What’s Going on With the Sussex County Council? Come on In for the Scoop-The 3/31/15 Edition

I want to put up a rant about the inefficiency of the Sussex County Council. I want to tell the world about Joan Deaver’s verbal faux-pas, how Rob Arlett wants to take over the meeting, how Sam Wilson once again complained that the century changed. Well all this did happen but all in all in was a really great council meeting. Click in and see why.

Let Us Begin with the MPO Issue

Goodness I didn’t even know about this Metropolitan Planning Organization but I did a bit of research.
From the DELDOT legislator Briefing:

This briefing provides information on the federally regulated expansion of the Salisbury Wicomico Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) to include new identified urbanized area up the US13 corridor to the City of Seaford.

In 1962, the Federal-Aid Highway Act dedicated funding that would eventually create the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) that were to be the planning organizations for urbanized areas of 50,000 or more persons. Congress gave federal transportation officials the legal mandate and financing to transform the various regional planning groups across the country into multi-modal planning agencies. Both highway and transit funding was merged into one planning document. Currently, there are about 340 such urbanized areas with MPO’s in the U.S.

So there is one of these urbanized areas of 50,000 or more from the US13 corridor to Seaford. So one of these Metropolitan Planning Organizations was formed, named the “Wicomico Metropolitan Planning Organization”. The mission of these group, including three from Sussex county, is to figure out how and where to build new roads.

In summary, it is a giveaway program from 1962 and once you get one of these federal giveaway projects started they never, EVER, die.

One of the more humorous parts of this discussion at the Sussex county council today was this notion of something called an “attainment” area. Meaning air quality testing is routinely done under the guidance of the EPA (what DNREC wants to be when it grows up). Sussex nor New Castle county is an attainment area but Kent county, God Bless, is.

Which means just what, I don’t know except in order for Sussex to benefit from all this air quality will have to be measured and they did to this old federal giveaway something else they like to do with these sorts of things that we be under their thumbs: THEY ADDED OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES TO THE PROCESS!!!

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Arlett asked some cogent and probing questions while Wilson ranted about farmers and chickens and other stuff.

This was a presentation for the benefit of the council and I was intrigued. Will keep up on this matter.
Now The Vendors, Porta Potties, Seats and Trying to Make Life Simpler

This is where I began to get a sense of pride in this Sussex county council. God bless they are really struggling to simplify the ability for a vendor of hot dogs to set up at the K-Mart parking lot without it being….heh….a federal case.

It ain’t easy.


I did a screen capture of the proposed ordinance, above. The zoning type is commercial and commercial-residential only. In other words a cart filled with unshucked corn and cucumbers will not be showing up at your community center to set up a vegie stand.

It’s a complicated thing, I get this. I listened to the council members voice their concerns, heard the issues, sighed at the pervasiveness of bureaucracies in our lives and empathized with the council trying to make it simple for K-Mart to allow Joe Bloe to sell hot dogs on its lot in the tourist-filled summer without making it all but impossible.

Joan Deaver got all worried about whether there will be a limit on chairs because hey, maybe ten chairs around that hot dog stand but we don’t want to go back a few months later and find a fully built hot dog restaurant, Coney Island hots the specialty.

Then there was discussion that maybe the county should notify the FDA for food illness, the CIA in case terrorists are selling hot dogs, the EPA to test the air quality of cooking hot dogs….

At some point it got to be too much. Changes will be made and the ordinance will be corrected and re-submitted in two weeks. There is no county council meeting next week because, well hey, it’s the Tuesday after Easter! The council has had what? Four or five meetings this year. THEY NEED A BREAK!
Kudos to Todd Lawson, Best County Administrator Ever

toddlawsonActually Todd Lawson is the ONLY county administrator I know and he probably doesn’t know me from Adam.

But after the DELDOT and garden cart ordinance, Todd did a few presentations and I got to thinking what a great job he does.

Now understand Todd gets paid for his job but still and so, there’s bad jobs and good jobs and mediocre jobs. For this past year since I’ve been covering the Sussex County Council I’ve noted how Lawson is affable, knowledgeable, friendly, patient and does a great job.

Could it ever be a bad thing to tell him we notice it out here in la-la land?

In fact, just this once, I want the entire Sussex county council to know that you all really do a good job. Today’s meeting was one almost perfect example, just a low country county trying to let the farmers sell produce in the summer, struggling with free federal money and the freedom it takes away.

For just this once, cause sometime in the future I will get annoyed and go on a rant. But just for now I’d like the Sussex county council to know that I appreciate the good job you all do.
I do not respond to comments on my posts. I certainly have no problem with such commentary and, indeed, encourage it. But I’ve written my piece and I don’t want to argue it further.
Please feel free to email me at patfish1@aol.com if you want to send me a special comment or have any ideas or information you want to share.
NEXT : A new subject post called “Let Me Clear Up Some Things” coming up. We will update and correct any misconceptions of prior columns and all comments will be answered.

One Comment on "What’s Going on With the Sussex County Council? Come on In for the Scoop-The 3/31/15 Edition"

  1. Geezer says:

    “Will keep up on this matter.”

    Why bother? You don’t understand it anyway. Why not confine your ignorance to a few simple areas?

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