On Tuesday, September 13, local Republican voters will be deciding which candidate they want to represent their County district in the upcoming general election. The 3rd District of the Sussex County Council represents northeastern Sussex County including parts of Ellendale, Milford, Milton, Lewes and Slaughter Beach. The four Republican candidates are Kevin Burdette, Irwin Burton III, Mark Shaeffer and Frank Shade.
After serving in the Navy in 1972, Frank started on his journey in Emergency Medical Services by studying at Old Dominion University as a pre-med major. In 1990, he moved to Delaware to be closer to his parents and start his career in EMS. Frank was one of ten original Paramedics hired by the Sussex County Council tasked with setting up and operating the legislated advanced life support services in the County. After 25 years with the county, Frank retired and joined Autism Delaware as the Southern Delaware Development Coordinator. Frank’s community service includes being a founding Board Member of the Sussex County Cancer Survivors Fund and past President and current Director of Media & Promotions of the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association. Frank and his wife BJ Shade are parents to Brandy and grandparents to Connor & Samuel.
1. Why are you running for Sussex County Council?
I believe we need a strong voice from someone who lives and works here in the 3rd district. Someone who has no ties or interests in businesses or professions in the district. I believe that we need to address the issues that affect each of us that live here like traffic, growth and jobs. Many of the coastal residents in the 3rd are held hostage by traffic from the beginning to the end of summer season. I believe I am that voice and will be heard if elected.
2. What personal or professional background will assist you in performing the duties of County Council ?
I have 26+ years experience working for Sussex County Council. I was the Director of Purchasing and Fleet Manager for many years. In that capacity, I worked with 3 county administrators, 3 finance director, numerous
council representatives and all county departments on the purchasing needs. I wrote and administered purchasing contracts and proposals. I was called upon numerous times during the budget preparations. I was one of the original 10 Paramedics hire to develope and implement that program in Sussex. My years of emergency management give me a very unique perspective on budget and administration.
3. What countywide challenges do you believe are most significant and how will you assist in finding a solution ?
I believe the biggest challenge now is the traffic issues cause by growth on the eastern side of the county. It has reached gridlock status in the prime season and is staying very congested for most of the year. We need to ensure that the infrastructure needed is in place at the time of occupancy of any new construction. We need to correct current problems , like the 5 point fiasco immediately. I believe if we work with developers and Deldot with the understanding that the infrastructure must be complete before occupancy that more will be done. I also believe that at the same time we must address the impact on police, fire and EMS. Not just the impact on soil, water and the economy.
4. What local challenges do you believe are most significant and how will you assist in finding a solution ?
While there are many, I believe one of the biggest local challenges is getting our homeless veterans off the streets, in to proper dwellings and helping them with employment and medical services. I would work to see that organizations like Home of the Brave and similar ones had the necessary assistance to resolve some of these issues.
5. How will you work with local officials to meet the needs of residents within the district you represent ?
By being available and reachable by the residents of the 3rd. Listening to them and carrying that message to council.
6. Give an example of something Sussex County Council has done to improve the quality of life for citizens in Delaware.
Sussex County has developed and maintained an excellent sewer and water system. It has been an award winning program. With continued progress it will offer services to more residents which ultimately does great thing for the ecology.
7. Give an example of something you would like to change in the next year if you are elected to Sussex County Council.
In a perfect world, I would like to impact the traffic issue on route one. This can only be done with the work from Deldot. We have to continue to carry the message to them. I would like to see impacted infrastructure address prior to occupancy of new construction.
8. Why should voters choose you over your opponent on Tuesday, September 13?
I have been actively involved in our community for several decades. I didn’t just appear when a seat became available. I do not profess to have an extensive planning and zoning back round. The decisions that have been made, good or bad, have placed us where we are now. I am not a politician even though I have worked in a political world for a long time. I live here, I work here and I want my family to continue to be happy and comfortable here.
We currently have 2 real estate agents on council and if a 3rd should be elected it could cause a council to be in a position where they couldn’t vote on an issue. If an issue were to involve land sales or homes or business, the sitting council member should recuse themselves due to possible conflict of interest. That would mean the remaining 2 do not make a quorum and the vote could not be taken.