Townsend Planning Commission Names New Vice Chair

by Super User

The Townsend Planning Commission met on Wednesday and named a new Vice Chair of the Commission

Townsend Planning Commission member James Reyes was nominated and voted in as the new Vice Chair of the Planning Commission, replacing Gary Rittereiser who resigned from the commission due to work commitments earlier this year.

The Commission met in the absence of members Sheryl Rojas and Emily Seldomridge and Commission Chair Troy Geiger expressed concerns about moving forward with a nomination in the absence of the two Commission members. Commission Secretary Regina Albert said that according to the Commission’s bylaws, they can conduct business with a quorum of three members. Geiger then nominated Reyes, joking that he did not want to nominate someone who is not present. He added that Sheryl Rojas indicated prior to the meeting that she did not want to be nominated and that he didn’t want to put too much on the plate of new member Emily Seldomridge, who was only appointed to the Commission replacing Rittereiser in July. Reyes accepted the nomination and was voted in as the new Vice Chair.

The Commission said they have received the authorization to promote their resident survey via Survey Monkey that will be available on the town’s website. At the most recent mayor and council meeting, Councilman Steve High expressed concerns about security and wanted to make sure that the town’s website and Survey Monkey’s websites are secure. The Planning Commission said they got confirmation from the town that the sites are secure. The Planning Commission will put slips in the next town trash bill to promote the online survey and will also make a paper copy available at Town Hall as well as at the Town Fair in September.

The Commission is also looking to do a workshop and public hearing on the town’s Comprehensive Plan and tentatively scheduled it for Oct. 10. There was a discussion about the Comp Plan with Regina Albert saying that they have to be careful with verbiage and be careful to delete items that are misleading or simply not relevant. One example was citing a need for medical care facilities in town saying there is less a need now due to facilities now being available in Middletown or Smyrna. Another example was citing the need to annex properties for expansion and creation of a business district but Albert said the town simply doesn’t have the utilities in place to do this. There was a discussion of how much they would want to use the services of IPA (the University of Delaware Institute of Public Administration) to help with changes to the Comp Plan. Albert said if they use IPA, the IPA needs to clearly know what the Planning Commission wants to do and they can’t simply let the process run on auto-pilot. The Commission needs to get an update from Emily Seldomridge on getting grants for the work due to her contacts with the state and with IPA.

Photo of (l-r) Troy Geiger, Regina Albert, and James Reyes: credit to Keith Thompson  

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