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Sussex County Council District 1

Sussex County is governed by a five-member elected council. There are five geographic districts within the county and each Council member is elected from their respective district to serve a four-year term. Candidates for the County Council must be at least 18 years old and residents of Sussex County. Among the responsibilities of the County Council are: Establishing policies for the health, safety, and welfare of County residents; Adopting an annual budget for county government operations; Enacting plans for county growth, development, and employment

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  • Candidate picture

    Hunter Hastings
    (Dem)

  • Michael H Vincent **
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

What motivates you to seek or continue in this office?

What do you see as the most urgent issues for Sussex County over the next four years, and what actions should be taken to address these issues?

What strategic changes are needed in the county’s approach to growth & development, land use, or transportation planning for the coming decade?

What plans should be implemented to increase economic opportunities in the county, especially in the medical field.

Sussex County Council’s actions affect the welfare of county residents. How will you keep the lines of communication open with your constituents?

Last edit date: published 10/1/2020
Phone: (302) 219-0318
Campaign email: contact@electhastings.com
Website or social media link: http://electhastings.com
Age 26
Education B.S. in Behavioral Science Associates in Human Services
Work Experience Addiction Counselor for BNJ Health Services: 2017-Present Private Business Consultant: 2019-Present Direct Support Professional at Delaware Mentor working with to disabilities to live an independent life.
Community Involvement Represented Del Techs GED program at legislative hall to advocate for continued funding. Volunteered in running resource groups for those who were homeless to provide support. Active with Sussex County Action Prevention Coalition (SCAPC) to address the opioid epidemic. Participated in the Behavioral Health Consortium started by Lt. Governor Bethany Hall Long.
I'm running because some Council Members have ignored most residents. For example, meetings are held in the morning, the budget is challenging for residents to understand, and public input isn't sought. Best practices with spending (procurement) and providing relevant services to all residents are lacking. The assessed valuation dilemma, public safety services that should be more efficient, and a lack of infrastructure in some areas prove this. Although some members have served for 2-3 terms, it's been implied that we need to be patient. They haven't had enough time to implement optimal practices and ensure economic development occurs across the County. Based on my life-long residency, wanting to start a family here, and my experience as a mental health professional, I have the fresh perspective the Council needs. Because the Council must serve every resident, I won't overlook certain residents and know what its like to contend with economic, physical and/or emotional challenges.
Vital services are disproportionately funded by State or Federal funds. While this may sound good, the State and federal government will probably face reductions in spending very soon. So,County residents shouldn't have to experience gaps in services or significantly increased costs because of this. I'd also prefer gradual growth that doesn't go beyond what our public safety services, water and sewer system and other utilities can reasonably and affordably provide. This is why we need a relevant, comprehensive plan that addresses alternative funding sources, gradual growth, and an informed and engaged citizenry. For example, some cities and counties charge a monthly fee for fire department services instead of the undesirable option of a $500, $800, or yes a $1,000 EMS bill. Growth is important. Though, we must ensure sustainability and affordability inform our decisions. We must attract new residents and businesses while retaining those already here.
Along with expanding infrastructure where it doesn't exist, older streets and sewers must be assessed to see if upgrades are needed. Also, possibly in exchange for the County paying 5% of road maintenance costs, we must be able to declare certain routes County routes. These would be for commercial vehicles, prompt snow removal for EMS and school bus service, and to ensure evacuation routes in case of a disaster. If roads are expanded, reversible lanes should be considered for peak hours, as is done in other states. We should also consider creating areas with less dependence on cars. For example, homes and town-homes adjacent to grocery stores, clothing stores, and cafes, with the addition of co-working or multi-use spaces for newer and existing companies would create modern, self-sustaining communities. The goal here isn't gentrification, gated communities or an us versus them dynamic. Its to reduce the environmental impact of cars and strain on our roads.
Although the County has limited powers, we can advocate for increased health services. A medical practice recently started a residency program. We can also work with VA Health and UD Health to increase tele-health services as well as on-site primary and specialty care. A VA Vet Center and/or Federally Qualified Health Center can accomplish this. This alone leads to more people living in the area, increasing the need for restaurants, Realtors, and accountants. County incentives for small businesses seem inconsistent and aren't well publicized. Elsewhere, grants are provided for hiring local graduates and rebates on County sales tax are given to encourage economic development. Often, these require hiring a minimum number of people and/or a company to be here 5+ years, to ensure we're not taken advantage of. The County should work with school districts to ensure career and technical education enables a student to be certified in a relevant career upon high school graduation.

Some Council meetings should be in the late afternoon or evening, making it more likely residents can attend. I'd also suggest 'coffees with your Councilor' (when covid19 conditions permit) to provide opportunities for residents to get to know their Councilors and discuss important issues. The County should consider identifying partners to offer technology courses, shared services like hot-spots and e-readers, etc. Greater use of reverse 911 systems to keep people informed in the event of an emergency and opt-in only text message and email Council updates have been successful in other areas. These are also extremely affordable. As I said, some County Council actions seem to surprise many residents, or be far behind what other counties and cities offer. Improved use of affordable technology and the willingness to hear what residents have to say can make exponential improvements in our County.
Last edit date: published 10/1/2020
Phone: (302) 629-2396
Campaign email: mvincent8@verizon.net
Website or social media link: http://www.facebook.com/Councilman-Mike-Vincent
Age 75
Education Seaford High School Spring Garden Automotive Institute
Work Experience Auto parts salesman Vincent Fire Equipment
Community Involvement Little league umpire High school football official Delaware Army National Guard Seaford Volunteer Fire Department Lifetime member Western Sussex Boys and Girls Club Board member
I have spent my entire adult life serving my community. I truly enjoy serving the public and helping people get resolution to their issues. The position of county council allows me to continue serving the public and helping people. I believe that giving back to your community is something everyone should do in some way and this is my way of serving.
Economic development , broadband , public safety and working with DelDot. We work everyday to help with economic development. We have spent most of the last six months working with businesses to help keep them open. We have development a Sussex County economic loan program to help business to expand. With broadband we have spent the last two years to determine the best way to help deliver broadband to our residents and businesses. The issue of hard wired fiber to every household and business is to costly. We are now working with the private sector to provide the signal wirelessly . It is extremely important to continue funding our public safety first responders adequately. Public safety is the most important thing government can do for its residents. We have just signed a new MOU with DelDot that will greatly improve our working relationship. It will give the county information on traffic numbers and future plans when we are making land use decisions before we make a decision.
We must continue to follow our new Comprehensive Land Use Plan. It is reviewed yearly for any needed updates. With transportation planning will be much improved with the new MOU we just signed with DelDot. It will give the county much needed traffic information at an earlier time in the planning process and before we make a and use decision. If there are changes to a propose development we will be involved with the conversation with the developer and DelDot that did not occur before.
That is a great question and we will be having that conversation with the medical community to see where the county can help with recruitment and retention of medical professionals.
We try very hard to be totally transparent . Our meetings are live on the internet and are available to view afterwards. WE all have a county e mail address for direct contact. We are on face book , linkedin and twitter. We just published our first monthly newsletter for information on anything happening in the county each month.