Phillips never shies away from controversy

Sussex County Council President Vance Phillips has never been one to shy away from controversy, and to his credit, he usually faces it head on, like a sailor in a gale.

This time he has really stepped into it. Critics are coming out of the woodwork asking for Republican Phillips’ resignation from council because of his new part-time, or full-time temporary job, as campaign advisor to Congressional candidate Glen Urquhart of Rehoboth Beach.

Granted, some of the criticism is coming from Democrats who are in feeding-frenzy mode. Phillips has been a leader and activist in the Republican Party for two decades. Discrediting him is also a shot at the party.

He’s also getting grief from some members of his own party.

I’m not crazy enough to jump on either side, but there are two unequivocal facts that no one can hide from:

1. It’s bad timing for Phillips because he is running for a fourth council term. He has come under tough scrutiny for his strong stand on property rights and his pro-development attitude. It may not matter, because most complaints are coming from people outside his district. But, you can bet your bottom dollar that those folks are working hard to find someone who lives in District 5 and shares their views to face Phillips. Now they have a little more fodder for their battle against the incumbent.

The bottom line is this: Phillips does not need this controversy, even if he doesn’t see it as one.

2. Urquhart, who is a successful developer who started with nothing and built up several companies in his lifetime, stands a good chance of never getting another project approved in Sussex County. Phillips has stated on several occasions he will never vote on an Urquhart application. If council stays the way it is today, just about any major development in the Cape region would be a 2-2 vote if Phillips abstains from voting.

This may not matter either. If Urquhart wins, he will have a new career with little time left to devote to developing projects in Sussex County. He may be scaling back that part of his life anyway.

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One Response to “Phillips never shies away from controversy”

  1. d. thomas-boucher Says:

    Mr. Phillips is definitely pro-developement and been a friend to developers for a long time. The problems that have resulted are of major concern to citizens who believe in controlled and guided growth that does not add traffic problems, infrastructure problems, environmental problems, road damage problems, sewage concerns and countless other possibilities that occur because of uncontrolled and unsupported growth allowed without regards for the fallout. It is the job and responsibility of the Sussex County Council to protect and serve the citizens of this county and their quality of life. To be perfectly honest, the developers main concerns are profit driven, and if they deny that, they are not being honest. You must have a balance between the citizen and the developer and that balance does not exist and has not existed for years because the developers have too many “friends” on the Council. We all know who they are, and Mr. Phillips is one. You cannot serve two masters, he should resign from the Council and give Sussex County a chance to breathe again.

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