Davis appointed to Frankford council as Atherton steps down

Frankford Town Council Vice-President Ron Atherton stepped down from his position on the council at their Sept. 9 meeting.

“The time has come for me to step aside,” Atherton said. “I’ll be 80 years old at my next birthday. It’s time for me to go fishing!”

The former council president thanked the residents for reelecting him and the council for serving with him.

In his time, Atherton said, he came to “understand the mechanics of a small town. I encourage everybody to get involved community service. … I want to thank you.”

His fellow council members thanked Atherton in return.

Appointee Pamela Davis is expected to finished his term. The council scheduled a special meeting for swearing-in and reorganization of council on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m. They also planned to discuss the proposed Route 113 bypass project so the Town can give an official opinion of the proposed project at the Delaware Department of Transportation hearings on Sept. 18 and 19.

Resident Greg Welch asked on Monday about the process used to replace Atherton on the council.

“It seems she’s being put in here without discussion,” Welch said. “You’re denying people the conversation.”

“The council can appoint” a temporary member, said Town Administrator Terry Truitt.

Davis has served on the council before and expressed an interest in returning, so the Town telephoned her to invite her back, Truitt said.

The Town charter states that, within 45 days, “the Council shall fill such vacancy for the remainder of the entire term. … A special meeting shall be called by the secretary adhering to the notice requirements.”

Scheduling took place early in Monday’s meeting, before Atherton officially resigned, Council President Jesse Truitt pointed out.

In other Frankford news:

• The town council voted to cancel the Frankford Fall Festival, usually held the last Saturday in October, just before Halloween trick-or-treating. Councilmembers Joanne Bacon and Cheryl Workman said there has been no meeting about the festival and little time to get organized. Terry Truitt said the Town needs to do more outreach and get more volunteers to help organize in the future.

• The planned town park two-on-two basketball tournament never happened because the $25 entrance fee discouraged people from entering, said Police Chief William Dudley. In the future, with some leftover grant money, Dudley said he hopes to buy a few trophies to award in a free tournament.

“The kids I talked to would love to do it,” Dudley said.

He suggested combining the tournament with a town-wide crime-prevention Night Out at the park, featuring a barbecue and activities. This could also partner with the Frankford Fall Festival, he said.

• Dudley reminded people that a recent string of Sussex County lawnmower thefts seems to be a professional job. The thieves have swiped industrial lawnmowers “quickly and efficiently,” usually in a matter of minutes.

• People were reminded to be careful walking or driving by the Frankford Public Library on Green Street. Construction is in the finishing stages, but a Dumpster is sticking out, which doesn’t fit entirely in the construction zone.

• In the police report for Aug. 6 to Sept. 8, there were 26 calls for service, 36 traffic arrests and one criminal arrest.

The next regular Town Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 7.