Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

Sussex County Council District 3

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

Click a candidate icon to find more information about the candidate. To compare two candidates, click the "compare" button. To start over, click a candidate icon.

  • Candidate picture

    Patricia Drago (write-in)

  • Mark G Schaeffer **

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: updated 10/3/2020
Phone: (302) 853-3025
Campaign email:
Website or social media link:
Age 67
Education B.A., Political Science, State University of New York at Stony Brook J.D., Brooklyn Law School, magna cum laude
Work Experience Past President, Crum & Forster Insurance Company, Past Executive Vice President/Office of the Chair, Kemper Insurance, Past President & CEO, Broadspire Services, Inc. Recognized as one of Business Insurance magazine’s “Leading 100 Insurance Women” Past board service: Independent director of publicly-traded PMA Capital Corp Advisory Board chair of Polestar Performance Programs Board member of Bellhomme, a Captive Insurer.
Community Involvement Past nonprofit service: Board member, Senators Homeowners Association [Coordinated transition from Developer to HOA] Committee member, Lewes Scenic and Historic Byway, Business advisor, Delaware Botanic Garden at Pepper Creek, Dagsboro, Co-chair, Historic Lewes Farmers Market 2019 Moveable Feast. Current nonprofit service: Coordination team member, Cape Community Coordination for COVID-19 [], Member, Historic Lewes Farmers Market Advisory Board, Community Newsletter, Senators Lewes
Additional Information Not affiliated with any political party or special interests. Trust and fairness, transparency, practicality, and accessibility are guiding values. Career skills: • Leadership and Strategic planning • Fiscal responsibility • Conflict resolution • Project management. Married to Rich Weissmann, US Air Force Veteran and CPA. I am a Sussex County resident since 2014.
With a closed primary system and only one political party fielding primary candidates, that primary winner would fill the seat by default without a single vote cast by voters ineligible to vote in that primary - that is more than half of district voters [including me!]. Sussex is at a tipping point with unbridled growth pressuring our resources. County Council has made important progress in work needed to protect our quality of life. This primary winner would tear down that important work, both accomplished and underway, in favor of special interests. We risk serious damage to the very qualities that make people want to live and work here. We have a Comprehensive Plan to guide us, a plan that received significant public input, one that respects the desire to protect our quality of life while managing growth. Sussex residents and businesses deserve better than a default candidate elected in a closed primary, one supported by developers and other special interests outside District 3.
Land Use: Land Use should protect ALL property values, not just those of special interests. Smart, responsible development and a steady hand on the County Comp Plan is important. Follow the plan!

Water Quality & Flooding: Clean water, working wetlands, and healthy forests are critical.

Economy & Jobs: Develop responsibly to create an environment to attract businesses and services that generate good jobs.

Traffic Congestion: Work to ensure that adequate funding is appropriated to improve our roads as development takes place.

Your Taxes: Protect our quality of life without raising taxes.

Community Resiliency: Make sure that we stay safe as our community grows. This includes infrastructure, health, broadband connectivity, adequate housing, and ensuring that our protective services, fire, law enforcement, EMT, have adequate resources to serve a growing and shifting population.
Council members hold the whole County’s interests in trust. They sometimes come across as 5 silos, each working/advocating for the particular interest or area they represent. That may be okay for some issues but can result in net harm to the county as a whole for some of the more critical issues facing us. I know it’s not easy but would like to see a more effective balance between representing district and countywide issues, a stronger effort to identify collaborative solutions, and a recognition that each of their decisions affects taxpayers outside of their district and the future of the county as a whole. The County Comprehensive Plan was crafted with significant public input. It's a roadmap to guide decision-making on many of these issues facing us. We need a steady and consistent hand in implementing that Plan. It needs to be followed!
Council’s decisions affect economic development; those decisions affect the very qualities that make people want to live and work here. If we damage or lose those qualities, we damage economic prosperity, jobs, and land values. It’s all tied together. There are agencies working on this. But this subject is too important to delegate entirely. Council should be involved in determining how we can diversify our economy. The pandemic has shown us just how vulnerable we are economically. My career was all about risk management, diversification, and response to misfortune and disaster. I have a lot to offer here. Council can also explore economic opportunities, build bridges and forge partnerships. Let's not just say that we need doctors and facilities. Let's work with the health sector to understand and size that need, how many, what specialties, and where, then develop strategies and alliances to reach those goals.
The county does a good job posting information and updates on its website. But it's mostly self-service. I'd like to find an efficient way to push important news out to constituents - taxpayers want to hear directly from their decision-makers. I know and understand that visibility in the community and accessibility to constituents is important. Informative and useful communication has been a part of every work-related or volunteer job I've ever held.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.