In Denying Conditional Use Application to Shelter, Town of Georgetown Council Misguided

Delaware Housing Coalition Homeless Planning Council Ken Smith Susan Starrett 302.678.2286 302.654.0126 PRESS RELEASE For immediate release. In Denying Conditional Use Application to Shelter Town of Georgetown Council Misguided On January 25, 2012, the Georgetown Town Council voted to override the Planning Commission's January 18 decision to approve Sussex Community Crisis Housing Services' (SCCHS) request for a conditional use permit (CASE #2011-02). This application proposes to replace existing buildings on their property with new, well-designed, energy-efficient buildings to be built through the charitable donation of a local Georgetown family, constructed in conjunction with Milford Housing Development Corporation (MHDC) a respected, seasoned local housing developer. While Read more

Peterson Has Troubling Bill

State Senator Karen Peterson is circulating a bill that I consider troubling.  It would remove the 60 day statue of limitations for filing an action against a local government for not properly providing notice in land use cases. The propose synopsis says: If a municipality or county passes a land-use ordinance that violates state law, an aggrieved party has only 60 days to file a court challenge. After that, the ordinance cannot be challenged, nor can subsequent decisions based on that ordinance be challenged based on its invalidity. This Bill seeks to remove that bar, recognizing that the enactment of an ordinance that violates state law cannot be legitimized by the passage of time. I agree with Senator Peterson that 60 days is too quick. It means someone has to file right away or not at all. This hurts the ability of parties to work something out. 180 days would be a timeframe Read more

The Defense of Marriage is More than Politics

Several years ago, I was a key person in getting a Defense of Marriage law passed in Delaware.  We were on the cutting edge.  Only 6 other states had passed the law and there was no federal legislation.  I consider it one of my finest achievements along with my friends Rep. Buckworth, Sen. Bonini, and Senator Venables and Tom NiCastro.   Sadly, the passage of the law may have protected the definition of marriage, but it did nothing to strenghten it. I have come to the conclusion that the only way to strengthen marriage is one person, one community at a time.  This year I decided to launch a marriage initiative to give people the proper tools to have strong and healthy relationships.  I needed help.  Fortunately I found friends who were equally passionate and ready to launch.  Christianity Today Marriage Columinists Mike and Trish Fox are certified marriage coaches and have agreed Read more

After further investigation

I have investigated the controversial deletion of the comment in Mr. Frank Knotts post. It seems that no one deleted it. On occassion, the spam filter hiccups as some frequent commenters know. I apologize to the agrevied party and I am happy the comment was rescued. I believe it is essential that we maintain a forum which allows the expression of ideas. I will always support that whether or not I agree with the ideas. I do not believe that is a suicide pact for our contributors to be subjected to a daily onslaught of slander, insults, and character assasination. I find that when a thread is a vibrant discussion of ideas, but then someone starts turning it into a circus of insults that the vibrancy often dries up. People need a relatively safe place to share. Would you expect to get away with the same at Newszap, Delaware online, or Redstate? We purposefully try to be more open Read more

Is This My Last Post On Delaware Politics ?

    For the second time today I have been made aware of people being blocked and banned from this site.   I have been made aware in the past of this practice. In some cases I have understood the reason, but many times it has seemed to me to be an attempt to either silence opposition to a contributors view point or simply because a comment was determined to be a personal attack. This has become a very broad definition.  I was made aware about an hour or so ago of another person's comment on my post "Give Or Take" being blocked. I checked it out and found the comment to be neither offensive nor was it a personal attack. It was made by one of our many anon commentators.  This was the comment, "Frank, if you only knew. According to Sen. Bunting, who I bumped into last night, the County is sitting on 40 million dollar surplus in another acct. He told me he intends to put out Read more

Give Or Take

  Thge Sussex County Council has released their end of year report in which they tell tax payers that the county collected  3.4 million dollars too much this past year.   Okay, that isn't exactly what the press release from Chip Guy said, but it is what it amounts to.  The report calls it a surplus, but that is only possible if they have collected more than they have spent. Let me give credit where credit is due. The Sussex County Council has consistently kept spending down while not raising property taxes. Though they have from time to time raised fees.    Another reason for the surplus is that the transfer tax revenue was higher than projected. This is always good news, since it is a sign that the home market may be turning the corner.   I do have one reservation about the news of the surplus. That is the news that the council intends to return, in a one time tax credit, Read more

Matthew 6

  I know that it seems as if all we down here in Sussex County talk about is prayer here and prayer there.   We have become the county of the prayer law suit. Our county council has been sued over its former practice of holding an organized prayer during its monthly meetings and the Indian River School Board was also sued for holding an organized prayer during its meetings.   This post will center more around the IRSB issue, than the Sussex County Council suit. This is because I believe that the council has solved their issue by now saying a prayer before calling the meeting to order. This has not always been the case and is why they were sued.   I have made my opinion on this issue well-known. I feel that once these public meeting are called to order, the elected officials become a body government and no longer are acting as individuals and so, are no longer afforded the same Read more

