For the first time in a decade, Henlopen Acres is going to have a municipal election.
The filing deadline for the 2021 election closed July 9, and four people have decided to run for two seats – incumbent Commissioner Beatrix “Paddy” Richards, Tiffany Derrickson, Lyndie Hertrich and John Shedletsky. Commissioner Andrew Brittingham is not running for re-election.
A commissioner since being appointed in 2007, Richards said she’s very proud of what the town has been able to accomplish during her time on the board. She thinks she still has something to offer the community, she said in an email July 28.
“We have faced many challenges, and I think that we have dealt with them successfully to preserve our exceptional family-based community,” said Richards. “I do not know what the future holds but I am willing to accept the challenges.”
Derrickson has served on the town board of elections for over 10 years, and she said now that her children are older she has more time to contribute to the town.
“As a resident raising my family in my childhood home in Henlopen Acres, I have always felt it was important to contribute to the community in which I live,” said Derrickson in an email July 28. “I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to work to preserve the many things homeowners love about the Town of Henlopen Acres.”
Hertrich said fostering a sense of safety and security in the Henlopen Acres community is something she’s passionate about.
“As a mother and a teacher, I want to examine our bylaws and solicit resident feedback to ensure we are doing everything we can to promote a strong sense of safety and security to our families, neighbors, friends (and pets),” said Hertrich in an email Aug. 1.
Hertrich said her involvement in the community already runs deep.
“In my capacity on the board of the Henlopen Acres Beach Club, I use my doctoral degree in early childhood development to run the children’s programs,” said Hertrich. “As a full-time resident, I appreciate the rich heritage of our community, and want to honor and nourish those traditions in a more active role.”
Shedletsky said he’s running because he wants to change things.
Shedletsky said a recent change to the rental code – a limit to the number of rentals allowed per year – has resulted in a severe loss of rental income for him and others. He added that the town’s governance – a requirement that four of six commissioners be full-time residents – has resulted in a town run by people who represent a minority of the population, because two-thirds of the town’s property owners are nonresidents.
“I want to represent the interests of the two-thirds of owners who are nonresidents. They should not be second-class citizens,” said Shedletsky in an email July 28. “I want to replace the nonresident commissioner who failed to represent us and our interests. And I want to push for more transparency and community input in decisions that affect everyone.”
First elected in 2012, Brittingham has served three terms as town commissioner. In an email July 20, he said it felt like the right time to step back and give someone else a chance to run. He said the opportunity he had to serve has been a great learning experience, and he’s appreciative of the chance that former Mayor Dave Lyons took on him when he first ran.
“Between changing jobs and other events going on in my life in the last year, it was time to let someone with the drive, energy, and time commitment step up and run,” said Brittingham.
Henlopen Acres election information
Henlopen Acres’ municipal election is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 28. Polls will be open from 9 a.m. to noon at town hall, 104 Tidewaters. Results of the election are expected to be posted at town hall by 1 p.m., the day of the election.
The deadline to register for the election was July 29. For more information about voting eligibility, go to henlopenacres.delaware.gov. Absentee ballots are available in town hall. The town’s organizational meeting will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, Sept. 10, in town hall.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with the correct spelling of Lyndie Hertrich’s name.