Newkirk Estates Civic Assn.

Minutes from March 8, 2017

Newkirk Estates Civic Association met in Shue School on March 8, 2017.  Ray Schafferman called the meeting to order at 7 p.m.  Seventeen people were in attendance; their names and addresses are available through the secretary.

Ray introduced our guests: Timothy P. Sheldon, Councilman, 9th District, Edward Osienski, State Representative, and Jack Walsh, State Senator.

In absence of Secretary, Dorie Galloway, Mary Beth Coté read the minutes from the November 15, 2016 meeting.  After a motion to accept the minutes and a second, they were approved. 

Due to time constraints, Senator Jack Walsh addressed the meeting first:

  • ·         He passed around a signup sheet for email addresses of those who wished to receive his newsletters.
  • ·         He spoke about the meetings being held by Gov. Carney to address the $350 million deficit.  The meetings will continue in an effort to find ways to tackle this large amount.
  • ·         He is seeking support for House Bill 12, “AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS.”  This bill provides State funding to kindergarten through third grade for basic special education. State funding already occurs for intensive and complex special education during these grades. Currently the basic special education funding runs from fourth through twelfth grade. This bill is an effort to promote earlier identification and assistance for basic special education needs which should then mitigate costs over the long term.

Bob Rogers asked about $350 million deficit and if there was any truth to the talk about removing the senior tax credit or having a gasoline tax.  Sen. Walsh said there was no indication that taxes related to gas, tolls, or DMV would be affected.   If anything, perhaps they would seek to reduce DOE, Department of Education, as it has grown too large.  But education is a complex issue they address at the beginning of each new year.

Other residents expressed support for House Bill 12 stating that early childhood intervention is crucial for success in education.

Representative Ed Osienski next addressed the following issues to the residents:

  • ·         The postal box should be moved as soon as the ground warms up.  He will re-contact USPS.
  • ·         He met with DelDot regarding the videotaping that they are doing pertaining to the sink hole near the Parkland.  They are determining the best way to permanently fix the problem.
  • ·         In conjunction with the United Way of Delaware and the State of Delaware, Stand By Me® is free tax preparation service available for those with incomes below $6,500.   Information can be found at
  • ·         He invites all residents to the “Boot Scootin’ Ball,” an evening of dining, dancing and silent auction to benefit the programs and services of the Newark Senior Center to be held on Saturday, April 8.
  • ·         Regarding speeding in the development: he said rubber strips will be placed on the roadways to determine the number of cars, their speed and the time/date of the speed.  If there is a high percentage of cars speeding, then we will decide the next step to take whether flashing warning signs or pursuing speed bumps.

Bob Rogers questioned the cost of the two options and Rep. Osienski told him that the cost for either option is about $5,000.  The money comes from the same pile as paving money. 

Bob Rogers asked Ed Osienski to contact DelDot about removing a fallen tree from our parkland.

When Debbie Tarker asked about when they will begin water main replacements in our community, Rep. Osienski said the next spring will be the first chance since that’s when enough money might be available.  

Debbie also informed Rep. Osienski that 4X4 posts are being removed in the park area.  She also requested that a sign similar to the one in Sycamore Gardens be placed by the parkland.

Concerns from a number of residents were brought up.  They included ATVs being driven on private property, young people making out in the park area, possible drug deals taking place, and barking dogs.  Each of these was addressed by reminding residents to call 911 and report it.  Only the person who witnesses the event can report it and give the details the police need; otherwise the report is ignored as hearsay.  Names of those who report possible crimes are never revealed, and one should always ask for a call back so as to be able to learn how the problem was dealt with. 

Rep. Osienski was asked to speak with DelDot about U turns at our entrance.   Can a more visible sign be installed?  Or can police patrol that intersection?

Councilman Timothy Sheldon spoke about the overtime work police are doing to catch the kidnapper as the reason why a policeman wasn’t able to come to the meeting.  He told of past residents’ concerns and how they are being addressed:  One trailer needs an ID tag, the trash problem on Phyllis, and an inoperable vehicle also on Phyllis.

Councilman Sheldon suggested that if you must open your door after 7 p.m., have your cell phone in your hand ready to dial 911 if you are hassled.  And not to give to those who come around.

Debbie Tarker made up three welcoming baskets for new residents and welcomed them to the neighborhood.  Two of the new residents were introduced at the meeting. 

The issue of the lack of lights in our development was addressed.  Tim Sheldon will contact Delmarva about taking a survey to find out how many lights are wanted/needed.  If it is decided that we want the lights, Delmarva will install them but the individual home owners would foot the bill for the annual cost of these lights.  (Another neighborhood had about 22 lights installed; the annual cost per household was about $50 per year.)  Meanwhile, Mary Beth Coté asked that all residents leave their front porch lights on at night.

One resident expressed concern about the dues.  That person owed back dues and didn’t want to pay them for personal reasons.  Rather the resident wanted to know why we are asking for back payment instead of just using the monies in our checking and savings.  Mary Beth explained that she only went back to 2006 in determining the amount of back dues.  She emphasized that if there is any hardship, that home owner should call her at 302-456-9822.  In fact, one owner has paid an extra $20 two years in a row to assist someone who cannot pay their dues.  Each year the amount we budget/spend has been higher than the money we take in through our yearly $20 dues.  Gradually, the checking and savings account will go down.  Hopefully, the dues amount will not need to be increased for many years to come.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Mary Beth Coté

- Substitute Secretary

Posted by newkirk02 on 06/10/2017
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