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October 9, 1998     Cape Gazette
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October 9, 1998
 

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10- CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, October 9- October 15, 1998 Sussex candidates Frederick, C,)le spar at resort chamber meeting ByMichaelShort uals win games, but The candidates may look alike, teams win champi- But the differences between them were ouships," an apparent never more apparent, refereneYe 1oCole' s rep-i- On Wednesday, Oct. i, Sussex County utation for sometimes CouflcilmanGeorge C01e and his chal- not working 11 with lenger, DeweBeaCh Mayor Bob Freder- the othflour county ick, met to date th issues at a meeting of eouncilmii the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Cham- ber of Commerce. Cole, a Republican, stressed his years of experience and his Sussex County roots, saying he knows and loves the area. Freder- ick said he is the candidate of vision and leadership and argued that it was time for a change. The two occasionally sniped at each other in what is shaping up as one of the most in- teresting races in Sussex County this year. Frederick, a Democrat, said that Sussex County has suffered through a "leadership void." When Frederick advocated better trans- portation and more affordable housing in order to attract summer employees for beach businesses, Cole said "Mr. Frederick should run for state representative...We can do all the things he is saying. But a lot of people like their taxes low." Frederick reminded the audience that Dewey Beach has no property tax and he is adamantly opposed to tax increases. Frederick told the audience that "individ- Both men are seek- ing the Fourth Council- manic District seat and both are very well known. Cole is a veteran councilman known'for his concern about development and the environment in the Cape Region. He is the third member of his family to hold his seat on county council: Frederick is the'Dewey Beach mayor and president of the Association of Coastal Towns (ACT), Frederick has been especial- ly vocal about the issue of beach replenish- ment. Both have roots in the Cape Region. Cole noted that he attended Rehoboth High School and he pointed out familiar faces in the room by name, Frederick noted that he has been very active in the community and served for several years as both a Dewey Beach commissioner and mayor. "I've developed a reputation as a leader who can not only spot problems, but one who can work with the parties involved, de- velop consensus and deliver a solution that Senatorial By Rosanne Pack Two political novices appeared together at a recent meeting of the fledgling citizens' group The Cen- ter for Public Research. Candi- dates for the 18th Senatorial Dis- trict, Gary Downes and Gary Simpson introduced themselves and discussed issues of impor- tance to the region that they hope to represent. The research organization, founded by Rich Collins, has a stated goal of becoming a reliable and unbiased source of informa- tion regarding "the activities of various governing bodies in the state of Delaware." In keeping with the group's mission, the can- didates were asked to address such issues as the relationship be- tween elected officials, state regu- latory officials and federal regula- tory officials; governmental re- sponsibility for initiating and im- plementing policy; and the extent of responsibility for governmental agencies to keep the Gen.eral As, sembly informed of th8ir activi- ties. Democratic candidate Dowries told those present that he had at- tended the closing sessions of the 139th General Assembly, and he was impressed with the passion exhibited by elected officials and those who chose to be actively in- volved in the legislative process. He said he sees the position of a senator as a receiver of informa- tion from a cross section of groups served - chambers of commerce, fire companies, school-district of- ficials, police departments as well as individual'citizens. Citizens playl a role "If elected, I will have an open candidates Downes, door policy; I plan to be proactiVe and knowl- edgeable," he said. "I will be a re- layer of in- formation who works for the peo- DOWNES pie. The peo- ple are the stockholders in our government." Republican Simpson said citi- zens should play the most impor- tant role in state government. He said there is a danger of "sitting around too long and listening to what government tells you." "Citizens need to be kibitzers. We need tough citizens to ask tough questions," he said. "You get what you let happen." The candidates expressed inter- est in holding public referendums on major issues, however, neither one was ready to say that the re- sults of a referendum should be binding on ted officials. "If you hiea poll every:time an issue coip, it would cer- tainly take  gus work OUt of creating l-gislation,'" D0wnes said. "It would help elected officials in getting tlR!ideas of the people," Simpson added.- - On key ismms facin southern Delaware, iculture.