Vincent retains leadership role for Sussex Co. Council

Sussex County Councilman Michael H. Vincent takes the oath of office, while his wife, Elaine, holds the Bible, during Sussex County Council’s meeting Monday. The oath was administered by Judge Richard Stokes. (Delaware State News/Glenn Rolfe)

GEORGETOWN — Seniority holds weight within Sussex County Council.
With unanimous support from his four colleagues, Michael H. Vincent, a Republican from Seaford, will retain the gavel as County Council president for 2021 — making it 11 consecutive years the District 1 representative will preside over meetings and proceedings.

Councilman Vincent, who joined the governing body in January 2009 after winning his first four-year term in the 2008 election, won reelection for a fourth term in November.

At the start of its Monday meeting, County Council also selected Millsboro-area resident John Rieley to serve as council vice president. The vote was unanimous, 5-0.

Councilman Rieley, elected as the District 5 representative in 2018, succeeds former Councilman Irwin “I.G.” Burton as vice president. Councilman Rieley will preside over sessions in the president’s absence.

Swearing-in ceremonies were held for three members — Cynthia Green of Greenwood, Mark Schaeffer of Lewes and Councilman Vincent — and Sussex County Clerk of the Peace Norman “Jay” Jones.

Ms. Green was sworn in as the new District 2 member, leaving her post as register of wills to replace the retiring Samuel R. Wilson Jr., and Mr. Schaeffer was sworn in as the District 3 representative, replacing one-term member Mr. Burton.

All terms are for four years.

As required by county and state code, County Council selects officers and appoints legal staff at its first meeting of each year.
The following are the approved appointments for 2021:
• Delaware Association of Counties’ county director: Councilwoman Green.
• Delaware Association of Counties’ executive board: Councilman Doug Hudson.
• Delaware League of Local Governments: Councilman Vincent.
• Salisbury/Wicomico Metropolitan Planning Organization: Councilman Rieley.
• Sussex Conservation District board: Councilman Rieley.
• Sussex County Airport Committee: Councilman Hudson.
• Sussex County Land Trust: Councilmen Rieley and Schaeffer.

Council also approved J. Everett Moore Jr. to reappointment as county attorney. Mr. Moore serves as the elected body’s chief counsel.

Vince Robertson was reappointed assistant county attorney.

Meantime, staff from the Moore & Rutt and Parkowski, Guerke & Swayze law firms will represent the board of adjustment and Planning & Zoning Commission, respectively, as assistant county attorneys.