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Now is the time to hire county planner

January 11, 2013

Cape Henlopen School District is in the process of planning new schools to develop the extra capacity needed for current and future growth. At the current pace of nearly 100 new students each year, the district - now with 5,000 students - will have another 1,000 students to educate in 10 years. Growth is picking up steam, and Sussex County Council should follow suit by filling the planner position now in its third year of being vacant.

In the past half year, we've seen three different proposals for significant recreational vehicle parks surface. These parks can certainly contribute to the Sussex economy and the important tourism industry. However, they will not exist in a vacuum, and they will have impacts.

Having a certified planner as part of the Sussex administration would help ensure that proposals such as the RV parks receive consideration in the greater context of how all of Sussex County is developing. In reviewing these and other projects, a certified planner could assist council members to gain a greater understanding so the best decisions are made for the long term.

Sussex County is a special place and deserves the benefit of a well-informed perspective so all of us can be the most effective stewards possible. This largest county on the entire Delmarva Peninsula - by far - has so much going for it in terms of natural beauty and amenities, climate, strategic geographical location, excellent farmland and rainfall. We should always be discussing how we can preserve all of those things so vital to our agricultural and tourism economy, and know how one thing affects another.

In a county that benefits from excellent fiscal management and understands the value of limited government, a certified planner could also review and make recommendations that address sustainability, and present information to council members so ultimate decisions can be made to help protect all those aspects of Sussex that we treasure.

The planning position is already budgeted. With the pace of growth quickening, now is the time to get that position filled.

  • Cape Gazette editorials are considered by members of the Cape Gazette editorial board which includes Dennis Forney, publisher; Trish Vernon, editor; Laura Ritter, news editor; Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor; and Dave Frederick, sports editor.