Owen Cheevers June 28, 2022
Soon, coastal-area residents will be asked to select a Democrat to run for state Senate District 6.
I support Jack Bucchioni’s candidacy. I believe he shares my opinions on many issues, but importantly, sustainable development in Sussex and the coastal area. I believe sustainable development is paramount for our community to thrive, and political candidates should be free from financial interests in unsustainable development. Over the last decade, Jack has been very active in many coastal-area organizations and knows the people and issues. He is not a real estate developer, and he has no conflicts of interest that would impede his role as senator.
Sussex has been developed without sufficient foresight given to issues like transportation, healthcare and environmental protection. Growth is necessary and not a thing from which to inherently shy away. It cannot, however, continue with such little thought given to the costly infrastructure necessary to support our ever-increasing population. Developers must be held in check and not permitted to chase the almighty dollar at the expense of residents’ quality of life.
I would prefer our public representatives not be a consultant for a prominent luxury residential developer. The profit made from large-scale residential development in Sussex has come at the expense of the population’s access to essential services, with things like road construction only considered after the fact, and the costs of which are borne, in large part, by coastal area residents.
Bucchioni’s primary opponent positions himself as a champion of affordable housing, but is allegedly a consultant on affordable housing for at least one developer. Obviously, it is not a problem when a chief operating officer of one development company is a consultant to another. However, as a possible state senator, I believe that is a problem. Because I consider sustainable development to be the most crucial issue, and because he has placed affordable housing as his cornerstone issue, I think it is only fair the public know about his relationships with for-profit luxury developers and his role as COO of a development company. The voters should know what impact his relationships with these development companies would have on his policies for a sustainable Sussex.
Furthermore, his business of building affordable housing is significantly funded by Delaware taxpayers’ money. If he becomes a state senator, that appears to me as another potential conflict of interest. Are his political ambitions motivated by enhancing his current business or representing coastal-area residents? I believe state contracts should be awarded at arm’s length. Lastly, does he intend to be a part-time senator? We have many significant challenges in managing growth. I believe future growth should be managed by full-time legislators, without conflicts of interest.
One final thought about affordable housing: In the coastal area, small building lots are in excess of $500,000. How many affordable units do you anticipate being built within our voting area? It seems to me that if we locate a significant number of affordable units in this area, it may require high-rise apartment/condo buildings to be cost effective. Do you want high-rise buildings in your town? Vote for Jack Bucchioni.
Owen Cheevers Lewes