County salutes retiring Bud Rickard for faithful service

GEORGETOWN – Sussex County governmental leaders on Tuesday recognized Norman C. “Bud” Rickard for his faithful service to Sussex County.

A former zoning inspector with the county’s planning and zoning department, Mr. Rickard for the past 5 ½ years served on the county’s board of adjustment. That chapter – and Chapter 115 of county code – has come to an end.

Sussex County Councilman George Cole presents a plaque and tribute to Norman “Bud” Rickard.

“Down to earth and always armed with a disarming dry sense of humor Bud’s personality always brought a degree of levity to the board meetings. That will be missed,” said Sussex County Administrator Todd Lawson in reading the tribute.

Mr. Rickard’s employment with county spanned the tenures of former county administrators Bob Stickels and David Baker. In the planning and zoning department he worked under the supervision of longtime director Lawrence Lank, who retired in January of this year.

“Lawrence Lank … the best boss I ever had,” said Mr. Rickard.

Mr. Rickard was appointed to the board of adjustment in January 2012.

“Mr. Rickard brought to the board his background as a former zoning inspector for Sussex County, giving a unique perspective that benefited fellow members and the public as individual cases were weighed,” said Mr. Lawson.

County councilman George Cole, R-Ocean View, was on council when Mr. Rickard was hired by the county. He shared a humorous link to Mr. Rickard’s golfing passion.

“He is like the Energizer Rabbit. So he got in here and one of the first funny things is I was the president of Delaware Association of Counties that year,” said Mr. Cole. “We would rotate our meetings from county to county. And, of course, you have the guys from New Castle County. They are much more sophisticated than we are down here in Slower Delaware. So, the president had to organize a golf match. Nobody on county council played golf, in Sussex that is. Up there those guys were golfers, and men of leisure. Bud had just been on the job for maybe a week and Bud said he played golf.  Off bud goes with his clubs. And he cleaned their whistle. All I can tell you is I got criticized. Those guys thought I had snuck in a ringer. I said, ‘No, he is a legitimate employee.’”

Mr. Cole noted that Mr. Rickard during his county employment helped to cross-train other employees.

“I think he has been a great asset,” said Mr. Cole.

Mr. Richard, in an emotional closing, had the following statement read: “I started with enforcing Chapter 115 of the county code book to the best of my ability. There wasn’t a day that I did not open it and close it to check an article, section and sub-section in zoning. And now I close it for the final time. Chapter 115 is part of my history. I will go on to other challenges. Goodbye to you all and God bless.”

Bruce Mears nominated

To fill the board of adjustment vacancy, Mr. Cole nominated Bruce Mears, a custom builder from Millville.

“I feel his vast experience working with the state and county agencies over his career will be a big asset. I’d like to submit his name,” said Mr. Cole.

Per protocol with the appointments to the board of adjustment and planning and zoning commission, Mr. Lawson will follow-up in fast-track mode with standard questions for a public interview before county council.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

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