Current City Council remains, incumbent Phillips-Lowe wins Seaford City Council race

By Lynn R. Parks

The makeup of the Seaford City Council will remain as is. Incumbent Leanne Phillips-Lowe won a fourth term in Saturday's election, receiving nearly three times the votes that challenger Dan Cannon got.

The final tally was 228 votes for Phillips-Lowe and 87 for Cannon.

"I am pleased, of course," Phillips-Lowe said on Monday morning. "I believe that this is affirmation that citizens feel that Seaford is moving in a positive, upward direction."

Cannon expressed disappointment in the election results. And he voiced doubt that, with such a small turnout, the vote is indicative of any feeling on the part of Seaford citizens as a whole.

"There are a group of citizens who are happy with the way things are going," he said. "But do I believe that that expresses the feeling of a majority of the city? No, I do not."

Based on U.S. Census data, Seaford has about 5,400 residents who are 18 and older. The 315 people who turned out for Saturday's election make up a little less than six percent of that population.

"It doesn't seem to me that having that small a percentage of our citizens voting is a good thing," Cannon said.

Cannon, who would not rule out another run for city council, said that he intends to remain involved in city politics.

On Monday, two days following the election, he posted on his blog (dancannoncommentary.com) an essay saying that members of the city administration were unprepared for budget talks for the upcoming fiscal year 2017.

On Thursday, April 14, Mayor David Genshaw cancelled a budget workshop planned for Tuesday, April 19, to "provide additional time for the complete reporting for the full FY 2017 draft budget."

"Not having FY17 information ready for the mayor, city council and citizens is like taking a college course with a scheduled exam and then going to the professor to say that you are not ready for the exam you've known about for months," Cannon wrote in his essay.

Speaking by phone Monday evening, Genshaw said that the workshop was canceled not because of a lack of information, but because the workshop was not necessary.

At Genshaw's request, the city has changed the way it develops the budget. Previously, the council members went through the proposed budget line by line, spending several evenings deciding on individual items. Now, Genshaw said, he has asked the city administration to present the budget in its entirety for the council to review in more general terms.

"I've never been a big fan of the way the budget was done," Genshaw said. "It didn't make a lot of sense and I really wanted to do it differently. We are not here to micromanage things. If tough decisions are to be made, that's where we come in."

The change in procedure, Genshaw said, means that council members need less time to work on the budget.

Additional budget workshops are set for Monday, May 2, and Tuesday, May 17. Both will be from 6 to 8 p.m. in the council chambers in city hall.

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