Sussex County News

Sussex County, Delaware

Population:

  • 156,638 (2000 Census)

County council meetings

  • Tuesdays, 10 a.m. (second Tuesday of each month), council chambers, county administrative building; council meetings and other public meetings held in the council chambers are broadcast over the Internet

Planning & Zoning meets:

  • Thursdays, two to four times per month, 6 p.m.; occasional Wednesday afternoons; council chambers, county administrative building

Board of Adjustments meets:

  • Mondays, two to four times per month, 7 p.m.; council chambers, county administrative building

Elections:

  • Council members elected by district, to four-year terms; council president selected from among council members

County administrative building:

  • 2 The Circle, Georgetown, DE 19947; (302) 855-7700

Web site

General e-mail inquiries

County Council 2013-2014:

  • Michael Vincent, Council President, District 1
  • Samuel Wilson Jr., Council Vice-President, District 2
  • Joan Deaver, District 3
  • George B. Cole, District 4
  • Vance C. Phillips, District 5

County Administrator:

  • Todd Lawson

Council Administrative Staff:

  • Robin Griffith

Finance Director:

  • Gina Jennings

Public Information:

  • Chip Guy

Public Works Director:

  • Michael Brady

Director of Planning & Zoning:

  • Lawrence Lank

Director of Planning & Zoning Commission:

  • Robert C. Wheatley

Police:

  • Delaware State Police Troop 4

Sheriff:

  • Jeffrey Christopher

Emergency:

  • 911

Non-emergency police contact:

  • (302) 856-5850

Sewer service:

  • Sussex County provides central sewer service to communities throughout the county, while some private property owners and other communities utilize on-site septic or sewer systems of their own.

Department of Justice creates new Office of Civil Rights & Public Trust

Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn announced last week that the state’s Department of Justice would be restructured to create a new Office of Civil Rights & Public Trust.

Record night for Winter Founderland event

A record number of women joined the Fund for Women as new founders at the annual Fund for Women Sussex County fundraiser, “Winter Founderland.” Women shopped, had cocktails and appetizers, and participated in the event for the cause of supporting women and girls in Delaware.

Elected County officials sworn in this week in Georgetown

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: New Sussex County Councilman Rob Arlett, second from right, is sworn into office by Judge T. Henley Graves, while Arlett is supported by his wife, Lorna, and son, Jared.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: New Sussex County Councilman Rob Arlett, second from right, is sworn into office by Judge T. Henley Graves, while Arlett is supported by his wife, Lorna, and son, Jared.Friends, family and community members gathered Tuesday morning to see five Sussex County officials sworn into office.

“It’s an exercise that by Delaware Code we have to partake in to officially embark in the services of the County Council and the County Row Offices,” said County Administrator Todd Lawson, encouraging the audience to take pictures. “We want this moment memorialized for you all for the significance of what this day means for you all and what it took to get here.”

In attendance were a number of members from the Delaware General Assembly, including District 38 Rep. Ron Gray and District 41 Rep. Rich Collins.

“Members of the General Assembly, we appreciate you being here as well. We appreciate your support always,” said Lawson. “Your lucky day is a week from today.”

County alters agenda, public comment offered at start of meetings

Those who attend Sussex County Council meetings will now have the opportunity to speak to council at the beginning of the meeting.

FOIA complaint filed against County over agenda order

In October, Greenwood resident Dan Kramer filed a complaint with the Delaware Attorney General’s Office, contending that the Sussex County Council had violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by allegedly listing an agenda item, “Additional Business,” out of the order listed in its internal Rules of Procedure.

Hocker looking at jobs, wages and aquaculture for new legislative session

Jobs and the economy will be at the forefront of the agenda for state Sen. Gerald Hocker (R-20th) this coming year. Additionally, Hocker said he would like to focus on finding a compromise on aquaculture and getting additional police protection downstate.

Phillips says farewell to county council

Coastal Point • Maria Counts  : County Administrator Todd Lawson presents outgoing Sussex County Councilman Vance Phillips with a plaque in recognition of, and appreciation for, his 16 years of service.Coastal Point • Maria Counts : County Administrator Todd Lawson presents outgoing Sussex County Councilman Vance Phillips with a plaque in recognition of, and appreciation for, his 16 years of service.Following a 16-year tenure, Sussex County District 5 Councilman Vance Phillips this week concluded his last council meeting.

“Today is my last day on county council after so many years,” said Phillips on Dec. 16. “During the course of this meeting, it has been a great joy to see so many faces. Everybody in this room means so much to me.”

A reception was held following the meeting, culminating Phillips’ time on council. Those in attendance included former council president Dale Dukes; state Reps. Ron Gray, Dave Wilson, Rich Collins and Tim Dukes, and former county administrators Bob Stickles, Joe Conaway and David Baker.

Phillips thanked all those in attendance for their guidance and friendship over the years.

“As I look around this room, it just fills my heart with joy to know that people like you care about me,” he said. “When I was injured and in the hospital, it was so many of you that prayed me up out of that hospital bed… Just day-by-day I felt God’s hand in it all. It was because so many people were praying for me.”

