Reader offers views on referendum


Try as I might I could not find myself in the Coastal Point last week. I read carefully every single word about the defeat of the school referendum and there was not one trace of my humble views.

Did it lose because it would increase taxes by some kerfuffle of a number that many residents spend in an average trip to Harris Teeter? That would not be me because I would gladly pay that and more to meet the well-substantiated need for increased school revenue to meet the needs of a vastly overburdened system.

Did it lose because of sub rosa resentment of children in the system who may not have entered the country via a proper immigration inspection? That would also not be me because every child in Sussex County deserves the opportunity to avail themselves of a free public education, damn the political optics. Horace Mann, may he rest in peace.

Ending my reading, these were the only policy analytics addressed as to why this worthy referendum was defeated.

The article was barren of any mention of the rapidly degrading quality of life in Sussex County, propelled exclusively by our Planning & Zoning Commission and our Board of Supervisors. When granting new and amended residential development requests, neither of these august bodies bother to ask about the effects of more people on schools, housing, roads, safety, the environment and all the other structure of life that affects daily living.

Superintendent Steele bemoaned to the Coastal Point (pictured with resignation) that he is at a loss as to what to do.

Here is what he can do: I want to read about Mr. Steele appearing before the Planning & Zoning Commission to oppose new residential construction or density increases because he cannot educate the children who are here now. I want to read that he was pelted with eggs by builders and developers and slick lawyers for his audacity in opposing more growth just because of his narrow-minded myopic view of schools and their needs when there is money to be made.

Then when Mr. Steele appears before the Board of Supervisors, I want to read of his need for protection from the leashed gnarling dogs of the builders and developers and lawyers threatening to tatter his clothing for his upsetting the idyllic pursuit of money and wealth for local and national builders and developers.

I want to read about Mr. Steele being persona non grata in the pooh-bah “clubs” of wealth and those seeking wealth right here in Sussex County, Mr. Steele in the speaker’s podium fronting these public bodies and wagging his finger with the admonishment that not one more child can be accommodated. Now that’s an optic that is long overdue.

Until Mr. Steele understands the problem is not the voters, he is destined to repeat his failures. Like it or not, the King/Queen of the Kingdom has to engender the loyalty of their subjects. Only Mr. Steele carries the weight of office and its authority and attendant ability to “shame” our elected and appointed county officials as they go about the bidding of special interests. Had I seen any of this “regal substance” in Mr. Steele’s public persona, the referendum would have lost by only 64 votes.


James Angus