on the 2003 Election
Editor's Note: The following letters have been submitted to Sussex County Online for publication. We will post all letters regarding the 2003 election and the eight candidates running for the four open council seats on this page. You can submit your own letter to us by email. Your email must include your name, address and phone number to be published. The phone number and exact address will not be published with your letter.In Support of Carol Hughes
On August 2, the voters of Fenwick Island will decide on their governing body.
This letter is in support of Carol Hughes, a full time resident of Fenwick Island. Carol and I were fellow teachers at Central High School in P.G. Co. Md for over 15 years. Carol was committed to her profession and tackeled issues with an informed approach, never ducking from the unpopular ones. She was the level headed professional who kept the faculty and students on target. The school community respected her ability and enthusiasm to pursue an issue to its conclusion.
Carol will bring all these skills to the Fenwick Council and give the town and its citizens 200% back. If you want a dedicated hard working person to be on your governing body, she is the one who deserves your vote.
I would like to take this opportunity to ask you to vote for Nicholas (Nick) Valiante in the town election on Saturday, August 2 . The polls open in Town Hall at 1:00PM and close at 5:00 PM.
Nick has lived in Delaware all of his life and has enjoyed his home in Fenwick Island for over twenty years. He is retired and resides full time on Atlantic Avenue. He has had a lifetime carrier in law enforcement, retired as Deputy Police Chief of the city of Wilmington and most recently has served as Director of Public Safety for New Castle County . In this capacity Nick was responsible for the daily operations of the police, fire, and rescue services of the county. As Director he managed a yearly budget that exceeded $14,000,000 .
Nick is well qualified to serve the residents of Fenwick Island, he is interested in the opinions of others, always has and open mind, and is an expert in the difficult art of listening.
He is easily accessible and feels that all Council decisions should be made in public along with all tape recordings and meeting notes.
Lastly, Nicholas is a strong advocate of the 50 year old Town Charter and as a Councilperson he will insure that the town is governed according to the articles of the Charter. Nick will insure that items specified in the Charter are no longer over looked.
He is available to talk to you in person or by E-mail (email@example.com).
Again I would respectfully ask you to vote for Nick on August 2.
William L. Williams,
Hughes States Positions
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As a candidate for the Fenwick Island Town Council, I am humbled by the prospect of serving the community that I have loved for so long. I first arrived in the mid-60ıs and began my very first job, waitressing at Libbyıs Restaurant. I continued to work in Fenwick each summer that I was in college. My teaching career began in 1970. In 1979, a lot was purchased. In 1983, our house went up and my aspiration of retiring to Fenwick Island became a reality in June 2000. Throughout the last twenty years the Fenwick Island community has demonstrated a caring and thoughtful nature. Neighbors help neighbors. Our town provides personal contact in times of need.
Since becoming a full-time resident, I have become a business owner, a member of the Board of Directors of the Bethany Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, a participant on the Fenwick Business Council and a member of Fenwick Island Concerned Citizens. My interests as a resident as a business person lead to my increased presence at town workshops and at council meetings.
As a member of the Fenwick Island Town Council, I will support:
Our success will be determined by the strength of the relationships among residents, business owners and town government. I also propose that between council meetings, we have regularly scheduled work sessions where community members provide input on community issues. We need to tap the human resources in our community. We have residents, property owners and proprietors who can contribute to our future. Projects that need public promotion include funding for the Del Dot project for Ocean Highway and establishing a relationship with State Agencies that impact our infrastructure. Our community also needs to increase public support for the protection of our inland waterways.
I love living and working in Fenwick Island. If elected to Town Council, I promise to listen to ideas and concerns from the community. I will do all that I can to promote and to protect the town that we all cherish for living, working, and vacationing.
Please, vote for me on August 2, 2003. I look forward to seeing you at the "Meet the Candidates" events.
FICC States Positions
The following statements represent our position on issues that will help us establish a spirit of cooperation among residents, businesses and town employees for the purpose of improving government in Fenwick Island.
Action for the Future
Fenwick Island Concerned CitizensBorodulia States Positions
I am a candidate for the Fenwick Island Town Council and also a member of the Fenwick Island Concerned Citizens (FICC). The FICC views have been a cohesive force binding a number of Fenwick property owners who have been concerned about the welfare of our town. It is this group that challenged the accountability of the current council and found that record keeping was not in order. Taxpaying residents had not been given answers to issues that were questioned. As a result of this group's efforts, the lack of financial accountability in not having either the books audited for four years or monthly bank statements reconciled was exposed. FICC is exactly what its stands for -- concerned citizens who feel that their voices have not been heard.
I have loved Fenwick Island for many years -- even before I became a property owner. I am deeply committed to preserving the small town family atmosphere of our town. Over the years, we have renovated our properties, but the exteriors have remained unchanged to maintain the uniqueness of each. Fenwick Island has a charm unlike any other coastal town. The pride of the residents is evident.
I am also committed to having our local government be an open and democratic government. Fenwick Island has many talented people among its citizens who can bring to the town many fresh ideas. These people should also be encouraged to participate and/or head committees. The Fenwick government is comprised of segments: the Council, committees, employees and ultimately the participating property owners. Each part must be integrated with the others to provide a harmonious working relationship for the betterment of the town.
It is my position that by opening the town government to its citizens and tapping the resources of the people of Fenwick, we will secure the future of Fenwick Island.
Fenwick was founded by charter in 1953. It is my position that we need to return to the principles of that Charter in conducting town affairs.
