The world according to Sam

The world according to Sam Wilson is a little different than the world of most of those who sit and listen to him in Sussex County Council chambers each week.

To Sam, who has been around the block a time or two in his seven decades, the world is not that complex. He looks at the state of affairs from the point of view of someone who works the soil and thanks God for the bounty.

As one of the newest members of county council, Sam is not shy when it comes to professing his Christian beliefs.

During a discussion of drainage problems during a rare joint council and planning and zoning meeting May 12, Sam got a little perturbed when it was suggested the county needed its own drainage code.
He said the natural water system ebbs and flows – some years it’s wet and some years it’s dry.

“It’s nothing new. God designed that more than 5,000 years ago,” he said.

He said on his own farm near Georgetown there have been years when he’s had water issues and years when it’s been dry and years when everything has been in perfect harmony.

And it was that way when his father, grandfather and great-grandfather tilled the family farm soil – all the way back to the Civil War. “We’ve had wet and dry times, but we can’t change the weather,” he said.

Over the years, he has put in sophisticated irrigation and has water management ditches, but at best they are stopgap measures.

He says when there is too much water, the puddles eventually go away. It’s only natural.

He is confounded by the endless parade of stormwater management projects that come in front of county council – wet and dry ponds, underground infiltration, best-management practices and green technology.

Sam is the council’s liaison to the Sussex Conservation District, the agency mandated by state law to help plan, approve and inspect stormwater systems. Sam says he has been sent all over the country to look at how others deal with runoff and water.

He is still not impressed.

“We end up spending a lot of money on something we can’t do anything about,” he says.

To Sam Wilson, things are either wet or dry, and preordained to be that way.

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