It is high time that the people of Lewes take a hard look at what is happening in our community, who is pulling the strings and why. Overdevelopment in, around, and around our once peaceful city has reached extremes beyond the wildest imagination, especially for those of us who grew up here. I don’t know who is in favor of growth. Lewes City Council has had a complete turnover in recent years – with the exception of the mayor – for very good reasons. The residents decided that the leadership of the council was flawed. Four new councilors have been elected to change the course of action on a divisive agenda, and now it’s time to clean the slate clean and vote for a new mayor – Andrew Williams.

The previous course of action has been delaying, deferring, deflecting, blocking, backroom politics, lack of transparency, patronage, suspicious reporting or non-reporting, inconsistencies and rapid annexation without proper long-term infrastructure planning.

The council is now seeking public input for a revised comprehensive plan and BPW is trying to negotiate with Sussex County over where to put all the sewage that comes with the development and annexation. The city and BPW clashed legally and eventually settled their differences after spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on legal fees. The Fisher’s Cove fiasco was settled out of court, with the city buying land for $500,000 and paying significant legal fees with taxpayer money. Another settlement with a landlord on New Road was settled with our taxpayers’ money.

The beach parking committee has twice failed to designate parking spots on Lewes Beach, knowing it would cause an outcry as a survey shows many residential encroachments on city and state roads . Despite a motion by the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, the Cedar Street bike lanes never saw the light of day because the city favors free parking over safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. This alone could be considered a violation of the council’s oath of office to protect residents.

Free parking on what should be bike lanes leads to an extremely dangerous situation for all and causes a limited sandy area to be overcrowded with day visitors and no bathrooms provided – this is not community leadership acceptable.

With the construction of 297 Tower Hill houses on New Road and other developments in our water recharge area and sewage district, more sewage is directed to a sewage treatment plant in a tidal wetland despite the arguments of sea level rise activists. What happened to proper strategic planning, priority assessment of assets and life expectancies, capital reserve funding for replacement of fixed assets, long-term depreciation financing? This is called fiscal responsibility, which seems to be lacking in current leaders.

What about urgent and critical issues such as taxation without representation? Taxpaying property owners in Lewes who are not permanent residents do not have the right to vote on matters that affect their property.

What about the impact on our drinking water of the environmentally disastrous sewage spills over the past three years and the flooding of the sewage sludge pits at low altitudes at the station? treatment during high tides, storms and full moons? Lewes does not have a Dune Restoration Contingency Plan or a Critical Plan for Lewes Beach Resilience or Mitigation.

Lewes needs new leadership now! Elect Andrew Williams as mayor. He will make things happen.

Nick Carter