2013 Update—July 29-August 10

On the 29th I visited the Girl Scouts’ Camp Country Center in Hockessin, to see their summer STEM programming.  On the 30th I met with members of DNREC (state parks) to discuss the issues along Creek Road along the White Clay Creek.  I help the monthly morning coffee at Panera on the 31st (since I would be out of town on the 7th).  On the 1st I met with representatives from DPH (Dept of Public Health) to discuss how we can improve their oversight of DE’s midwives, and later that day I attended a crab feast with the DE Contractors Association, and after that I joined Representatives Jaques, Kowalko, and Osienski, and others, at the Delaware Food Bank where we processed over a ton (really) of potatoes, and a load of corn.

Pam and I enjoyed two days of hiking on the Appalachian Trail in PA near Harrisburg on the 2nd and 3rd.

I attended a four day conference in Philadelphia from the 4th to 8th.  The conference was the Robert J Thompson Eastern Leadership Academy, hosted by UPenn’s Fels Institute of Government in Philadelphia.  The program had legislators and staff from both the legislative and executive branches, from the east—Maryland to Maine, plus Puerto Rico and Canada.  http://www.csg.org/LeadershipCenter/easternleadershipacademy.aspx

The program consisted of wonderful sessions on leadership, communication, consensus building and dispute resolution (Congress could use this!), time and priority management, and working with the media.  Most importantly, the program provided attendees with the opportunity to develop friendship with colleagues across the region, friendships that will enable us all to be better public servants.

I was fortunate to have been chosen as Class President.  In this role I am responsible for helping our ‘cohort’ to stay in touch and strengthen these relationships.  I also will work on the executive committee of the Eastern Regional Conference (ERC) of the Council for State Governments (CSG), to help this organization improve its mission of ‘putting the best ideas and solutions into practice.’  I am very excited by this opportunity, and have a meeting later this month in Baltimore to meet the rest of the ERC’s executive committee.

On the 9th I met with two residents and with Rep. Kowalko, to discuss the residents’ business, and how it could save the state dollars and improve our environment.  I am connecting them with the appropriate division heads to advance their discussions.

I have been spending time on several area issues.  One is the proposed power plant in UD’s STAR Campus (where the Chrysler plant had been).  I am focusing on whether such a plant is permitted under the current zoning.

I am also working on the issue of proper oversight of DE’s midwives, tied to June’s passage of House Bill 194.  I am working to ensure that our laws and regulations support, rather than intimidate, the safe practice of our midwives.

While I am appointed to the Charter-District Collaboration Task Force, the chair has not yet set any meetings.  I am hopeful that we can begin our work, to identify how to bring best practices from our charter schools to our traditional public schools, a mission from the original charter school legislation which has failed to occur since its inception almost twenty years ago.

I have tried to stay informed of the status of the data breach of present and past UD employees which occurred in July.

I am trying to get the connection between Fairfield Crest and the Pomeroy Trail built, without it becoming a major undertaking.  The details are dizzying.

I have worked with the county to develop plans for a Pickleball court in Hockessin this fall.  Look to the fall’s Happenings Guide for more information.

Cleveland Heights—This community is part of the Newark Housing Authority (NHA), and is being redeveloped into a mixed-income housing community.  As part of this process, the NHA is considering renaming it.  Please let me know, or call the NHA at 302-366-0826 if you have a suggested new name.