Sussex Co. Council 4th District candidates on the issues

Name: Paulette Rappa

Political Party: Democrat

Age: 56

Occupation: Executive Director of The Way Home, a nonprofit that helps formerly incarcerated citizens transition back into the community

Family: Constance, Abigail, Jared, and Aaron

Elective Experience: Did not answer

Name: Douglas B. Hudson

Political Party: Republican

Age: 58

Occupation: Retired Delaware State Police (27 years service)

Family: Married to Dr. LouAnn Hudson. Son Jake who attends West Virginia University.

Elective Experience: Fire Chief of Bethany Beach Fire Dept., President of Lower Sussex Little League Board of Directors, Board of Directors for the Delaware State Police Federal Credit Union

What would be your top priority if elected:

PR: Traffic congestion and over-development go hand in hand. I would support a Transportation Improvement District – which is a funding mechanism that marries the State, which is in charge of the roads, the County which makes land use decisions, and the developers to create, maintain or improve the transportation network. Our environmentally-sensitive areas must be preserved and protected. Wider buffers and forested/landscaped buffers must be instituted to allow for smart, coordinated growth.

DH: My top priorities are public safety, inadequate infrastructure and traffic congestion, as well as land use/over development.

What are your plans to boost economic development?

Paulette Rappa

PR: Economic development requires an infrastructure underneath it to allow enterprise to develop. That would include stronger connectivity, a more efficient transportation network, and a workforce that is trained in 21st century marketplace skills. Investing in all three of these areas would create conditions that are more conducive to business.

DH: We, as a government, need to support and encourage businesses to come to Sussex County and help them thrive. It is also necessary to keep the costs of establishing and keeping businesses in Sussex County low.

The county should work side by side with the state to secure and improve high speed internet access and cell service across the county. The county government can also encourage the development and growth of existing industrial parks within the county.

What is your view on residential development?

PR: Smart, coordinated growth is important to the County. Affordable housing is also important for workforce development. The County needs to provide housing that meets the needs of the workforce.

DH: Growth in Sussex County is necessary, but that growth must be strategic and we need to do more to protect our rivers, bays and watersheds. Being a native of Sussex County I have spent my life boating, fishing and swimming in the Indian River and I want to ensure that it is preserved for generations to come. Also, the infrastructure and road capacity needs to catch up with development.

What role should the county government have in the county’s agricultural community?

PR: The County should continue to make an effort to preserve open space and farmland. Agriculture is an economic driver for, not only the County, but also for the State. Agriculture also depends on technology. Improving connectivity helps our agricultural community as well.

Douglas Hudson of Dagsboro was appointed to the five-member Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission during Tuesday’s Sussex County Council meeting.

DH: Agriculture is the top economic driver in the county. The county government should continue to support farming in every way possible, and encourage farmers to continue their operations.

What should be done to combat the current drug crisis?

PR: The drug crisis is multidimensional because it involves treating the addiction, the trauma that led to the addiction, and the consequences of addiction which includes incarceration. The County has a prison and a mental hospital within miles of each other. The discharged and the released will be in need of related services to sustain treatment. The County should coordinate efforts with community providers to expand those services and encourage support for additional providers to provide treatment alternatives in the County. The County should also be at the table with the stakeholders on the State level to be sure to advocate for funding that sustain treatment delivery systems.

DH: The opioid crisis is having a serious effect on the quality of life for our citizens of Sussex County. The county currently has a strong relationship and agreement with the Delaware State to subsidize the county with extra troopers. I want to see that it is agreement maintained or increased. I believe that the county should partner with towns and legislators to help combat drug abuse and enforce the laws. The county can also continue to train and support our emergency service personnel, and to ensure that quality treatment is provided for those who are addicted.

Final thought?

PR: This election is a turning point for Coastal Sussex. Voters need to decide if they want the same people, making the same decisions, resulting in the same mess. Or do they want a stronger voice for Coastal Sussex, that offers solutions, has relationships with stakeholders throughout the state, is deeply committed to the committee, and has the skills and merits to benefit the County – then they should vote for Paulette Rappa for County Council, District 4.

DH: I have been in public service most of my life. First, as a member of the Bethany Beach Vol. Fire Co. and past Fire Chief, a Delaware State Trooper for 27 years and a coach and board member at Lower Sussex Little League. I currently serve on the planning and zoning commission and have been involved numerous land use applications and zoning public hearings. Additionally, we recently completed a two year revision of the comprehensive land use plan. During this process, I developed strong relationships with Del DOT personnel and engineers. Those relationships will be a great asset in future work improving the county. I possess vast knowledge of how how police and fire departments operate, how emergency services operate and how the county government runs. I also have deep rooted, lifetime relationships with our local and state legislators, and I will be able to work with them to continue to improve the county. I feel strongly that with my knowledge and experience, I am the clearly the most qualified candidate and can make an easy transition to the county council. I would be honored to receive you vote on Nov. 6.


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