2013 Update—August 11-21

On Sunday the 11th I attended the deployment of an engineering company of the Delaware Air National Guard.  It was a tear-filled event, with families bidding goodbye to soldiers who are going to Afghanistan to help wind down US operations there, breaking down camps, packing up material, etc.  My heart goes out to these soldiers and their families.

I attended the city council meeting on the 12th, and spoke up about the planned Power Plant.  The council agreed to get a second legal opinion on whether such a Power Plant violates the STAR Campus’ (the old Chrysler plant parcel) zoning.  On Tuesday the 13th I joined many residents to hear about the city’s Comprehensive Plan, and to share our views.  On Wednesday I attended the monthly board meeting of the Newark Housing Authority, on which I served before being elected as State Representative.  I was pleased to hear of the progress on the property on Cleveland Avenue near Porter Chevrolet.  On Saturday the 17th I attended the Homeownership Fair which I helped arrange, sponsored by the city and by the YWCA.  The Fair coincided with the annual picnic for Madison Drive, and was held in Dickey Park.  There were over ten residents who want to learn more about becoming home owners.   After the Fair I attended a community block party on Timberline Drive.

This Monday I went to a Christina School District BBQ at Kirk Middle School, celebrating the start of the school year.  On Tuesday I attended the ribbon cutting for Newark Charter Junior/Senior High School.  The new school is gorgeous.

In the coming week I will be attending the executive committee meeting in Baltimore for the Eastern Regional Council of the Council of State Governments (CSG/ERC).  I serve on this committee due to my election as Class President for this year’s Eastern Leadership Academy earlier this month.  I will also be touring Newark Senior Center and the Newark Day Nursery.

In the past 11 days I have worked on allotting our road dollars, the Community Transportation Fund.  Senator David Sokola and I are working together on several projects this year, to stretch our dollars.  I have also worked a little on storm water problems in the district, including along the Christina Stream.

I have worked quite a bit on the issue of the Power Plant, which I mentioned in the second paragraph.  I have been researching residents’ questions regarding speed zones on New London Road and Paper Mill Road, and on the history of county ‘row offices.’  I am staying on top of the planning for the ‘Fairfield Crest Spur Trail’ that connects Fairfield Crest to the northern end of the Pomeroy Trail.

I continue to work on improving our state’s laws and regulations over midwives.  There is a tentative date/time of 6pm on 9/26 for a public meeting on this issue.  I am hopeful that we have some small meetings in advance, to introduce the stakeholders to each other, so that the public meeting will be more productive.

I expect that the first meeting of the Promoting Charter/District Collaboration Task Force will take place in early September.  I am quite excited about the potential of this initiative, which was created by Senate Bill 147, prime sponsored by Senator Bryan Townsend and myself.

I am staying on top of manufactured housing issues, specifically on ensuring that regulations are in place so that the new rent justification law can be followed starting this fall.

We have developed information on debris pits, which resulted from poor building practices in the 1960s and 1970s.  If you would like to know more about this problem and programs designed to assist, drop me a line at paul.baumbach@state.de.us.

I was pleased with the progress that was made with the Port of Wilmington (the multi-year deal with Dole Foods), and with the Delaware Medical Marijuana law.

This Wednesday, August 28th, I am holding the monthly Coffee at Panera from 7:30-9am.  I am attending a community meeting regarding the proposed CVS at Corner Ketch & Paper Mill Roads that evening, and speaking at an ADA (Americans for Democratic Action) meeting also that evening.  Perhaps I will see you at one of these events!