Greenwood Events
Thursday, January 16, 2003

Bridgeville Commissioners file for re-election

By Mike McClure

Three of the five seats on the Bridgeville Commission are up for grabs in the town’s election, which will take place on Saturday, March 1. Commissioners Joe Conaway, Pat Correll, and William Jefferson, who were originally elected to the council together in 2001, filed for re-election in December and so far no newcomers have thrown their hats in the ring. Correll, who has run unopposed the last two years, is running for a one-year term while Jefferson and Conaway are each vying for a two-year term. Candidates have until Wednesday, Jan. 29, to file. “I’m still in the learning process,” Jefferson said. “I think we made a lot of improvements in town and we want to keep it going.” Joe Conaway, commission president, said: “We agreed, the three of us, that we are moving in a positive direction in Bridgeville. We need to continue the efforts of the commission to make positive things happen in Bridgeville.” “I think we’re in the middle of the transition period. I’ve seen a lot of (positive) change in the town,” Correll added. “It’s been a pleasure working with Mr. Conaway and the rest of the Commission.” Correll ran for the Bridgeville Commission two years ago after being actively involved with the town for a number of years. She retired from Delaware Farm Credit (now Mid Atlantic Farm Credit) of Georgetown last March. “I’ve had more time to be involved in the town since I retired,” said Correll. Among the Commission’s accomplishments that Correll is most proud of are: getting a grant to plant trees on Delaware Avenue, purchasing Christmas lights (with help from the Lioness and Kiwanis clubs), starting Christmas Carolling in town two years ago, and improving communication with the town’s employees. She is also proud of the community’s involvement in projects such as cleanup day, which was done in association with the Lion’s Club. “We have had a lot of local citizens step up and do a great job for this town, Correll said. Conaway, who works at Cooper Realty in Millsboro and was formerly a county administrator, believes the commission has made a number of positive steps over the past couple years including taking steps to allow for new development in town, upgrades to the town sewer system, and an improvement in the town’s financial outlook. According to Conaway, the town had dire financial problems in January 2001, but by June of that year the commission began to turn things around. Last year the town had a surplus of $18,000 and this year the town had a $61,000 surplus. Conaway is also proud of the commission’s involvement in the town’s growth, which included an annexation of 900 acres of land (tripling the town’s size) in a town vote last October. Included in the land that was annexed were 761 acres that are to be developed into a golf course and development by Allen and Rocks, Inc. “The commission as a whole is interested in seeing the new development come on. Once the bulldozers are in the field people will realize this is going to happen,” Conaway said. “We’re trying to protect the tradition (of the town) while growing into the future.” The Commission has also established a savings account to make water and sewer improvements without needing to raise taxes. Jefferson, who has worked at Messick and Gray for the last 37 or 38 years and is a salesman, sees the new development, land annexations, and improved relations with town employees as the Commission’s major accomplishments over the past two years. He would like to see the new development get up and going and break ground. As the town’s police commissioner, he would also like to hire additional police officers in order to become a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week police department. The commission will discuss the hiring of two additional officers (bringing the number of full-time officers to six) at its meeting on Monday, Jan. 13. “I’m looking forward to another term,” said Jefferson. “I think that we have a good team.” The election will take place on Saturday, March 1, from 12 to 7 p.m. at town hall. Residents must register to vote by February 18.

Greenwood discusses crime threat in town

by Desiree Laws Moore

The Greenwood Town Council spent most of the meeting time last week thinking of ways to caution their residents about recent crimes. Greenwood Police Dept. is investigating the November theft of town resident Paula Hughes’ home and business. She asked the council if there was some way to let other residents know about the crime committed against her and others that she had heard about since November so that residents could take more precautions. “You just don’t know how violating a theft is until it happens to you,” Hughes said. “If something was put in the town’s newsletter maybe that would help.” “I think we should let the people know,” said Councilman Carl Peters. “It might help to deter the crimes.” “I would like to see something go out to the residents,” said Vice Mayor Randy Willey. “I know that when I am coming home from work at one o’clock in the morning, I see people walking up and down the streets. There is certainly nothing open here at that time of the morning. I think we should mention to the chief to have them stopped and investigate their activities at that time of day.” The town has a curfew of 10:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday for minors. Mayor Donald Donovan told Hughes he would speak to the chief and the town staff to come up with an effective way to inform the residents. Greenwood Chief of Police Otis Cephas said there is no increase in crime in Greenwood. “If there was an increase in this jurisdiction, I would definitely be aware of it,” said Cephas. “Around the holidays there is usually an increase but overall the crime rate has not increased. Property crimes are the worst to solve because unless you catch them coming out of the property, there is little to no evidence.” Cephas also explained that it would be difficult to question people walking around the town in the early morning hours. “You have to understand that people have a constitutional right to walk at any time of the day,” Cephas said. “It is not against the law.” The chief believes that many victims put themselves at risk by not securing their property. He says some ways to deter crime are to lock the doors of homes and vehicles, put valuables such as cell phones and purses away in vehicles, and to leave lights on around property. The chiefs also stressed if you see something suspicious, call the police department. “Many people will not call when a crime is committed because they are afraid of retaliation or that their name will be used in court,” said Cephas. At the council meeting, Hughes asked if there was some way that a Neighborhood Watch could be started in the town. Cephas has a meeting set up with officers at Troop 5 of the Delaware State Police to get tips on how to set up an effective watch for the town. In other police matters, Police Commissioner Brenda Tallent reported that there have been complaints about the use of motorized scooters in town and the potential dangers in traffic. “We have had to look at Seaford’s policy because there is nothing in the state statute about the scooters,” said Tallent. “We are trying to do something now before a child or someone else gets hurt.” The council will review the policy from Seaford, send it to their lawyer for review and hopefully adopt an ordinance soon. The next Greenwood Town Council meeting is Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 7:30 p.m. at the town hall.

Seven candidates running for two seats in Greenwood
Greenwood Town Council elections will be on Saturday, Jan. 18, from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Town Hall. The seats of current council members Carl Peters and Brenda Tallent are up for election. They are both seeking re-election and five other town residents are candidates for the positions as well. Matthew Opaliski, Denis Schultz, Robert Terwilliger, Amy Willey, and Mary Wisseman have completed the required application for candidacy and are on the ballot for the elections. Opaliski and Terwilliger have vied for council seats in the past. Any Greenwood resident who has registered to vote with the town is eligible to vote.