Support Our Community

I just want to invite everyone who is close to the Dover area to a charitable chili cookoff for a very affordable lunch or dinner for Open Doors Ministry.  Warm up today and help the homeless and needy.  I am a part of the board of this organization so I know the money is well spent.  The lunch is open between noon to 4 today at Christian Life Center 614 S. Du Pont Hwy.  Dover DE.  The cost is a donation recommended donation is $7 a person and $15 for an entire family $5 for students.  Desserts donated by Sam's club and the venue by the members of Christian Life Center.  100% of every donation will help the needy. Read more

39 Years of Shame

Recently, America suffered a tragic anniversary, the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. What can one say that has not been said? America is suffering from a deficit problem. Sure you know about the financial issues, but that is not the deficit of which I speak. This deficit is costing us everyday in ways that many deny. We have a moral deficit. 50 million helpless children have been brutally killed. Many were ripped limb from limb. Others were chemically burned. Still others were savagely poisoned. Yet, others were partially born and killed inches from life. There is no pretty way to talk about abortion truthfully. Abortion is an intrinsic evil eating away at the souls of a great people.  It is never okay.  It is a savage expression of domination of one's convenience over the life of another for money. Abortion is a root of all kinds of evil.  Child abuse is up.  Those Read more

Open Government–Ha

Would you like to know if your state legislator actually worked at his/her other state job? HB 176 by House Minority Leader Greg Lavelle would make public documents the timecards of state legislators. Yesterday, Democrats in the House Administrative committee defeated the measure on a party line vote. It was feared too many Democrats would be embarrassed. It is against state law to be paid twice for the same time by the state government therefore the bill is relevant. In the past, members of both parties have been accused of such behavior. This bill has bipartisan support including Senator Katz --Lavelle's likely election opponent. That did not impress the leadership of the house which runs the House Administration Committee. It was DOA. The Governor spoke of open government and transparency in his State of the State address last week. If he wants to make a bold move, he could Read more

The Pursuit of Fairness

I watched President Obama's State of the Union last night. It was quite a show. He was at the top of his game. He sounded like a cross between Shawn Hannity and Andy Stern. He advocated tax reform, an all of the above energy policy, and a fair society. I am intrigued of course by an administration that block a pipeline when its own experts both economic and enviromnental green light it and imposes an illegal moritorioum on drilling off shore then presenting itself as the all of the above, drill baby administration. What intrigued me more was the statement which put the central goal of the administration policy as fairness not freedom. Now I am not opposing everyone having a fair shot at the opportunities of life, but I believe the best way is more freedom not more regulation. How is it fair for high tech companies to get double the tax breaks of other companies? How is it fair Read more

Endorsement Wars

 It would seem as if the battle of the endorsements for the sixth senatorial district in Delaware on going.  The first shot was fired by Ernie Lopez, when shortly after announcing his intentions to run for the state senate, he was endorsed by four former Sussex County GOP Committee Chairs, Dave Burris, Phyllis Byrne, Bill Lee and Ron Sams.   The next shot was fired by former candidate for the U.S. House, Glen Urquhart, when he told a local down state newspaper that he had been endorsed by former Republican Governor Pete Du Pont.   But oh snap! Seems that he was a little premature. It seems that Gov. Du Pont had made that statement when he believed that Mr. Urquhart would be the only Republican candidate. Gov. Du Pont has never endorsed a primary candidate, and sees no reason to start now.   Gov. Du Pont did however endorse Mr. Lopez in his 2004 run at the New Castle County Read more

Gingrich Wins South Carolina

Some instapundit analysis in no particular order: First, the win means the end of the “Romney is inevitable” mantra. Second, even more importantly, it means the establishment is weakened. Establishment picks are being overwhelmed by conservative sentiment. Romney's support has scarcely ever wavered from about 25%. The rest of the votes have been divided among conservatives. That division is rapidly eroding. Third, stereotypical views of evangelicals are eroding as well. They didn’t bite when Newt’s marriage became an issue. That issue will probably be put to rest from now on. Fourth, Newt’s message about the in-the-tank—for-liberalism and Obama media will be taken seriously. The main stream media is on notice that there is at least one candidate who will not kow-tow to them. Fifth, expect other conservative candidates to begin mimicking Gingrich’s strong stances. Read more

Gingrich vs King

The Thursday CNN debate in South Carolina started with an exchange between the moderator John King and Newt Gingrich about his ex-wife's ABC interview claims.  King carefully placed the ball on the T and Newt smashed it out of the park while the audience ate it up. Here is my theory behind the exchange. I think that CNN set up this opportunity for Newt on purpose, but it has little or nothing to do with who they want to win the nomination or the Presidency.  The media has an interest in a long and active primary campaign.  Political campaigns are a treasure trove of news stories.  If you wish to be more benevolent in your attitude towards the media you could take the argument that a long campaign is also beneficial to the voters, and the media is simply looking out for our interests.  For the voters, a long primary gives more of us in the later states a chance to be a real part Read more

Newt Shows How To Do It… Love Newt or hate him, condemn or exonerate him, Gingrich gave a lesson for teachable conservatives: Don’t let the Left set the terms of debate. Turn the tables and don’t self-defend. Go from defense to offense.

