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December 15, 2017     Cape Gazette
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December 15, 2017

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Sen. Ernie Lopez files for re-election Candidate filing deadline for 2018 election is Tuesday, July 10, 2018 By Chris Flood Six years into his tenure as Delaware’s Senatorial District 6 representative, Ernie Lopez said patience has been the one attri- bute he’s relied on most. Making sure to see the forest through the trees, solving the problems of the day and a will- ingness to work with anyone are the things that have been most important to his success, he said Dec. 13. Lopez, a Republican, filed re- election paperwork Dec. 12 at the Sussex County Department of Elections in Georgetown. As one of 11 Sussex County leg- islators up for re-election in 2018, Lopez is seeking his third term. In 2012, he defeated Democratic challenger Andy Staton, and in 2014 he was re-elected, defeating Democrat Claire Snyder Hall. Lopez’s first term was two years because it was a reapportioned seat. After that, it’s a four-year term. Senate District 6, which moved from northern New Castle County to Sussex County during redistricting in 2012, encom- passes Dewey Beach, Rehoboth Beach, Lewes and Milton. Lopez said the state’s budget and healthcare issues still need to be addressed. He said there needs to be a thoughtful dis- cussion on cost efficiencies for the state, and he’s looking for- ward to expanding the number of healthcare insurers offered in Delaware. Lopez also said it’s time to make sure state employees – like teachers and corrections officers – have the resources they need to do their work. He said he keeps hearing about how state work- ers have seen their workload increase with the same pay. The biggest change for Lopez since the 2014 campaign is at a personal level – he and his wife, Janis, have separated. Noting the change in his family dynamic, Lopez said he still has two beautiful daughters whom he loves, a supportive family and a constituency that has recognized every family has challenges. This district has embraced him, he said, and Lopez says his constitu- ents appreciate his continued hard work on their behalf. “There really has been an out- pouring of support,” he said. “So many people have told me how proud they are for my reason- able and thoughtful actions. I’m really happy to get this campaign started.” Additional election information Sen. Bryant Richardson, R- Laurel, is also up for re-election. Quality Goes In Before the Name Goes On! CLARK SERVICES INC. Service Contracts On Heat & A/C available. $ 99 Heater & AC Service Serving all makes and models. $ 6,500 Heater & AC Service Replacement Special Sussex County (302) 947-9145 New Castle County (302) 834-0556 Cape Gazette NEWS FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15 - MONDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2017 19 Continued on page 20 To clear up confusion, he said, school districts should use a unified system of codes to input spending data. In two questionable coding examples, the audit notes In- dian River spent $2,140 coded as table games code for computer services, while Cape Henlopen spent $200 on sticky buns coded as computer supplies. “Nobody could figure what you would have a table game category for,” Wagner said. The sticky buns were bought for an employee holiday break- fast, according to the audit. Prohibited purchases Other purchases were flat out prohibited by the state's Budget and Accounting Manual, the audit states. This included a $60 purchase for flowers and $200 for two $100 gift certificates to Fish On! made by Cape Henlopen. Sussex Tech spent about $210 on two flower purchases. Flowers, greeting cards and gift cards are among expenses prohibited by the budget manual. To prevent improprieties, the audit suggests collecting private donations for those items. Establishing uniform guide- lines and clearing up ambiguity on expenses outside the class- rooms could save the state money during tight budget times, Wagner said. At $341 million a year, the state's public education budget is 30 percent of the state's budget with administrative sala- ries for educators among the highest in the state. “On the education side, it's not clear. In this case, it's very murky waters,” Wagner said.   Audit Continued from page 16 7 2 0 K i n g s H w y , L e w e s | 3 0 2 . 6 4 5 . 0 3 0 0 CHRISTMAS TREE SALE ALL TREES $50 (even the BIG ones!)