Dagsboro prepares for council election

Dagsboro residents have seen some quiet election cycles in years past — in fact, many times there haven’t been enough candidates to bother with an election at all.
Something’s changed. Even with two council members (Clay Hall and Jamie Kollock) opting to step down this election cycle, there are still more candidates than available seats on council.

As long as nothing changes between now and Election Day, Saturday, Dec. 3, it will be a best three out of five in Dagsboro this year — somebody (two of them, actually) is going home sad.

• Incumbent Mayor S. Bradley Connor will seek reelection. A lifelong resident, he’s served as mayor for the past 16 years, and owner-operates a package store in Bethany Beach. Connor said he couldn’t see walking away from council just when there are so many pending projects around town. Criticisms notwithstanding, Connor defended the town’s comprehensive plan.

Patti Adams, Wayne Baker and Patty Flowers are running as a party ticket — for change. All three said they felt mayor and council members had become increasingly unresponsive to the constituents. None have any prior political experience.

• Adams is also a lifelong resident, and an Indian River School District teacher for the past 35 years. She said her main concern was the sudden escalation in the number of approved real estate developments around town and suggested council might need to conduct a closer year-to-year review of its comprehensive plan.

• Baker is a lifelong resident as well. He spent the main part of his career in middle management for the poultry industry and is now a sales manager at Pine Ridge Barns. He echoed Adams’ sentiments and, like Adams, said he dislikes the way the town is managing its growth, both ways: on one side, development is outpacing infrastructure; on the other, approving higher densities now restricts property owners who might want to develop later, he said.

• Flowers has lived in Dagsboro since 1996 (originally from Lancaster, Pa.). She works as a medical-practice billing manager. She participated in town workshops leading up to the latest update of the Dagsboro’s comprehensive plan. Flowers said she’d considered volunteering for the town’s Planning Commission, but then opted to run side-by-side-by-side with Adams and Baker.

• William DeHaven makes five. DeHaven filed for candidacy on Friday, Nov. 18, the last possible day to do so. He is retired from a public utility company. He feels the town’s comprehensive use plan is not as comprehensive as he’d like. DeHaven moved to the town in 2001 from Maryland.

But town council double-checked all five candidates — Adams, Baker, Connor, DeHaven and Flowers — for eligibility on Monday, Nov. 21, and they’re all good. They now have until Saturday, Dec. 3, to earn some name recognition and get their messages out.

Voter registration is now closed for this year’s election cycle. Registered voters will be able to cast their ballots at the Dagsboro Fire Hall on Dec. 3, from 1 to 5 p.m. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by noon the day before, Friday, Dec. 2.