Seaford election Saturday Three candidates competing for two seats on Seaford City Council

By Lynn R. Parks

All three candidates in the upcoming Seaford City Council election are veterans of the electoral process. Councilwoman Pat Jones is running for her fourth three-year term. Councilman Rhea Shannon is vying for a third term. And this is the fourth time that challenger Doug Lambert has tried for a seat on the council.

"I am optimistic; I'm always optimistic," Lambert said of his chances. "I figure that I have a 33 and 1/3 percent chance, just like the other two have."

Lambert, 55, is retired from the U.S. Navy and is owner of American Powerclean. He and his wife, CarolBeth, have six adult children and four grandchildren.

He first ran for the city council in 2005, when he lost by 36 votes to Shannon, who won his first term that year. Lambert ran again in 2006 against incumbent Larry Miller, who won, and Mike Vincent. He also ran last year, losing to incumbent Leanne Phillips-Lowe.

Lambert said that he is most concerned about the city's financial picture. "We are in a declining economy and our citizens are suffering," he said. "I want to keep taxes low and curb spending. I want to make sure that our tax dollars are spent wisely."

He would also like to ensure that the city has a "business-friendly environment." He would like to see fewer regulations imposed on businesses.

Lambert said that if he is elected, he will be a voice for the people. "I will make sure that your concerns are heard," he said. "I will work to see that the city is run as effectively and efficiently as possible."

Lambert would not discuss past city council decisions with which he may have disagreed; "I won't dwell on the past," he said. "I just want to focus on the future, making sure that we don't spend money that we don't have."

Shannon, 72, is a lifelong resident of Seaford. He graduated from Seaford High School in 1956 and in 1959, after graduating from Goldey Beacom College, Wilmington, went to work for Penco Corp., from which he retired in 2001 as manager of the Easton branch. He now works for Cranston Funeral Home.

Before running for the city council, Shannon served 25 years on the city's planning and zoning commission. He and his wife, Pat, have two adult sons and four grandchildren.

Shannon, who is police commissioner, said that he is proud to have been a part of the city's recent purchase of the former Seaford Golf and Country Club. "I knew that the club was going to close and I was very interested in salvaging something there," he said. "I was also worried about where the senior center would go." The center, formerly housed in the Western Sussex Boys and Girls Club, is currently renovating the former clubhouse, which it bought from the city.

Shannon said that he has always been interested in the progress of the city.

"I want to see that everything gets done for the betterment of the city and am happy for the opportunity to serve," he said.

Jones, 44, has been employed at the Seaford Federal Credit Union for 15 years. She and her husband, Gregory, have been married for 21 years. On the council, she serves as liaison with the parks and recreation department.

Like Shannon, Jones too is proud of her part in the city's purchase of the former country club. She also points to the recent approval by voters of a plan to borrow $2.579 million for improvements to the city's storm water system as an indication of progress, as well as to the cleanup of drug and prostitution activity from the corner at 3rd and North streets. Jones heads up a Community Block Watch with citizens who live in that part of the city.

"Whatever challenges may arise, with the current council members we have been able to work together to find a common solution," she said. Jones, who is the first African-American woman to serve on the council, said that keeping diversity on the city council is important.

"I feel that I represent all citizens, including the minority, very well," she said. "I feel honored being endorsed by the late longtime councilman Henry Nutter back in 2002. It is my desire to continue his legacy of service to this great city."

For your information Seaford will hold its city council election Saturday, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in Seaford City Hall, 414 High St. Voters had to have been registered with the city by Friday, March 25. For information, call city hall, 629-9173.

Citizens approve annexation

Citizens of Seaford have approved the annexation of the Delaware National Guard facility on Ross Station Road into the city of Seaford. Monday's referendum passed with 27 residents of Seaford for the annexation and 0 against. (Under city code, approval by residents of the area in question is also approved; that vote was 1 in favor and 0 opposed.)

The property is about 11 acres and is just north of the Seaford Industrial Park. The National Guard was interested in being part of the city so that it can have access to public water.

In November, Mayor Ed Butler appointed a committee of three council members to look at the property to determine whether it meets the city's criteria for annexation. A report from committee members Grace Peterson, Pat Jones and Rhea Shannon (chairman), which was read at the council's Jan. 11 meeting, recommended that the city proceed with the annexation process.

A public hearing on the annexation request was held Feb. 22.

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