Osler, Mahaffie will guide Lewes's future

May 9, 2014

Bonnie Osler has easily earned another term. She has led the city hall effort to hire professional certified planning services for the city. She now chairs the selection process, with an executive-level, master’s degreed candidate preferred.  She gets the need for enhanced planning capacity for the city, and gets my vote.  

My other vote has been a tough call. I have been as critical of the city’s inadequate planning capacity as anyone in the city.  So my instinct was to turn away from anyone associated with it.  

Then I talked, one on one, with the other two candidates - in multiple, hour-long meetings to understand their vision for Lewes. Now, the choice is clear, and surprising.

Rob Morgan has incredible background (Yale, Harvard, Virgina Law) but elsewhere, in Texas, Washington, D.C., internationally - but not in Delaware, not in Lewes.  He will no doubt be a fantastic asset to the city with a few years of experience in Delaware and, more importantly, in Lewes, getting to know who we are, what this community is all about. 

But not now. Not yet.  

Rob is still learning the ropes and you can’t be one of only five individuals deciding the fate of our businesses, home values and quality of life and still be an on-the-job trainee. I hope he will run again, in a few years when he is seasoned and ready (as several veteran council members have advised him.)

Mike Mahaffie totally surprised me. He talked with first-hand knowledge of the changes - controlled by the council legislative power - the current inadequate process requires. He has come out of nowhere to earn my confidence.  
He knows from the inside  how inadequate the city planning process really is and has called for - in writing - hiring a full-time, staff planner after the planning consultant ‘s term is complete.  This is huge. He is the only candidate to do so. 

In addition, his 25 years in state government, many in the State Office for Planning Coordination, prepares him to know where state grants are buried, and the connections to work with surrounding communities (and federal planning-related agencies like FEMA) to form a coastal regional planning association of towns to protect Lewes.  This is real vision and comes out of insider experience to make the case for change.  

Mahaffie has the experience that counts for Lewes.

John Mateyko, RA

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