Archive for the ‘Too good not to share’ Category

Just yesterday the Sea Level Rise (SLR) Advisory Committee came out with its updated report, suggesting Delaware could have between 1.6-4.9 feet of sea level rise on Delaware’s shores by the end of this century. At those predictions most of Sussex and eastern Kent County will be underwater. Needless to say, the amount of flooding “expected” will impact property owners and businesspeople downstate. Here are some of the comments submitted by the committee. Ones of particular note are in bold.

“Sussex County seems to be extremely backwards, with little ideas about science”

“Sussex County Council is an ignorant bunch. The Council… has never met a developer it doesn’t like”.

“Wait to see what happens” and “How will you implement retreat?” and “How much brainwashing do we need?” (thoughts on who would have said this)
Very Worried about insurance, both homeowner policy and FEMA”

“Local communities are essential in supporting anything you (state government) try to do. Getting them to support any initiatives is key.”

“SLR Statements included in all property sales/leases.”

“Signage in high risk areas and outreach!”

“1% hotel tax on tourism. Carbon tax is most fair.”

“Make sure someone from Sussex County Tourism is on the Advisory Committee…to combat the tears that will emerge from this discussion.”

“Giving DNREC authority to regulate development with a 100 year flood plan”

“New authority for DNREC to…manage…new lands”

“Developers should pay through permit/consultation fees”

“Provide timely consultation, set permit fees high enough especially for business/developers to sustain program.”

“I do not see much private sector involvement”

“This (SLR) seems like an insurable risk. Can a public insurance pool be set up, funded from land taxes and development permits?”

“To whom does the SLR committee report (good question)? I suggest either the governor or the committee of the state legislature.”

one committeemenber proposed a package of tax increases with more local control over how SLR actions are handled and paid for.

“We need to restrict development in sensitive areas before they start,

“I think it is only honest and fair to warn new homebuyer’s of the property’s potential future vulnerability. The potential future risk of sea level rise should be disclosed in the Delaware seller’s disclosure of real property condition report.”

“SLR predictions should be figured into…business development plans.”

“prohibit development in areas that will be flooding with SLR.”

“providing as much technical resources to businesses, industries. Land management is a critical role for the state.”

“I don’t believe public money should be used for replenishment of private beaches.”

One partially illegible comment suggested better engineering of dikes.

“Partnerships with consultants should be included. Consultants offer a wealth of expertise.”

“Most presentations suggest SLR is coming or just arrived.  Show people what damage it has caused over the past 100 years.”

“County ordinances which take care of land use in unincorporated areas.”

“Provide SLR planning to local governments…especially target Wilmington.”

“It would be helpful to have a cost estimate: Abandon, buyout, move. With some rough dollar number for the extreme we can evaluate other plans.”

The question is, what does all of this mean? From these statements, which are full quotes from unidentified names (blacked out in the document), there is a pattern which emerges: the government, possibly DNREC, should be allowed to levy taxes on landowners and land developers in Sussex County to pay for the sea level rise actions. Landowners in all three counties, but especially in Sussex and parts of Kent, will need to advise potential buyers that the property is in a “flood zone”-and the government should have the ability to either tell the potential buyers or make the landowners do so. The next step then is to decide how badly “SLR” will “devastate” Delaware’s shoreline.

Next week we will show more information obtained from these documents and explain what it means to you.

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From the Mayor’s office:

News Release

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mayor Baker Says Firefighters Union is Making Unprofessional, Irresponsible and False Claims About Fire Safety in Wilmington

Mayor Demands that IAFF Local 1590 Stop Disseminating Information That the Union Knows to be Untrue and Misleading

Wilmington Mayor James M. Baker today demanded that the leadership of the union representing Wilmington’s firefighters stop telling citizens that Wilmington’s highly respected fire fighting system, a hallmark of the Wilmington Fire Department for generations, has been compromised and that citizens are in danger.

The Mayor said he has rarely been as angry as he was this past weekend when he read a false and misleading letter from IAFF Local 1590 President Kevin O. Turner to Wilmington Fire Chief Willie Patrick containing numerous inaccuracies about the state of readiness of the Fire Department to protect lives and property. The Mayor said the union is using scare tactics to misinform citizens through flyers and appearances at community meetings alleging that the Wilmington Fire Department can no longer carry out its mission of protecting lives and saving property.

IAFF Local 1590 claims in a letter to Chief Patrick that insufficient fire apparatus is being made available to adequately suppress fires and that Chief Patrick and Deputy Chief Joseph Kalinowski have denied requests to bring additional units to the scenes of fires.

Chief Patrick said these claims are totally false and the union leadership knows they are not only false, but outrageous. The Chief, a 29 year veteran of the Department, said he would never do anything to compromise fire safety for citizens or for firefighters. Chief Patrick said he has never denied and would never deny a request from a Battalion Chief or incident commander that additional equipment or personnel be called to the scene of a fire.

Chief Patrick said he recently had a courteous and professional discussion with union President Turner about the union’s concerns with regard to the “rolling bypass” that was instituted on July 1. “The union doesn’t like it because it helps us control overtime costs without compromising safety,” said the Chief, “It is very unprofessional for the union leadership to make false claims when they know the information is untrue and even more frustrating when the union starts misinforming and frightening citizens,” said the Chief.

Chief Patrick said many fire companies around the United States have successfully instituted a rolling bypass process to help control costs while not compromising the safety of citizens or firefighters. A rolling bypass means that one piece of equipment per shift is deactivated as are the four firefighters needed to operate that equipment. Mayor Baker and Chief of Staff William S. Montgomery said today that the Chief and his staff have complete authority to lift the rolling bypass whenever they choose to address changing conditions as they did in late December during a major snowstorm.

Mayor Baker expressed his confidence today in Chief Patrick and his continuing disappointment with the union leadership’s efforts to misinform the public.

“This union leadership has once again demonstrated its utter disregard for citizens, its disrespect for Chief Patrick and for the mission of the Wilmington Fire Department,” said Mayor Baker. “This is the same union leadership that six months ago, during one of the worse economic periods facing our City, chose to sacrifice seven of its own members to an unnecessary layoff rather than forego a pay increase that every other employee of City government had to endure,” said the Mayor. “The leaders of Local 1590 have now compounded their embarrassing and irresponsible maneuver that resulted in the layoff of firefighters by announcing a campaign to frighten citizens when the union knows that its claims are 100% false.”

Mayor Baker and Chief Patrick reassured citizens today that the safety of citizens and of firefighters is their ultimate goal and responsibility. They said that if equipment or personnel are needed in response to a fire it will be assigned to the scene of a fire without question.

The Mayor and Chief again asked the union to think about the negative consequences of their public misinformation campaign and to cease this type of action which they said is a disservice to the public and to the proud tradition of the Wilmington Fire Department.

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