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What Lower New Castle County Can Expect if They Don't Fight Hard
photo from file.

(Overheard on his cellphone to his developer boss; paraphrased, coming from a skinny twenty something, logo’d in a golf shirt, khaki pants, standing in the vestibule corner as everyone filed out; “it’s spinning out of control. E-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y is angry. I don’t think we can fix it. It’s going the wrong way. I think we lost the election.”)

Now I’ve seen many meetings.  Usually it’s always the same comfortable group, the same participants, with one or two of the same troublemaker activists.  We all know each other, politely nod to our enemies,  and once our duty is performed, socializing progresses afterwards.  The short story version appears in the News Journal two days later….

Usually.

That was not what happened last night, August September 4th ( 🙂 h/t rsmitty) inside the Crossroads Presbyterian Church, which had blissfully wonderful cushioned green seats; that is if you were early enough to grab one…

Standing-room-only would be too cliche to describe the turnout.  This issue at hand was so hot it swelled participation far above the 200  the organizers had expected…. (237 cars were counted; 500 participants?)  They had even forgotten to plan for a microphone, assuming normal voices would suffice.

They didn’t, and fortunately a microphone was found.

Dignitaries (ie our politicos) sat across in front of the crowd… Dick Cathcart sat center, Bill Bell sat next to him.  Bill Powers sat and stood on Cathcart’s left. Penrose Hollins drove down to represent Council. Bill Dunn, Bethany Hall Long, Earl Jacques, Rebecca Walker, Tom Scherer, Mike Protack, Bruce Ennis, members of the land use committee, and the Superintendent of the Appoquinimink School District showed up.  Ms Fitzpatrick (sp) came in place of Representative Lofink, who was unfortunately at his son’s wedding rehearsal, to which one irate resident blurted out….”that’s no excuse!” Her spouse, quickly put his hand on her leg, and warned her to calm down..”it’s his son’s wedding….”

Yes tensions were that high…..

But the real star of the entire evening was the map….  Yes, a silly map.  It stood tall over the entire meeting, dominating everyone’s attention… It out staged the County Council Head, Penrose Collins, who stormed off when it became obvious that the audience was not interested in his point of view….

Most felt that was fair play…. for no one had taken the time to consider their point of view when these ordinances were passed, affecting the entire lower region of the New Castle County… That it turns out, appears to be true…. no one.

The map stood tall over the entire proceeding, reminding everyone, every minute of the immense changes coming soon.  And the changes were immense….

Here is the scale they are speaking off.

Three new schools will need to be built, one each year, to accommodate the new influx of  students.  The school district was surprised tonight; the plans were made without consulting them.  They have no money to grow.

Traffic will grow by 1800 cars.  What’s the visual of 1800 cars?  At fifteen feet per vehicle, 27,000 feet total divided by 5280 ft/mile, equals a line of cars, parked bumper to bumper, a little over 5 miles long…  Imagine a line of cars parked on the shoulder of RT 1 from St. George’s bridge to the heart of Odessa.  There is your visual image.  Deldot was surprised tonight.  The plans were made without consulting them. And they too, have no money to grow.

Most of the areas do not have sewer capacity yet; however in a rush, building will progress, anticipating promised waivers to use septic systems, until the county sewer system can catch up….. (Do you follow county finances?)  They have no money to grow…..

The wells to supply additional amounts of water; they are not yet drilled.  They are on hold, for they have no money to grow….

The anger seemed to grow exponentially within that room… (Thank heavens they held this disclosure within a church).

Hats off to a great job done by the organizers, including one Chuck Mulholland.  No one could have prepared them for what took place.  Their natural demeanor saved the day, rising to the challenge of the moment.  Particularly impressive was Chuck’s impromptu changing of the agenda, as it became quite apparent that citizens were there to make their voices heard, not listen to failed excuses….  That change-up, diffused some tension, perhaps saving a riot…     I’ll bet he never expected to put 3 miles on that evening, all the while carrying the microphone.

The question of the day?  How could this have happened…

The answer:

Mr. Pam Scott Paul Clark, President of County Council.

All these elements were rushed though, without vetting, to get developers in construction phase before the public could become aware of what was aimed at them.  No vetting was done, so no leaks would occur.  The last thing developers and Paul Clark needed,  was a large meeting of outraged citizens.

Obviously the details of the arrangements were made in his home, and presented fait accompli to the Council for its rubber stamp.   That is after all, what New County Council’s  tend to do…

Therefore Paul Clark needs to go.

Councilman Bill Bell, who resembles the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man, performed the role of a stool quite adequately.  “No one told me” was his response….” I didn’t know…” he stammered.  The question which immediately popped into every head but one, was  ” why not?”  That’s your job…

Obviously his principal function was to be the Rose Margaret Henry of the County Council. Being put in that position by the developers and unions, means he obviously feels he doesn’t need to call back his constituents, doesn’t need to show up at their meetings, doesn’t need to answer their letters or emails…  Like Margaret Rose Henry, all he needs to do is show up… and vote the way he is told..

