Candidates have the final say before rare Selbyville election

The Selbyville Town Council hasn’t had a contested election since 2011, according to Town Hall. That makes the 2019 council election a relatively rare occurrence. Voting is scheduled for Saturday, March 2, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Selbyville Town Hall, 68 West Church Street.

The lone candidate to file for mayor this year is longtime incumbent Clifton C. Murray, so he automatically keeps his seat. The three candidates for the two council seats up for election in 2019 are incumbent G. Frank Smith III, challenger William A. “Bill” Thompson and incumbent Clarence W. “Bud” Tingle Jr. Council terms are two years.

Voters must be preregistered to participate in the election. Eligible voters must be 18 or older; a U.S. citizen; and a bona fide resident of the town. People can contact Selbyville Town Hall to inquire about their registration status, at (302) 436-8314.

As is traditional in the issue preceding an election, the Coastal Point invited the candidates in the 2019 Selbyville Town Council election to share their thoughts and (re)introduce themselves to the community. Tingle offered a general statement, while Thompson answered two questions. Smith responded to three questions. Their answers appear below:


• G. Frank Smith III

Q. Why do you want to be part of the Selbyville Town Council?

A. This is my hometown. I was born and raised here. I enjoy the people that live here. … It’s not that I’m trying to be a godfather or anything like that — just looking out for the best things for my town, try to work with my town for what is right.

Q. What do you feel are Selbyville’s biggest challenges for the next two years, and how will you address them?

A. I am the sewer commissioner, and my biggest challenges right now are the pump station and the development that’s coming [and retrofits to accommodate growth]. That expense will be passed on to the developers. … When a developer comes along, you have impact fees. … We’ve got three or four developments coming right now, by different developers. They’ll each pay a portion. That’s how I envision it. … That’s what my recommendation would be.

I think the way the town is going and developing, if a town doesn’t add on to the pump stations, doesn’t add to industry, doesn’t add people, it dies. … Selbyville is growing.

Q. What else should voters know about you and your goals?

A. I’m 72 years old, and I’m gonna live until I’m 92, and I’ve enjoyed my time on council. I feel like we’ve accomplished a lot. I was born and raised here. Cliff [Murray] and I, we played football together and everything. … Bud [Tingle] is my cousin. We all grew up here. I was employed with the government 37 years, and retired … meat and poultry inspections, so I’m very much aware of what happens in a poultry plant.


• William A. “Bill” Thompson

Q. Why do you want to be part of the Selbyville Town Council?

A. I am running for council in the hope of bringing fresh ideas to our town. I have both the time and the energy to make a difference for our community. We did not have a contested election in our town last year since nobody come forth to run against the incumbents. This opened my eyes to the need for someone to challenge for a seat and to hold members accountable to the community.

For example: Are the residents of Selbyville aware that Mountaire made an offer at a town meeting to the Town to pay $1 million for the small strip of road they already use for their truck deliveries? This money could go a long way to help keep tax rates lower but was dismissed without discussion.

We need to be transparent and open to new ideas for our residents. Working with, rather than against, Mountaire could also clear the way to solve the odor problem that has been talked to death for years without action or result.

Q. What do you feel are Selbyville’s biggest challenges for the next two years, and how will you address them?

A. Revitalize the town by encouraging small businesses to come in and make it a place for residents and visitors to meander and shop (coffee shop, bakery, etc., similar to Berlin); addressing crime to make Selbyville residents safe; address tax/revenue; keeping the town website updated or establish a Facebook page with minutes from the town meetings, see notifications of events or concerns in the area, BOLO for illegal activity or report suspicious activity, etc. We also need to address the growth of our community as it relates to the traffic on Route 54.


• Clarence W. “Bud” Tingle Jr.

With all the developments coming to town, I feel we have a lot of unfinished business. Someone new would have problems coming up to speed. There is the sewer project that we’ll need, the new town hall and police station that has to be completed. We have a lot of projects started, and we just wanted to see them through. This council has been around for quite a while. We meet once a month. Anyone can come and see what we do.


By Laura Walter

Staff Reporter