Land-use, transportation planning among county council candidate Ledogar’s priorities

LEWES – Odds are a newcomer will occupy Sussex County Council’s District 3 seat following the 2016 General Election.

Democrat Joan Deaver of Lewes, the first woman elected to county council in in council’s history, doubts she will seek a third four-year term.

“At this time I am not planning a re-election campaign,” said Ms. Deaver. “It’s early and I am not saying that I would not do it, but at home we have some health issues. My husband, Bill, is not well, and I think it is very much up in the air about how he is doing.”

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Fellow Democrat Leslie Ledogar would like to follow in Ms. Deaver’s county council footsteps.

She is one of three candidates who have filed for the District 3 seat with the Sussex County Department of Elections.

Republicans Mark Schaeffer and Frank Shade are also seeking the seat held by Ms. Deaver after she emerged the winner in the 2008 election.

All three candidates reside in Lewes – an area experiencing immense growth and development.

A retired environmental attorney who worked with both big firm and regulatory agencies as well as private practice, Ms. Ledogar is running for county council because she says she understands the profound responsibility of being a councilwoman.

“Solid land use and transportation planning are what most of our district’s residents want and what most of you feel is lacking,” Ms. Ledogar stated in her kickoff speech in January.

Ms. Ledogar has had a summer home in the Lewes-Rehoboth area for 15 years and moved there permanently two years ago. She is a member of the Sussex County League of Women Voters and serves on its Land Use/Advocacy Corps subcommittees.

“So I started basically with the League of Women Voters’ Land Use Committee … and it came to our attention that the comprehensive plan is up for renewal in 2018,” said Ms. Ledogar. “I am still on that learning curve. I think that my background in environmental law and law in general certainly gives me a leg up on that learning curve.”

In her candidacy announcement, Ms. Ledogar emphasized that good land use and transportation planning means a lot more that ensuring that folks are not inconvenienced in their daily lives, although that is important.

Land use and transportation planning impacts the safety of residents who may need to access the hospital by ambulance or by car, Ms. Ledogar said.

“It impacts our second largest industry – tourism, including heritage tourism. If the tourists cannot get here, their dollars will not either,” said Ms. Ledogar. “It impacts our workforce; how are workers supposed to get from their homes to their jobs without adequate infrastructure, including a robust public transportation system? And it impacts our overall health and property values – many of us chose Delaware as our home because it is not choked by the congestion and air pollution found in throbbing metropolises like New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.”

“My primary issue is planning from a 30,000-foot perspective. What I have seen so far is that a lot of very smart people have done a lot of very smart planning at very different levels. What I’d like to see is those plans integrated rather than being put on the shelf to gather dust,” said Ms. Ledogar. “Then I would like to see those plans implemented, that is actually modify the code to comport with the recommendations of those very smart people.

“Then for the third prong I’d like to see our government and officials continue and even more robustly than they do now support our county employees – almost 500 strong – to implement the code and enforce the code so that we have a level playing field for everyone that lives here,” said Ms. Ledogar.

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