When faced with 450 some people he began to get nervous.  His primary is days away…  His opponent Tom Scherer, who is having his own personal fight with the developers of his development, over their unfulfilled promises..  certainly does appear to be the better choice,  Towards the end, almost reduced to pleading for his seat, Mr. Bell promised too late, to “not support” the resolution that due to his complicity, has already been passed….

If there was another star, other than the map, the organizers, and the citizens themselves, it was Representative Dick Cathcart…  Angered at the incompetence bordering on deceit coming from   Mr Pam Scott Paul Clark and his Council, he promised legislation to forever put County Council growth under State oversight…. it’s about time.

Bruce Ennis, surprised everyone in the room by coming down hard for a moratorium on all new development.  Two, three, four years  whatever it takes to get local citizens to become comfortable with the new developments.  He cited Kent County as a place where citizens took control and booted all developers our of governmental oversight positions….  That county is once again under control of its citizens; spawning a series of lawsuits from developers against it.  Ennis implied that as long as New Castle’s citizenry supported the continuation of a moratorium against such lawsuits, he would as well.  Most nuisance lawsuits would be thrown out, costing nothing since they were filed with no legal grounds to support them, but still the stigma of having lawsuits might make some citizens feel uneasy….  The consensus in that room was: if you take on the developers…. we got your back….

Go get them Bruce.

They came to listen.  They got their earful.

Distilled to its basic elixir, here is the essence.

New Castle County  development is controlled by developers and the Building Trades Union who are linked together in their interest for growth.  Money for developers, jobs for employees.  They own the following:  Chris Coons, Paul Clark, Bill Bell, Bill Powers, George Smiley, and Bob Weiner….

Breaking that connection is the first step in returning Democracy back to those New Castle County citizens who live outside the city. Democratic Voters have the opportunity to sever that connection during Tuesday’s primary, September 8th.   Voting Bill Dunn over Paul Clark, Tom Gordon over Chris Coons, Tom Scherer over Bill Bill, and Carl Colantuono over John Cartier, will do your part in returning Democracy to County Government. (Yeah, I know one is controversial, but if elected, we will own him, not the developers).

I’ve run out of time and space.  Not mentioned here was the citizens fear of falling property values; not mentioned here was one realtor who spoke 6 (?) times, warning citizens of how workforce housing would affect their property values, not mentioned here was the question of where these workforce housing residents, transferred from Wilmington’s projects on the East Side, would find ever find work to pay for their housing, pimps, and bags of crack; not mentioned here was the cost of someone to cut down tennis shoes hanging from electric wires; not mentioned here was how noble Bill Dunn looked when working the crowd, compared to Paul Clark 4 years ago; not mentioned here was how poorly workforce housing residents obey driving laws; not mention here was how insufficient the current sewer systems are today, even without additional units; not mentioned here was how County Council increased the density levels, so developers could sell more houses per lot, more profit per lot; not mentioned here were the number of minority citizens who vehemently said they left the city to get away from the trash the County was again forcing upon them; not mentioned here was how hard everyone has worked, and suffered, to build their piece of the American dream, which now the County Council, at the bequest of Developers and Building Trade Unions, was about to destroy, WITHOUT EVEN CONSULTING THEM!

I wish I had more time…

Nancy, Geek?  Can you add more?

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There is a lot a blogger can do… Shine the light…

We know Andrea Daley from her posts on Nancy’s Delaware Way….

This is her bio.

Daley, meanwhile, is a founder of the Middletown Corridor Coalition, which fought the Route 301 by-pass project and lobbied the state legislature to require DelDOT to hold additional workshops.

A graduate of Rutgers University in New Jersey, she previously served on the board of directors and as the vice-president of programming for the Holocaust Education Center of the Delaware Valley. Daley is currently the president of the Chesapeake Meadow Maintenance Corporation and a volunteer with the Cub Scouts and the Middletown High School Robotics Club.

But who is Weldin? Steve Amick himself came out in Weldin’s support….

Weldin is a retired Newark police officer and a former director of public services for the City of New Castle who currently runs his own homeland security consulting business.

A graduate of the University of Delaware, he is a volunteer firefighter with Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Company, serves as an Emergency Medical Services Officer and a coach for youth baseball, football and basketball teams.

But in the News Journal, there was this personal statement that needs looked at…

It could be true… and I could not be…

I can not beleive Amick Supports a Criminal… This guy weldin was a Newark cop forced to Retire after he was caught “stealing”. He is a compulsive liar that has cheated on his first wife and hasn’t seen one of his kids in years. This guy says he’s a fireman and an EMT but has not been on a firetruck or ambulance in at least 10 years…. Anyone who is currently a Poilce officer in Newark knows this information. How could Amick be so blind…. I guess that’s why he’s retiring….. He’s finally lost it. I wouldn’t vote for Weldin if he was the last man standing… What kind of clients does he have in that so called consulting firm…. I’ll tell you his own subdivision….. What a rat…. Yeah Steve, let’s elect anonother crook to Dover… that’s what we need…. NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wait for Change Comment 9/1 09:45

Better this sees the light of day now…. than after September 9th…..

Rebuttals?  Put them up here……