I strongly support financial accountability to the property owners. Fiscal matters of the town must be handled as dictated by the town's Charter. I believe that budget figures need to be adhered to and based on actual revenue, not a wish list. Furthermore, correct accounting methods, a system of checks and balances and accurate reporting must be in place.
If revenue needs to be increased by taxation, the public must be given a clear understanding and explanation of why additional dollars are needed. I support public input before additional taxation or large revenues are decided. Over the years, the list of ordinances has grown exponentially. I support a committee review of these ordinances to establish necessity and validity.
As a candidate, I believe my experiences bring a multi-faceted approach to government. I have had professional exposure in education, non-profit organizations, a large corporation and a private company. Currently, I have my own small business and handle administrative and personnel issues for another. I feel that this experience can only enhance working with others to achieve common goals.
Fenwick Island is a delightful community that faces challenges ahead. I promise that I will do everything possible to protect our quiet town and to treat its citizens with respect. With a citizenry and government that are forward-thinking and cohesive, Fenwick will prove again to be the jewel that it is.
I would appreciate your support in voting for me to represent you on the Fenwick Island Town Council.
Keller States Positions
I am an independent candidate for the Fenwick Island Council in the August 2, 2003 election. Although the candidate field is crowded, I have chosen to run because I believe my qualifications and experience can help bring together various Town factions toward their common goal - to maintain Fenwick's unique character. All groups want to maintain Fenwick's special combination of residential, resort and business interests as the town and county experience unprecedented growth. Our guests often ask "where is the island"? Our reply is that Fenwick "Island" is more a sense of community than of geography.
On 5/31/03 I presented my platform --"Four A's For Fenwick" --to a group of citizens who had asked me to run for council. The "A's" are (1) ACCESSIBILITY--of Council members to all residents, business and property owners (2) ACCOUNTABILITY--of a dedicated Council supported by a qualified staff (3) APPEARANCE--helping Fenwick maintain visual uniqueness (and safety) as recommended in the recent DELDOT Report and (4) ACTIVITIES--to promote community unity and support. Several attendees asked for copies of my handout.
I was pleased to note that, in a 6/24/03 interview with TV Channel 47, representatives of the "Concerned Citizens" group chose to emphasize two of my "A's" as a part of their platform. I was also pleased that the group supports establishing a "Citizens' Advisory Committee" to Council. James Elliott, a former Council member, outlined my rationale for a Citizen's Advisory Committee in his letter published in the 6/25 issue of the WAVE.
Throughout the past year, disagreements over several specific issues plus lapses in accountability resulted in the withdrawal of groups into their protective shells. This barrier to Accessibility has drained community interest for improving Appearance and for Activity participation. The real contest between Fenwick Island council candidates is not "who is right" and "who is wrong" but who can best focus the various groups toward their true common goal.
Over the past 45 years I have worked as a teacher and program director to promote parenting and job skills among disadvantaged minorities both in conventional classrooms and in outreach adult centers. I spent 10 years as a realtor and 8 years as a residential developer. Although I have owned property in Fenwick since 1984, I became a full time resident in 1995. Since "retiring" to Fenwick I have been an active volunteer to a number of community organizations. I am not a stranger to controversy (my life and property have been threatened on more than one occasion). I believe in Fenwick and want to see it rise above rancor, concentrating its efforts on realizing what are worthy but in themselves difficult goals.
In Support of Keller
I want to recommend that Fenwick Island voters support Martha Keller for a position on the Fenwick Island Council in the August 2,2003 election.
I have been surprised and distressed by the anger and rudeness which have prevailed in some recent open Council meetings. While this may have helped to surface and resolve some Town issues, it is time to elect Council members who will listen t~ the cooperation and support of all Town residents and property owners.
When I became very ill last month, I asked Martha to take over my job as Fenwick Island Yacht Club's Past Commodores Dinner/Dance Chairman. Martha did so with grace and the enthusiasm to make this an event all members would enjoy. She even fed my husband while I was in the Hospital! Needless to say the Dinner and Dance were a big success.
I believe Martha can bring the same effort and enthusiasm to a Council position and help return our "Quiet Resort" to the civility and cooperation we sorely need to move ahead.
Please support her candidacy on August 2.
In Support of Keller
I am writing to recommend that Fenwick Island voters cast their vote for Martha Keller as a Council member in the coming August 2 election.
Martha and I have worked together on preserving Delaware's Inland Bays as members of the Citizens Advisory Council to the Center for the Inland Bays. Martha has demonstrated her ability to work with both professionals and volunteers and to seek consensus on difficult issues.
Martha believes it is critical for Fenwick Island's Council to become more accessible to the input and concerns of all Fenwick Island residents and property owners. As a former Council member and observer of our recent Town history, I fully concur with this position. Martha believes that a Fenwick Island Citizens Advisory Committee could serve the same function for Fenwick's Council as the Inland Bays' Advisory Committee does for the Center. Committee members appointed by each Council member could serve as a conduit for Town residents and property owners to express their new ideas and old concerns to Council. Establishing such a regular communications process can avoid the anger and frustration of those who feel their voices have not been heard until after key decisions have been made.
Advisory Committee members can also help research proposals and serve as "ambassadors" to ensure there is a two-way flow of facts and ideas between the Council and the voters. In addition, Committee experience can provide a source of knowledgeable candidates for future Council elections.
Whatever the mechanism, it is clear that Fenwick voters and Council need to do more to reach out to each other. Please join me in casting your vote for someone committed to this process-Martha Keller-- on August 2nd.
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