Sussex County needs a code of conduct

March 20, 2014

Some weeks ago, on its website, the Sussex County administrator asked for feedback from the public on how Sussex County could improve its services, including how it could become more "transparent."

This was my response:

Mr. Robert Wheatley, chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, serves in various capacities that represent an inexcusable and serious conflict of interest. Since Sussex County has no code of conduct like Kent and New Castle counties, there is no way to hold Mr. Wheatley accountable.

In addition to serving as chairman of P&Z, Mr. Wheatley is or until just recently was, for many years, the president of business development for the Whayland Company which provides a variety of consulting and construction services for developers in Sussex County. He also serves on the Delaware Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board, and most recently was appointed chairman of the public policy committee for the Delaware Association of Realtors.

In these capacities, Mr. Wheatley is able to recommend approvals for rezoning property for development, provide consulting and construction services for these developments, and set policy for Realtors who sell homes in these developments - a pretty sweet deal, and about as transparent as looking through a piece of lead! Yet this conflict is allowed to continue. The public should be outraged.

Now Mr. Wheatley is running for Sussex County Council. If elected he will most likely continue his questionable activites. This simply should not happen.

William F. Moyer

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