News Briefs

January 11, 2013
Sussex sets time extension hearings

Sussex County Council will meet at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 15, in the county administration building on The Circle in Georgetown. On the agenda are two public hearings at 11:15 a.m. on possible time extensions for pending subdivision and conditional-use applications and residential planned community districts. See a complete agenda at

Southbound Route 1 lane closure set

A Route 1 and Route 30 grade separated intersection project will require southbound lane closures on Route 1 from 6:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday, Jan. 14, through Friday, Jan. 18, pending weather, on Route 1 southbound between Wilkins Road and Johnson Road near Milford.

DelDOT contractor George & Lynch Inc. will be saw cutting, striping and placing barrier walls for the Route 1 and Route 30 project.  Motorists should use caution in this area for shifting of traffic and construction personnel on Route 1 southbound.

Henlopen Acres to discuss art league status

The Henlopen Acres commissioners will meet at 10 a.m., Friday, Jan. 11, at Town Hall to discuss the process for evaluating the Rehoboth Art League’s status, as well as possible changes.

The commissioners will also discuss charter amendments relating to the town manager and treasurer positions, auditors and the qualifications of voters. Other unfinished business includes a zoning code amendment for the definition of a front yard and ordinances changing certain criminal offenses to civil offenses.

In new business, the commissioners will discuss the town’s audited financial statement, event approval and parking, commercial vehicle parking and will make an appointment to the board of adjustment.

Lewes to discuss connector road location

Lewes Mayor and City Council will met at 7 p.m., Monday, Jan. 14, in City Hall. Agenda items include presentation and consideration of an update by the state of Delaware regarding the construction and location of the proposed connector road linking New Road and Pilottown Road,  discussion about limiting parking along the north side of Franklin Avenue from the Board of Public Works parking lot entrance to the corner of Kings Highway, and placement of a no- parking sign at the parking lot’s west entrance. The panel will also consider a mitigation planning team recommendation to revise snow emergency routes and direct the city solicitor to draft an ordinance to make changes to the city code.

Proposed changes include removing East Fourth Street, Beebe Avenue and Second Street as designated snow emergency routes. Streets proposed to become new designated snow emergency routes include Savannah Road from city limit to Cape Henlopen Drive (west to east); West Fourth Street from New Road to Savannah Road; Dewey Avenue from Kings Highway to Savannah Road; and Kings Highway from city limit to Savannah Road. The recommendation suggests designating as secondary priority status routes, Second Street, Cedar Avenue and Ocean View Boulevard from West Fourth Street to Harbor HealthCare & Rehab Center at 301 Ocean View Blvd.

Mayor and city council will also meet in an executive session to discuss proposed terms of a new franchise agreement with Comcast of Delmarva Inc.

Executive sessions are closed to the public because they might involve discussion of personnel performance or matters that if made public could be legally or financially disadvantageous for the city. The panel will return to regular session to vote on items discussed in executive session.

First Rehoboth budget session Jan. 18

The Rehoboth Beach commissioners will hold their first budget session, 9 a.m., Friday, Jan. 18, in the city commissioners’ room.

City Manager Greg Ferrese will unveil the first draft of the city’s 2013-14 budget. The public is invited to attend.

Rehoboth board meeting cancelled

The Rehoboth Beach Board of Adjustment meeting scheduled for Monday, Jan. 28 has been cancelled due to lack of agenda items. The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 25.

Rehoboth tree panel meeting cancelled

The Rehoboth Beach Parks and Shade Tree Commission has cancelled its Monday, Jan. 28 meeting due to a lack of agenda items. No new meeting date has been scheduled.

Sussex council awards nonprofit grants

Sussex County Council awarded the following councilmanic grants at its Jan. 8 meeting: $3,500 to Laurel Little League; $700 to Mt. Joy Civic Association for a youth event; $1,000 to Clear Space Theatre Company; $250 to Delaware Envirothon; and $700 to Eastern Shore AFRAM Festival Committee for the Western Sussex Martin Luther King Jr. prayer breakfast. Council also gave a $500 human services grant to Pinetown Civic Association for after-school program expenses.

Council awards grants to nonprofit agencies providing services to county residents.

Legislators begin 2013 legislative session

Delaware legislators kicked off the 147th General Assembly Jan. 8 at Legislative Hall in Dover.  Members of the House took the oath of office, and all legislators participated in opening-day ceremonies with their families.

Senators were sworn in as a body in December in order to confirm judicial appointments recommended by Gov. Jack Markell.

Bill would prohibit lawmakers from becoming lobbyists

Rep. John A. Kowalko, D-Newark, filed legislation Jan. 8 that would prohibit lawmakers from lobbying former colleagues for one year after they leave office. Under House Bill 13, legislators would have to wait one year after leaving the General Assembly before they would be permitted to act as lobbyists at Legislative Hall. Violating the proposed law would be an unclassified misdemeanor. The measure would apply to any legislator serving after Jan. 1, 2015, and would exclude any lawmakers who leave office at the end of the 147th General Assembly in 2014.

“We have seen veteran legislators leave this building after wielding considerable influence for years, only to turn around a couple months later and use that influence to steer public policy as lobbyists,” Kowalko said. “While most legislators are honorable, this creates a perception that they have ulterior motives and could call into question decisions legislators make while in office.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than 20 states have a one-year restriction for legislators, and seven states have a two-year waiting period. New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia all have one-year restrictions.

Kowalko introduced similar versions of HB 13 in each of the past three legislative sessions.  HB 13 was been assigned to the House Administration Committee.