Slatcher, Flood, Peterson announce retirements during Seaford Council meeting

By Lynn R. Parks

Two city of Seaford employees and a city council member with more than 100 years of service among them have announced their retirements.

City manager Dolores Slatchers last day of employment with the city will be Feb. 28. Police chief Gary Flood will retire effective April 2. And city councilwoman Grace Peterson, who was first elected to her seat in 1993, will not run for a ninth term in Aprils election.

The announcements of all three retirements came at Tuesday nights city council meeting. Peterson read a letter aloud in which she said that answers to her prayers for guidance are directing me not to run this term. Her time on the council has been educating, challenging and rewarding, she said. My good memories I will take with me.

Slatcher, who has been employed by the city for 40 years, read aloud a memo that she wrote to the mayor and city council on Dec. 1. She said that she is looking forward to retirement with excitement and reservation. And she praised current city employees, who she said are far better prepared, trained, and willing to advance the city compared to when I began my career.

Slatcher also read Floods retirement letter, which he sent to her Dec. 4. Flood was not in attendance at the city council meeting.

It is with great remorse and a heavy heart that I find myself writing this letter, Flood wrote. He cited current health and circumstances surrounding myself and family.

Flood, a resident of Laurel, was first hired by the Seaford Police Department in 1974 as a patrolman. He was promoted to captain in 2003 and for 16 years oversaw the citys emergency communications center and its dispatchers. He was named chief in April 2016, following the retirement of Chief Gary Morris. His contract was due to be up in July 2018.

Peterson initially retired in 2006 after 13 years on the city council, but was almost immediately called back to fill the vacancy left when Councilman Larry Miller died shortly after being elected to his eighth term.

She didnt face a challenger in the 2009 election and was able to fight off challenges in the 2012 and 2015 elections.

Royal Farms- The Royal Farms convenience store in downtown Seaford will be razed and a new, larger store built in its place. The Seaford City Council Tuesday night approved plans for construction of a 4,600-square foot store at the intersection of High, Market and Front streets.

Also razed will be two houses on Market Street that sit behind the current store. That will make room for the larger building and for significantly more parking. The current store has seven parking spaces; the new store will have 43.

The new store will also have bathrooms, something that the current store does not have.

The city councils vote to approve the plans followed a public hearing on the project. Building official Mike Bailey told the council that the construction has received an OK from the fire marshals office. Still pending are approvals from the Delaware Department of Transportation and the Sussex Conservation District.

The project will include construction of a stormwater management system, which was not included when the current store was constructed. Entrances will be off Market and Front streets. There will be no entrances along High Street.

Two Farms Inc., which is building the store, will also put in a childrens playground, in conjunction with the Where Angels Play Foundation. The foundation was started by the New Jersey State Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association after Hurricane Sandy. Its first 26 playgrounds were built in memory of children and teachers who were killed in 2012 by a lone gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Conn. It continues to build playgrounds in needy communities across the country.

Construction of the new Royal Farms is expected to get underway in late winter and to take about six months.

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