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It's good to have Dan Kramer back

ron_macarthur
January 19, 2012

Dan Kramer has broken his silence.

The Greenwood resident has taken on the role of Sussex County Council watchdog over the past two decades and was not shy when it came to speaking out at weekly council meetings.

But when council adopted what he called the Kramer Rule and changed its public participation policy two years ago, he stopped talking except at public hearings. Under the policy, people are required to sign in and state what they plan to talk about. Speakers are limited to three minutes and cannot address individual council members.

Two weeks ago, he started up again because council has changed its policy. People still have to sign in but they do not have to give a reason why they want to address council. “They are still turkeys,” Kramer told me.

At the Jan. 17 meeting, Kramer had some suggestions for council. He said council should take its $3,100 Delaware Electric Cooperative capital credits check and use it to fix the county's internet; he claims the on-line broadcast of meetings is 20 seconds behind real time.

It's seems ironic that Kramer of all people would be complaining about technology. During an interview not that long ago Kramer told me he didn't have a computer and didn't care to own one.

Fast forward a few years and now he is writing a blog, doing research, reading the entire county code and sending out emails.

The main reason he got into the digital world is out of necessity. Because he missed numerous meetings due to illness, he broke down and bought a computer so he could keep any eye on council. He missed several months of meetings in a battle against cancer followed by more months of reconstructive surgery on his face.

During the recent dinner to honor retired administrator Dave Baker, incoming administrator Todd Lawson was presented with a red hotline phone with direct access to Kramer. Although it was given in jest, there will be more than one occasion when Kramer will feel the need to phone – or email – the new administrator.

 

  • Ron MacArthur has lived and worked in Sussex County all his life. As a journalist for more than 40 years, he has covered everything from county and town meetings to presidential visits. He also has a unique perspective having served as an elected official and lived on both sides of the county.

    Contact Ron at ronm@capegazette.com