Bonnie Osler seeks second term

Future development, city's finances among top concerns
Lewes Councilwoman Bonnie Osler will seek a second term in May's election. SOURCE SUBMITTED
February 28, 2014

Lewes Councilwoman Bonnie Osler is seeking a second term on city council.

Osler, 56, officially announced her candidacy Feb. 26, when she filed the necessary paperwork at city hall. The Savannah Road resident said a positive two-year experience on council motivated her to run for office again.

“The Lewes council has a history of being collegial and collaborative and respectful of each other,” she said. “I'm not saying it's an easy job, but that makes it a more pleasant undertaking.”

Osler and Deputy Mayor Ted Becker were the clear winners in the 2012 election that saw five candidates for two council seats. Becker recently declared his candidacy for the mayoral seat left open by Jim Ford when he announced he would step down.

Osler and Becker are the only two candidates to file to date, but residents have until 4:30 p.m., Thursday, April 3, to declare their candidacy. The election will be held Saturday, May 10.

Since joining council, Osler has served with the planning commission, scenic and historic byways committee, library design committee and Lewes Unleashed. She is also involved with the Historic Lewes Farmers Market and the Greater Lewes Community Village.

Seeing ongoing projects through to fruition is one of Osler's goals in a second term. The city's continued development is an important issue, she said, and a planning consultant is vital to smart and informed growth.

“Everything the council does and all the nonprofits do is all geared toward preserving what we have in Lewes,” she said. “Sometimes that may mean some development, sometimes not. We want to understand what makes Lewes special and hold on to it. There is no one formula to this.”

It is just as important to keep the city's books in good order, she said. Lewes has managed to complete major capital improvement projects in recent years while building its reserves. With a new mayor set to take office this spring, she said, it's essential to keep the same financial awareness in the coming years.

“The first responsibility of any elected official who has authority over other people's money is to keep the city on firm financial footing,” she said. “I think we are being good stewards of that money.”

Other issues of concern for Osler include the proposed moratorium for residential exceptions in the marine-commercial district, continued work with annexation and proposed subdivisions and the completion of the new library and trailhead.

Prior to moving to Lewes full time in 2011, Osler worked as deputy chief counsel for litigation with the Transportation Security Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She previously worked as assistant branch director and trial attorney for the Federal Programs Branch of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Osler bought a home in Lewes in 1993. She traveled to Lewes on weekends for nearly 20 years before ultimately making the move.

If elected for another term, Osler said, she looks forward to working with a new mayor.

“I don't know who's going to be the next mayor, but I hope whoever that is takes a page out of Jim [Ford's] book,” she said. “Jim has been an asset to Lewes as far as setting tone on council. He's the sun around which the rest of us have orbited.”

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