County discusses poultry-house assessments, health insurance

The Sussex County Council this week was given a presentation by Chris Keeler, the County’s director of assessment, at the request of outgoing Councilman Vance Phillips, in response to a petition by a number of poultry growers who said they were concerned about the cost of their County property taxes.

County residents speak up during Mediacom public hearing

Residents were able to voice their opinions last week related to Mediacom Delaware LLC’s application to renew its franchise agreement to provide service in areas of Sussex County.

On Oct. 17, Mediacom filed an application with the Delaware Public Service Commission to renew its cable television franchise — currently serving certain unincorporated areas of Sussex County.

Massey’s Landing gets boost from county council

The Sussex County Council approved a change of zone and a conditional use of land in an AR-1 Agricultural Residential District for a campground in Long Neck at its Dec. 10 council meeting.

Sussex County carolers, groups collect nearly 31,000 food items for those in need

Hearts full of joy are helping to fill pantries full with food this holiday season.

Sussex County names Pettyjohn employee of the year

Sussex County has named Vanessa B. Pettyjohn of Millsboro the 2014 employee of the year for County government.

Sussex County announces Election Year Scholarship Contest winners

With one eye on today’s politics and the other on future academics, six Sussex County students have earned some collegiate cash for their political punditry.

Bodenweiser retrial now to be held in Kent County

The retrial of former political candidate and local businessman Eric Bodenweiser on sexual abuse charges will be moved to Kent County, following Superior Court Judge E.

Bethany area outreach hopes to bring Christmas to others

The Bethany Area Community Christmas Gift Giving Outreach was created in hopes of reaching as many lower Sussex County families in need as possible this holiday season.

“We’re going to reach as many as we can. … There’s no reason why anyone should go without,” said coordinator Pat Duchesne.

Georgetown to hold ‘Simply Christmas’ parade

The Georgetown Christmas Parade will step off on Thursday, Dec. 4, in Georgetown at 7 p.m. Representatives of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, which is hosting the event, said they are sure the annual parade will satisfy everyone’s idea of what Christmas is because the theme this year is, “Simply Christmas.”

Roadside signs must be removed by Dec. 5

With the 2014 elections now history, all roadside signs must be removed by Dec. 5 or those posting them will face fines for each sign, the Delaware Department of Transportation reminded residents this week. According to state law, signs are allowed in some areas of the State-owned right-of-way for 30 days prior and 30 days after an election.

Hocker coffee serves up discussion of oysters and rent hikes

For the first time since he was elected state representative in 2000, state Sen. Gerald Hocker Sr. enjoyed his first election off. But he was back to work Wednesday morning, with a Nov. 5 “Coffee’s On Me” with constituents.

Arlett and Cole win county seats, Collins tops Atkins

Tuesday night was an interesting one for Delaware politics, as there were a few upsets in the state and county elections this week.

Kammerer discusses the power of selling at annual conference

For the past 21 years, Sussex County community leaders, business people and citizens have been coming together at the Today and Tomorrow Conference to promote economics, partnership and collaboration in the county.

The conference, which was held last week at Delaware Tech in Georgetown, was a “SELLebration.”

Sussex County kicks off annual food drive for Caroling

Warm up the vocal chords and grab a canned good or two — it’s almost time for carols in the air and hope in the hearts across Sussex County.

Coastal Cleanup’s 1,800 volunteers collect 3 tons of trash

This year’s DNREC-sponsored 28th annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup, held on Sept. 20, drew 1,805 volunteers, who collected 3.2 tons of trash from 46 sites along more than 80 miles of Delaware’s waterways and coastline stretching from Wilmington to Fenwick Island. About one-third of that trash — aluminum cans and glass and plastic bottles — was recycled this year.

Candidates get the final say before next week’s elections

Voters will certainly have plenty to think about during this year’s mid-term elections, taking place next Tuesday, Nov. 4. As is our tradition, we have sent off a few questions to the candidates in our local elections, and here are the responses we received back before we went to press. Each candidate is listed in alphabetical order for each office.

County Council

Return Day a unique Sussex County tradition

As time-honored Delaware traditions go, Return Day may be the most unique of them all.

Banks shows some spirit with Chamber’s Lighthouse Award

Coastal Point • Maria Counts : Kami Banks, second from left, receives the Lighthouse Award at the Chamber’s annual awards celebration. Pictured with Banks, from left, are Dale Bellinger, Todd Hickman and Anne Powell.Coastal Point • Maria Counts : Kami Banks, second from left, receives the Lighthouse Award at the Chamber’s annual awards celebration. Pictured with Banks, from left, are Dale Bellinger, Todd Hickman and Anne Powell.Just running a business is a big responsibility, but that didn’t stop Kami Banks from working double duty for, and ultimately winning, the 2014 Lighthouse Award from the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce last week.

One year ago, Banks (of Banks Wines & Spirits) was sworn in as the Chamber board president. That was expected. What the Quiet Resorts didn’t expect was the sudden resignation of the Chamber executive director just prior to the new board term.

Banks then agreed to fill that roll, too, doubly leading the Chamber for four months, until staffer Kristie Maravalli was announced as successor.

Banks was praised for handling the situation with “class, dignity and grace,” despite the obvious rush of running a business and holding two Chamber positions.