Two candidates are vying for a seat on Laurel Council to represent the town’s First Ward in the upcoming municipal elections scheduled for Thursday, March 28. Political newcomer, Rick McVey, is challenging Incumbent Councilman Randy Lee.
Candidates responded to questions outlining their campaign for election to the council seat. Following are the candidates and their responses.
Randall W. Lee
Randall Lee resides on 8th Street. He and his wife of almost 40 years, Ann, are graduates of Laurel High School. They have a daughter, Amanda Lowe-Whaley, who works at the Laurel office of Edward Jones Investments. Lee retired after 30 years with the Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office where he was in charge of the Sussex County division.
Q. What do you see as the most critical issues facing the Town of Laurel? In my opinion, the most critical issues facing the Town of Laurel are continued growth of the town through annexation of properties and encouraging new businesses to invest in the Town. I believe this will keep the interest of Sussex County, State of Delaware and the federal government so they will invest in Laurel with grant funding which benefits the schools, housing, and infrastructure improvements, limiting the cost to Laurel taxpayers.
Q. What is the primary reason you seek to maintain your seat on the Laurel Town Council? My primary reason for seeking my seat on the Laurel Town Council is that I have lived and grown up in Laurel for over 60 years, so I have a stake in assisting my community in any way I can, and serving on the council is one means of achieving this goal.
Q. Do you have any special qualifications or interests that you feel make you a beneficial addition to the council? My qualifications and interests include coming from a family of public servants, being an active member of Centenary United Methodist Church, a lifetime member of the Laurel Fire Department, and past president of the Laurel Alumni Association. My wife and I are also members of the Laurel Redevelopment Corporation and the Laurel Historical Society. My love for the town of Laurel is evident from my involvement in these organizations.
Q. What do you feel makes Laurel a good place to live and raise a family? Laurel is a great place to live and raise a family due to its small town qualities where people are friendly and neighbors help neighbors. The community organizations have the best interests of the citizens at heart and all work together toward a common goal. The town employees work hard to keep the operations of the town running smooth, no matter what the weather or other conditions, which might occur. Your family becomes part of a bigger family known as Laurel.
Richard D. McVey
Richard McVey resides on South Central Avenue; he and spouse Michael Flick, have been married for seven years. McVey has been owner and operator of M.F. Investments of Delaware for seven years.
Q. What do you see as the most critical issues facing the Town of Laurel? I see two main issues facing the town of Laurel. Crime is primary but it is in conjunction with the decay of our town’s properties, including many of our historic properties. Our police department does a great job but let us face it, they cannot stop crime without our help. They protect us by catching criminals. Our town needs a coordinated team effort led by town council, the police department and codes department paving the way to make Laurel a place where crime cannot survive.
The first step in doing this is to stop the blight of our town. We need to fund our codes enforcement department so that it can enforce the town codes. The homeless have recently inhabited a house in my neighborhood. We have too many vacant and dilapidated properties in the town that breed crime. There is no way our police officers can patrol all of these properties.
We need to force property owners to maintain their properties or we need to condemn them before they are beyond saving. This will not only help to fight our crime problem, but it will help to raise our property values, preserve our amazing historic homes, rejuvenate our town pride and bring new business to our great town.
Q. What is the primary reason you seek to be a member of the Laurel Town Council? I believe Laurel is the most beautiful town in Sussex County and that is why we chose to live here. I also believe that we have a long way to go to reach its full potential.
Q. Do you have any special qualifications or interests that you feel make you a beneficial addition to the council? As a business owner whose success has been dependent on my 35 years of real estate and business knowledge, I believe I can provide a new and unique perspective that will help to make our town the thriving community it once was.
Q. What do you feel makes Laurel a good place to live and raise a family? Laurel has what parents are looking for when searching for a place to raise their family. We have great schools and beautiful parks all in a warm and inviting small town atmosphere where neighbors are still neighbors. All of this is just a very short drive to all the amenities of a large, urban area.