Genshaw will not seek another term as mayor

By Lynn Schofer

Last week’s Seaford Council meeting included an update on the Nylon Capital development, a motion on the sales of recreational marijuana, and local residents were presented with winnings for the Christmas decorating contest as well as other information. Mayor David Genshaw also announced he will not seek another term as mayor of Seaford.

“I hope people will take time over the Christmas holiday to think about if they are being called to run for either a city office or for mayor. I have been blessed and privileged to have had the opportunity to serve as your mayor,” he said.

The Seaford council voted, 3-2, to deny the original motion to ban marijuana cultivation, retail sales, manufacturing and testing facilities and accepted a revised motion by Councilman Dan Henderson. The new motion will require a code for special exceptions with appropriate conditions, limitations, and controls in the C-1 and C-2 districts. Additionally, the city will follow the lead of the federal government on its possible change from schedule I to a schedule II or III classification but until that time sale of recreational marijuana remains prohibited.  

Seaford High School FFA members Marlie Janvier, Kohen Massey, Colin Hignutt, and Tyler Tribbitt presented the council with wreaths. Shown (l to r) are City Manager Charles Anderson; council members Dan Henderson, Orlando Holland, Mike Bradley, Matt MacCoy, James King; and Mayor David Genshaw. Photo by Lynn Schofer

The council listened to numerous public comments on the support of the Delaware code for recreational marijuana use while there was no public comment to support banning it in the city. 

City solicitor Daniel Griffith was present and provided legal insight on the issue of the federal government. It was explained under the federal government marijuana remains illegal however individual states have legalized the use and were able to do it because the federal government said states were allowed to permit use. Griffith also said once Delaware passed the marijuana use law there is a provision that allows for local government to permit or ban marijuana use. The city of Seaford would have the power to ban recreational marijuana which is a policy decision and not a legal matter. 

Griffith explained that if a facility legally obtains a license and then the city bans it, the business would be “grandfathered” in and unable to stop the sales. Griffith also said changes on the federal level will not impact what happens in the city. Delaware has not issued the regulations or the process to get a license and Seaford will have to wait for those regulations to be issued by the state. Councilman James King questioned the writing of the code if a farmer wants to grow marijuana for medical use how would that person be permitted. City Manager Charles Anderson explained the request would be a code issue but if a farmer challenges the ruling, it will then go before the code of adjustments. King remarked that he feels the language should be crystal clear. The original proposed ordinance would have prohibited cultivation facilities, marijuana product manufacturing facilities, testing facilities, and retail marijuana stores from the C-1 and C-2 districts in Seaford. The passed motion requires a code to be developed that will regulate the sale of recreational marijuana defining special exceptions with conditions, limitations, and controls. 

The council received for review and accepted the sketch site review and preliminary plan presented for the Nylon Capital redevelopment. The plan for 1023 W Stein Hwy showed the renovations and development of the large vacant shopping center which was explained by developer Rob Herrera and Mike Ryan of the Becker Morgan Group. Council was shown the addition of access points, the back of the development will be closed off, and undefined areas will be corrected. The plan includes a walkable pedestrian friendly experience that includes activity spaces including pickle and bocci ball. There is also a coworking space which is a shared office space and incubator space which is an organization designed to help new businesses develop their products and services. 

The plan includes a $4.7 million DelDot TIIF grant that will aid in significant improvement of walkways, curbing, sidewalks, and paving. Becker told council the storm water is not of huge concern because the site is largely paved and will see less run off and drainage. Herrera reiterated that he listens to feedback and ideas including the recent brick raffle. After the motion was approved, Mayor Genshaw said, “This is a huge deal and everyone has been working a very long time and I cannot thank you enough, the city of Seaford tax payers and council, I believe it will pay huge dividends.” 

The development will include higher education, medical, offices, child education, retail, restaurants, and entertainment. 

The council accepted a proposal to seek a grant in cooperation with the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance to place a self-service kayak rental facility in the city of Seaford. If the city receives the grant, the kiosk will strategically be placed to provide the most accessibility to the Nanticoke River. Users will utilize an app to rent the kayak and be provided with a QR code to unlock the rental. Upon return of the kayak the charges will automatically be deducted from the account. The vessels come equipped with GPS monitoring devices and the contracted company will provide a manager that provides regular maintenance, and site supervision. The grant would cover the initial start-up fee for the city. 

Council was presented with the second reading and approved revision to electric department time for disconnections in the winter periods to start of the business day. 

Seaford’s holiday decorating contest winners were announced and were presented with their prize money. Juan Lugo was awarded first place, Jesus Espinoza-Lara second place, and Alana Carver third place. 

The Seaford High School FFA made a presentation and shared hydroponic crops and Christmas wreaths to council members. Members and officers Marlie Janvier, Colin Hignutt, Tyler Tribbitt, and Kohen Massey spoke on the numerous projects at the high school. The FFA also participated in the Seaford Christmas parade with a float celebrating the birth of Jesus. The students also provided a landscaping overhaul to the Woodland Schoolhouse. The program placed fourth in vet competition this past summer. The program is working on some upcoming projects such as a car show, fishing tournament, CDE competitions statewide and convention in Harrington or Dover. Seaford FFA participates in many of the school planned events as well as community involvement. Mayor Genshaw said, “We love when young people come up and share and you have a special teacher in Matt Cohee. Thank you for coming tonight.”