By Lynn Schofer

The following are questions and answers from the two candidates for Seaford mayor: David Genshaw and Pat Jones.

1.  Please share why you want to be the mayor of Seaford. Share what qualities, skills, and experiences you bring in order to be mayor?

David Genshaw

Genshaw- I am truly grateful for the opportunity to serve as Seaford’s mayor for the last eight years. It is a pleasure to be part of the willingness of the elected, city leadership, and staff working collectively. God has brought about many incredible opportunities and partnerships which I am grateful to witness move Seaford forward.  

To be successful as mayor requires working with all groups of government from the state, county, and local level as no one person or group can do it by themselves. A vision that will see beyond the challenges and negativity. It demands humility and a willingness to learn from others. My prayer is that these characteristics are reflected in my leadership.

Pat Jones

Jones-  I am running for the mayoral seat again  because … “It’s a Great Place to Start.”

After a decade of reflecting… it’s important for the citizens of Seaford to know that we have the “Power to Choose”  who is elected. I have an extensive background in various leadership roles:

I’ve previously served on the Seaford City Council for 12 years. 

Also: married 32 years to Mr. Gregory L. Jones; 17 years as pastor at Heaven-Bound Ministries in Seaford; 25 years as Executive Director of Eastern Shore AFRAM Festival, Inc. in Seaford; 15 years as Dream Team Chairperson of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration in Seaford; six years Commissioner with the Delaware Commission for Women in Sussex County; 30 years Lead Financial Banker; seven years as a nationally accredited child care provider in Seaford; four years as President of the Seaford Mission; and 13 years as Troop Leader with Chesapeake Bay Girl Scout Troop #1339 in Seaford.

2.  What will be your top two priorities and why if elected mayor?

Jones- I feel like the two top priorities to be addressed as mayor are: transparency and accountability.

After listening to many concerns about our governing officials, transparency is a straight forward opportunity to provide the service we are elected for. I truly believe fairness, diversity, integrity and being accountable are critical components for positive growth.

Genshaw- My priorities remain the same. To grow and retain businesses that create jobs and enjoyment for the people of Seaford. Second, honor God through it all.

 3.  What is more important, building new homes and commercial space or rehabbing, expanding, and utilizing the existing homes and commercial space in Seaford? Why?

Genshaw- Both are important. Old properties brought back to life with new purpose show Seaford’s history and resilience. Virtually every store front in downtown Seaford has had a facelift and is occupied. The redevelopment of the vacant lot along the waterfront now is home to the Residences at Riverplace. The Montessori School took the old Tull property keeping the historical buildings in place while adding an incredible learning campus. The entire Allen’s office and hatchery site has been converted into multiple thriving businesses. It is exciting to see a global company like Amazon repurpose the old Penco/Kenco Warehouse into a state of the art distribution center. These are just a few of the success stories but there are many more.

New development is just as important as restoring the existing. It is wonderful to welcome KRM to Seaford. They are the company providing the opportunity for new businesses or business expansion to locate in the Western Sussex Business Campus. This has the potential of creating hundreds of prospects for employment. New businesses are locating along Rt. 13 with multiple national chains, car dealerships, and more to come.

Jones- I am not against new development. It generates revenue and creates vitality and growth for the city of Seaford. 

Although in times of uncertainty, building new can be great for those that can afford it, revitalization of existing homes and buildings is ideal. We have to keep in mind some citizens are at ground zero! Let’s not forget about the ones that need… A Great Place to Start. 

4.  What is the importance of a relationship with the Seaford School District? 

Jones- A networking community benefits  from beginning to end. The enrichment of our children’s educational resources,  community support, and family involvement are absolutely essential. 

Genshaw- It is vital that the city of Seaford has an ongoing relationship with all Seaford schools. The two are inter-connected. I have regular conversations with the leadership of both the Seaford School District and Sussex Montessori in order to keep each other informed since our end goals are the same – Seaford Success. I consider them both part of our Economic Development Team.

5.  What is your favorite part of public service and why?

Genshaw- Building relationships with people that support reaching a common goal—Seaford at its best. Only a team can get this done. It is in concert with city employees, city elected, Sussex County government, state representatives, and the governor. I am grateful to have a wonderful working relationship with each of these individuals. Together, the impossible can happen.

Jones- I’ve always been able to connect with people in my community roles. This level of service wouldn’t be any different. I know the constituents of Seaford deserve to be treated with compassion and integrity. 

6.  What goals do you hope to accomplish as the mayor of Seaford?

Jones- The goals I hope to accomplish as mayor are: accountable service, diverse economic growth, crime prevention, homelessness, fair housing, quality jobs, fair opportunities, equitable pay and accountability. My hope is to build better relationships as elected leaders to the people we serve. 

Genshaw- When I first became mayor, I benefitted from the work previously done by my predecessors. These include elected, city employees, and the volunteers of this wonderful community. Their hard work laid a foundation for our success. My goal is to continue building upon that foundation making Seaford a great place to work, live, and enjoy. Lastly, we have opportunities in the funnel that I am hoping to be part of the team that pulls it through.