Tim Ritzert has thrown his hat into the ring for a seat on Lewes City Council.
The 66-year-old filed paperwork at city hall March 6, joining the five-person field competing for two three-year seats.
Incumbents Fred Beaufait and Dennis Reardon and challengers Kay Carnahan and Andrew Williams filed to run March 2.
Ritzert has lived in Lewes for more than 10 years, but his family has had a home in the city for about 30 years. He had been vacationing in Lewes for many years prior to making it his full-time home. He came to Lewes from Washington, D.C., following a career in project and contract management, working for Virginia Power, one of the largest public utilities in the nation owned by Dominion Energy. He worked in a similar capacity in the telecommunications field.
After attending many city council and committee meetings over the last few years, Ritzert said he’s recently sensed a disconnect between council and the city’s residents.
“I think a consequence of not having an election in six years is that we have members of council who are no longer sensitive to the public’s concerns,” he said. “I approach government from a sense of humility, not a position that I know everything and that I have all the answers to all that ails Lewes.”
He said he believes his experience with project and contract management would be helpful if elected because running the city is similar to running a business.
One of Ritzert’s concerns lies with how the city deals with development.
“The city seems to be frequently caught flat-footed, and they’re reacting to the challenges of development, the threat of development, the threat of more commercial, rather than getting out in front of the problems,” he said.
The election will be held from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, May 9, at city hall. Anyone who wishes to become a candidate must file a form with the city manager’s office by 4:30 p.m., Thursday, April 2. The form can be found on the city’s website at www.ci.lewes.de.us. Candidates must be at least 21 years old and a resident of Lewes for at least one year. Candidates also must not have been convicted of a felony.
The deadline to register to vote in the election is 4:30 p.m., Friday, April 24. Registration must be completed at city hall during normal working hours. There will be a special voter registration window from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 18, for those who cannot make it to city hall during a weekday. If a resident has not voted in two consecutive elections, they must re-register to vote.
The Greater Lewes Civic Association will hold a candidates’ forum at 6 p.m., Friday, April 24, in the large room at the Lewes Public Library.