2012 the Year of the Volunteer

DNREC, DHSS join First Lady Carla Markell in promoting 2012 as a year of volunteer service New state websites offer volunteer opportunities and events DOVER (Jan. 18, 2012) – As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy this week, Delaware’s First Lady Carla Markell is issuing a call to volunteers statewide to resolve to make 2012 a year of service. Mrs. Markell is being joined by Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Secretary Collin O’Mara and Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Rita Landgraf to encourage Delawareans to make a resolution to volunteer in the new year. “Volunteers throughout our state are strengthening our communities, mentoring our youth, helping those in need, and enhancing the health and well-being of all Delawareans,” Mrs. Markell said. “As we begin a new year, I encourage more of our citizens Read more

The Way I See It

My political round up this week has to include the insane attack on Governor Mitt Romney for paying his taxes and paying a higher percentage of his income than in an effective tax rate greater 97% of Americans. The same media that did not bash the Secretary of Treasury for not paying his taxes or the former chair of the Senate Finance Committee or the former Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee for not paying theirs. So Romney is a bad guy for paying every dollar he is legally required to pay and Democrats.... I am not a Mitt fan, but the man is a problem solver who knows economics. America could do a lot worse. Like most Americans in today's Gallup poll, I would be fine with an Obama /Romney match up and like 80% of Republicans, I would not hesitate to vote for him. There is warning in that poll for the Romney bandwagon, Independents are not excited about him or Obama. If you Read more

A Review of the State of the State

It was a good speech. The Governor's office put out a release which did a good job detailing the accomplishments and goals the Governor presented today. I would like to look at what was not said, but that will have to come tomorrow. Dover, DE – Governor Jack Markell’s fourth State of the State address today made clear that to lead in the future, Delaware must stay focused now on creating more jobs, making our schools stronger and governing responsibly. In the speech in the House Chamber, Markell offered new proposals in each critical area and updated the legislature on some successful efforts underway to get people back to work, ensure more Delaware children graduate ready to succeed and make government a sounder steward of state resources. “This is Delaware’s time to lead. Creating more and better jobs. Improving our quality of life. Providing the best schools and learning Read more

Gingrich Picks Up Perry Endorsement

Governor Rick Perry may become the Kingmaker. Speaker Gingrich now has the momentum in South Carolina. We found out that Mitt Romney didn’t really win Iowa. We should have always known that. It was a three way tie with 7 delegates to Santorum, Paul, and Romney. Still congratulations to the winner Senator Santorum.

Accountability in Education- Guest Post

Guest Post from Dr. Lillian Lowery, Delaware Secretary of Education: Almost 10 years ago, the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act began requiring states to report disaggregated student test scores. Aggregated results had masked serious deficiencies among many of our country’s most vulnerable students. The law’s great legacy is bringing accountability for states, districts, schools and teachers to the forefront, but it also has its flaws. Recognizing this, in September, President Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan offered states the chance to apply for flexibility from certain requirements of the law in exchange for aggressive state-led reform. Eleven states applied during the first round in November, and Delaware is among 30 expected to apply in February for the second round. If our plan is approved, Delaware will get flexibility in the setting of realistic Read more

Legislators Take Aim at Home Invasions

Senator Lawson's answer to the statewide wave of terror is Senate Bill 161. It would make home invasion a class A Felony subject to Life imprisonment without parole or probatiion. Section 1. Amend Title 11 of the Delaware Code by making insertions as shown by underlining and deletions as shown by strike through as follows: § 830. Home invasion. (a) A person is guilty of home invasion when the person knowingly enters a dwelling owned or occupied by another while the person or another participant in the crime is armed with a deadly weapon and when, in effecting entry or when in the dwelling or in the immediate flight therefrom, he/she engages in conduct constituting at least one of the following criminal offenses as defined by the Delaware Code: (1) Robbery in the first degree; (2) Assault in the first or second degree; Read more

Sussex County Council Sued for Reciting Lord’s Prayer

According to The Blaze, “… four residents are asking U.S. District Court Judge Leonard P. Stark to rule that this action [reciting the Lord’s prayer at Sussex County Council meetings] violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment. Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AUSCS), a church-state separatist group, is defending the four citizens who would like to see the recitation ruled unconstitutional. “It affiliates the county government with one single faith — Christianity — and sends a message to the county residents that their county government favors one religion,” said Alex Luchenitser, an attorney for AUSCS. ”The way this prayer is recited has many hallmarks of a religious exercise.” Full story to be found here: