voice our concerns. I ask you does a phone call carry the same impact as an in-person presence? I think not.

If you are in a high-risk category and have to decide on attending a meeting where a construction project that may not start for months is being decided vs protecting your health until you can receive a vaccine — the target is to have the over-65 vaccinated within the next 60-90 days — What would you do? Gov. Carney says AVOID GATHERINGS, STAY VIGILANT.

By effectively suppressing the voices of the opposition, the Council has put on display its pro-developer bias. I guess what they say is true — Money Talks!

Tom Goglia

Member of Evans Farm Watch