-latetpol- luti0n and ad deW, top= ment, the @daiilhavlef- inite opinio . .':i:,,i,: ''.: iY Re gardihstrs piaie4:ollion caused b  aal Nutriem iill i Wi#4rr- tant, but must be based on good works," Frederick said. Cole told the group that he works hard to represent their interests and he said there is much that is right about county government. "i I: haVeheard that we have the lowest t, axes in the country, he COLE said. FREDERICK While Cole was un- sure about that, he said the county consis- tently balances budgets while keeping taxes low. He suggested that Sussex County "may be on the verge of another building boom." Cole stressed his record. He said he has raised the issue of increasing paramedic seryicein the Long Neck area; supports more parking for multi-family housing and outlet shopping malls; and supports a C-2 zone with additional landscaping, parking and other requirements for "big box stores." Frederick called for "smart growth." He said "Let me share my vision for both the government and the county. Governments need to be run like businesses. Today, busi- nesses are being asked to do more with less. Government needs to respond to its cus- tomers as the business community has, with better service, an emphasis on quality, the ability to work smarter and do more with less2 "My vision for the county is influenced by the amount of growth we're experienc- ing. We are, by far, the fastest growing county in the state. Why? Because Sx County has offered an alternative to theur-' ban and suburban sprawl taking place around usi We need a development plan that allows us to grow, yet allows us to re, tain the natural beauty and quality of life that is the Sussex County way of life." Both men said the state needs to help the area pay for the cost of sewer districts. Frederick said that Sussex County should not re-assess unless the other Delaware counties also do so. Cole said that the state should help pay the cost of re-assessment because the state will also benefit. - Frederick supported more transportation and affordable housing to attract summer employees. Cole said that Sussex County has tried to fund special events like festi- vals and has worked hard at economic de- velopment by attracting good-paying jobs to the county industrial park. Frederick said "give and take" is what is needed for business and government to work together. He said he will help busi- ness by trying to cut bureaucracy and red tape. Cole said he has supported efforts to streamline the county permitting process in order to help businesses and make the county more user friendly. Simpson square off at citizens' group meeting science. "Poverty is the biggest killer in our country, and here, the economy is affected by the agricultur- al communi- ty." SIMPSON Downes said that alternative methods of disposing of animal manure need to be. explored, such as burning it for fuel or composting it for safer fertilizer application. "We have to look at bio-feasi- bility," he said. "This is our biggest issue." Is enough enough? A resident of Milford whose job with the University of Delaware frequently brings him to the Cape Region, Simpson has witnessed the effects of growth and develop- merit in the 18th District. When asked his opinions on economic development within the district and southern Delaware, he re- sponded, "I have to ask myself, at what point is enough development enough? I've seen some bad changes brought by development. We have transportation woes. "I think there is a point where we become overdeveloped. I Would like to see industry brought in that would solve some existing problems; I would like to see the poultry industry and the housing industiy looking at pollution. It's tough to say we want more and more as we clog our highways." Downes, an independent insur- ance agent, reviewed his history as an active member of his home- town of Milford where he has served as a volunteer in communi- ty organizations. He is a board member of the Milford Chamber of Commerce and has been that organization's president. Growth needs support In discussing specific issues of concern to the 18th District and to Delaware, he said the impact of a growing population makes land use and access management im- portant factors in how the region adapts. He said, throughout the process, a planned approach is the only sensible way to keep control. He said a partnership of local, state and federal officials must work with the citizens. He said his experience with the chamber in Milford has helped him see the importance of the re- lationship between economic de- velopment and the need for equal growth in services and infrastruc- ture to support the development. Downes also pointed out that Delaware has already given citi- zens tax breaks in many ways, in- eluding sharing the property trans- fer tax with counties and towns and eliminating inheritance taxes. "The way the property transfer tax is being shared is an example of how the state can assist local governments, and the county will help the small towns," he said. As the past director of the Delaware State Fair, Simpson said working with an 80-member board gave him ample experience in learning the roles of a policy- setting board and of management that carries out the policy. He pointed out the similarities with such a board and management or- ganization and elected officials and regulaiory agencies. Making things work "Government is complex," he said. "But regulatory agencies should inform the public, not be so dogmatic. If regulatory agen- cies are not telling the legislators of their actions, committees must be formed so that the elected offi- cials and the citizens are' in- formed. The public process is slower, but government can be ef- ficient and not trample the rights of the public." The UD director of alumni and university relations, Simpson feels that there will always be im- provements to be made in Delaware's education system; however, he also feels that too many positive factors are over- shadowed by fewer negative fac- tors. "Of course, our schools have problems, but there is a lot of good as well," he said. "We need to stop running down our schools " and support the work of good teachers and administrators. "Progress I would like to see in prevention of crime and drug abuse will.have a positive impact on our schools." He also told those attending the public research organization meeting that he believes technolo- gy exists that can help solve envi- ronmental problems. "We can't-comPromise on solv- ing these problems,":he said. "But, I believe there are compro- mises to be made on solutions." Simpson has concerns that the state governmen t is too large, too many pieces iof legislati0r are in- troduced each year. He said the Continued on page 12