Posts Tagged ‘George Cole’

The Oracle of Sussex County

February 2, 2011

During the Tuesday, Feb. 1 Sussex County Council meeting, a familiar voice was heard. Joe Conaway, a former county administrator who is known for speaking his mind, got involved in a debate with Councilman George Cole over the merits of allowing time extensions to developers.

During the discussion, Conaway came up with this piece of advice: “Sometimes, even if you do it wrong, you have to do something.”

Based on his comments and observations, Cole called Conaway the Oracle of Sussex County.

It’s a title the jovial Conaway is probably proud of.

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It will be over soon

October 27, 2010

Soon, those terrible ads will stop. Soon, pundits will stop pointing fingers. Soon, we will be able to answer our phones without fear of taking part in a political survey. Soon, we can get our mail and not filter through the propaganda spouted out by politicians.

It will come to an end Wednesday, Nov. 3, after the mid-term election results are final, or at least most of them.

Political experts are predicting a Republican resurgence that could put the party back in control of the U.S. Senate and House. If that occurs, prepare for a wild ride during the final two years of the Obama administration.

On the local level, two Sussex County Council incumbents, Vance Phillips in District 5 and George Cole in District 4, are hoping they can ride the projected Republican tsunami into another four-year seat. Combined, the two have nearly 40 years of experience on council.

Partisan politics don’t influence as many decisions at the local level in Sussex County. Votes aren’t on party lines and land-use issues, which occupy most of county officials’ time, are not based on party politics. However, the political party of a candidate can matter in the voting booth.

Although the election can come down to a candidates’ party, since county council elections only occur in the candidate’s district, it usually comes down to how popular a candidate is.

Another alternative would be to allow council members to represent their district, but have the entire county vote in their respective elections since the decisions council makes are on a countywide basis.

No one other than someone in the Cole family has held the District 4 seat. George’s father, Charlie, was the first person elected to the position after the county changed from the levy court to the county council system in 1974. His mother, Kitty, finished out the last year of her late husband’s third term when he passed away in 1986.

On the Democrat side, Russ Melrath has a good organization and is working hard to get his name out to the public. He is also working hard to get his views on the issues out there.

Phillips, who has been active in Republican politics since he graduated from college, has run for national office and been a member of council since 1998, being elected president in 2009.

On the Democrat side, county retiree Denny Cordrey is running on the premise that as a former county employee, he knows how the system works.

There is a lot at stake in the council election. Should one of the two incumbents lose, there could be a swing to more anti-development stands by council. Currently, several votes on key projects, zoning changes and conditional use applications have been 3-2 votes. It appears both Melrath and Cordrey lean more to the camp that supports growth in areas with appropriate infrastructure in place.

Both Democrats have an uphill battle against incumbents who have been in office a long time and have a strong base to build on.

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It will be over soon

Soon, those terrible ads will stop. Soon, pundits will stop pointing fingers. Soon, we will be able to answer our phones without fear of taking part in a political survey. Soon, we can get our mail and not filter through the propaganda spouted out by politicians.

It will come to an end Wednesday, Nov. 3, after the mid-term election results are final, or at least most of them.

Political experts are predicting a Republican resurgence that could put the party back in control of the U.S. Senate and House. If that occurs, prepare for a wild ride during the final two years of the Obama administration.

On the local level, two Sussex County Council incumbents, Vance Phillips in District 5 and George Cole in District 4, are hoping they can ride the projected Republican tsunami into another four-year seat. Combined, the two have nearly 40 years of experience on council.

Partisan politics don’t influence as many decisions at the local level in Sussex County. Votes aren’t on party lines and land-use issues, which occupy most of county officials’ time, are not based on party politics. However, the political party of a candidate can matter in the voting booth.

Although the election can come down to a candidates’ party, since county council elections only occur in the candidate’s district, it usually comes down to how popular a candidate is.

Another alternative would be to allow council members to represent their district, but have the entire county vote in their respective elections since the decisions council makes are on a countywide basis.

No one other than someone in the Cole family has held the District 4 seat. George’s father, Charlie, was the first person elected to the position after the county changed from the levy court to the county council system in 1974. His mother, Kitty, finished out the last year of her late husband’s third term when he passed away in 1986.

On the Democrat side, Russ Melrath has a good organization and is working hard to get his name out to the public. He is also working hard to get his views on the issues out there.

Phillips, who has been active in Republican politics since he graduated from college, has run for national office and been a member of council since 1998, being elected president in 2009.

On the Democrat side, county retiree Denny Cordrey is running on the premise that as a former county employee, he knows how the system works.

There is a lot at stake in the council election. Should one of the two incumbents lose, there could be a swing to more anti-development stands by council. Currently, several votes on key projects, zoning changes and conditional use applications have been 3-2 votes. It appears both Melrath and Cordrey lean more to the camp that supports growth in areas with appropriate infrastructure in place.

Both Democrats have an uphill battle against incumbents who have been in office a long time and have a strong base to build on.

On The Circle

April 7, 2009

IT’S IN THE SEATING – The biggest question circulating around Sussex County political circles the past few months has been how the new county council will perform. How newcomers Democrat Joan Deaver and Republicans Mike Vincent and Sam Wilson were assigned seats may offer a clue. Facing the audience, Deaver is seated to the far left and Wilson is seated to the far right. If you spend any time with either council member, you will discover quickly that their political persuasions are not too far off the mark from the seating chart. Incumbents George Cole and Vance Phillips, both Republicans, moved a seat to the right, more to the center. Is there any symbolism in that move?

ONLY IN SUSSEX – New Councilman Mike Vincent of Seaford had to relinquish his Seaford council position to take on the new seat in Georgetown. His replacement is Bill Bennett, who is a relative by marriage of Sam Wilson, another new member of county council. The saying is true: You have to be careful whom you talk about in Sussex County. You never know who is related to whom.

EAGER DEAVER – New Councilwoman Joan Deaver is taking the county by storm. She has not only opened the county’s land-use comings and goings to the world with her own website, she has formed a group of ladies (there could be men in the group but I haven’t seen them) who attend all council meetings and advise her on matters. Deaver’s dedicated duchy is keeping a vigilant eye on every move made by the men of Sussex County Council.

WOMEN POWER – Maybe they feel more empowered now that one of their own is sitting in a chair of authority, but women are showing up more and more at county meetings. The Sussex chapter of League of Women Voters has started sending an observation team to every county meeting. And there appears to be a groundswell of other women who are attending meetings and speaking out during public hearings and during the public participation portion of council meetings.

Perhaps they are following in the footsteps of Abigail Adams who said:

“If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”

And so it goes around The Circle.