How some Council members spent their summer vacations - Community News
How did you spend your summer vacation?
By Jesse Chadderdon
Posted Aug 27, 2009 @ 04:20 PM
Wilmington, Del. —
For three weeks each August, New Castle County Council takes a recess, allowing its 13-members a reprieve from the grind of weekly meeting and giving them a chance to catch up on other aspects of their lives (they are part-time officials after all). The council reconvened on Tuesday, Aug. 25, and Community News reporter Jesse Chadderdon caught up them to find out exactly what they did during their time off.
Councilman Robert Weiner (R-Chatham)
Weiner said he spent his downtime picnicking with family and friends, taking a few day trips to the beach with his wife. He said they've also been enjoying the summer outdoor concert series at Bellevue State Park, taking dance lessons at the Blue Ballroom and taking long walks with their dogs Shayna and Mensch.
In July, Weiner was paid a visit by his youngest daughter, who is spending two years in Morocco serving with the Peace Corps.
His duties as a council member were not ignored however. In addition to attending several community meetings, Weiner also represented the county at the National Association of Counties Annual Conference in Nashville, Tenn.
Council President Paul Clark
Like many families, Clark's family chose to forgo a summer vacation because of uncertain economic times, instead opting for informal dinners with friends and catching up on work around the house.
Clark, an avid gardener, said he was able to complete some landscaping at his Pike Creek home. He says he's trying to create an environmentally friendly landscape with native plants and an improved wildlife habitat there.
"I’m sure the helpful folks at Gateway Gardens in Hockessin thought I was spending my summer vacation with them," he quipped. "It also seems with this year’s wet weather all I did was cut grass. Hopefully my new landscape initiative will reduce my workload."
But Clark still found time to attend plenty of meetings and special events, from regular monthly meetings with the volunteer fire service, and civic and business leaders to the Peach Festival in Middletown and National Night Out in Claymont and at Banning Park.
"I accomplished a lot, but the summer is sadly almost over," he said. "I think I need to find a day and visit the beach."
Councilman William Tansey (R-Greenville)
A former Dewey Beach Town Commissioner, Tansey and his wife Ann have long owned a summer home in Delaware's favorite beach town. Tansey said he spent most of his recess at the home, just relaxing.
"I spent a lot of time...golfing, biking, reading and eating," he said. "I hope the caloric numbers evened out."
This fall, however, Tansey's travels will take him to a few more distant outposts. In October, he and his wife have a two-week trip to Egypt planned, where they'll tour Cairo and then take a cruise of the Nile. Then in November, they'll visit Antarctica. Departing from Argentina's Ushuaia -- the world's southernmost city -- they'll make seven landings on the planet's coldest continent (the only one the Tansey's have yet to visit).
Councilman Timothy Sheldon (D-Pike Creek)
A union bricklayer, Sheldon has always prided himself on representing the blue-collar working class. That's why he says he took time out of his vacation to attend a three-day conference in South Bend, Ind. about how more people from his trade can make it in local politics.
Sheldon was a featured speaker at the International Union of Bricklayer and Allied Craftworkers conference, where the message was simple: How can we get more candidates to run for office that represent the interests of the middle class?
"We've got a lot of people who look out for the have's and a lot of people who look out for the have-nots, but there aren't a lot of people like me who represent those in the middle," Sheldon said.
By the time the conference was complete, his colleagues attempted to give him a promotion, changing his title on one of the presentation boards from county councilman to U.S. senator. Of course, Vice President Biden's former senate seat will be up for grabs in 2010.
Councilman John Cartier (D-Penny Hill)
Cartier said he spent most of his three week respite in the district, attending a variety of community meetings and events, including the grand opening of a community resource house in Edgemoor, something he says he's enormously proud to have been a part of.
When pressed, however, he conceded he did manage to get in a little rest and relaxation. Cartier spent a week in Baltimore at his in-laws' place in Federal Hill, taking several day trips in and around the harbor and Chesapeake Bay on the 24-foot boat he docks there.
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