Newark Anti-Gun Vote this Monday!

Campaign for Liberty

On November 9, 2015, the city of Newark began the process of putting its residents in harm’s way. Without your help, they will complete that process this Monday, January 11.

The Newark City Council unanimously approved the first reading of Bill 15-32 last November, which would enact the state’s “Armitage Gun Ban,” named after the specific lobbyist who rammed it through the state legislature . . .

. . . restricting every law abiding citizen’s right to defend themselves in municipal buildings.

They took the dangerous first step toward creating another “Gun Free Zone,” which we hear about so much due to the crimes that so often occur in them.

And this Monday, January 11, in the Municipal Council chamber at 220 South Main Street, the council will have their second and final vote on this irresponsible, anti-self-defense policy.

Call these council members and urge them to VOTE NO on Armitage Gun Ban Bill 15-32:

Mayor Polly Sierer: 302-690-1741
Mark Morehead: 302-521-9525
Todd Ruckle: 302-893-1601
Robert Gifford: 302-803-0451
Margrit Hadden: 302-983-9087
Luke Chapman: 302-293-7639
Stu Markham: 302-456-1755

And please take a minute to sign our Armitage Gun Ban petition, letting them know we will not tolerate them turning our residents and town employees into helpless victims.

We read in the newspaper time and again how recent massacres in schools, movie theaters, and the like are a major problem. Of course, they highlight the “need for further gun restrictions.”

What those articles fail to connect is that all of the examples they cite are massacres occurring in so-called “Gun Free” zones.

They SHOULD be called “Criminal Protection Zones”!

Once you realize these criminals may be evil – not stupid – the connection is obvious.

They target Gun Free Zones because they know it’s where they will have the most impact – places where most people are rendered defenseless by irresponsible, anti-gun policies.

It is entirely possible that some of Newark’s elected officials were not able to make that connection prior to the meeting.

However, several people spoke at the meetings informing them of these facts and letting them know this bill could put people in harm’s way.

And yet they passed the first reading anyway. . . unanimously.

It is tough for me to conclude anything other than these elected officials actually want to make their residents vulnerable.

With all of the facts before them, I do not know what other conclusion to come to.

Last April, they hired Richard Armitage, a seasoned NRA lobbyist from Maryland, to lobby Delaware state politicians on behalf of the city of Newark and help spread the Mayor’s irrational, anti-gun agenda statewide.

And even though one Newark Council member questioned whether there would be a conflict of interest, lobbyist Armitage still accepted the position and the city council voted to hire him.

Soon after, he offered proposed legislation to them for an “optional” city municipal building ban, even admitting to the council that NRA “helped write the bill.

Armitage strategized in meetings of the Delaware League of Local Governments, sought out sponsors to ram his legislation through the State House and Senate, and saw it through in less than 2 weeks time.

The people of the state of Delaware had no time to hear about it, read it, or react – by design.

Armitage Gun Ban Bill 15-32 will come up for its second and FINAL reading on Monday, January 11.

We must make it perfectly clear that this bill must not go through.

Newark Council Meeting
Monday, January 11, from 7-9 p.m.
220 South Main Street
Newark, DE 19711

We must not allow the bill to become law by passing the second reading.

Please call these council members and urge them to VOTE NO on Armitage Gun Ban Bill 15-32:

Mayor Polly Sierer: 302-690-1741
Mark Morehead: 302-521-9525
Todd Ruckle: 302-893-1601
Robert Gifford: 302-803-0451
Margrit Hadden: 302-983-9087
Luke Chapman: 302-293-7639
Stu Markham: 302-456-1755

Tell them their vote will be a clear statement on whether or not they understand how pro-Second Amendment policies keep people safe.

We will report the results of their vote next week.

In Liberty,

Jeff Lawrence
New Castle County Coordinator
Delaware Campaign for Liberty

P.S. On November 9, 2015, Newark’s Council began the process to turn city buildings into gun free zones. The second and FINAL reading will be this Monday, January 11, at 7 p.m.

The last thing we need is another gun free zone, such as the ones we hear about in the news where all of the mass shootings are occurring.

Call the council members above. Urge them to VOTE NO on Bill 15-32!

And sign the Armitage Gun Ban petition to send a clear message that “Gun Free,” Criminal Protection Zones for criminals is irresponsible city policy.

P.P.S. Thank you for your continued support of liberty. To help us defray our costs and continue our efforts, please consider making a donation to Campaign for Liberty by clicking here.

Stop the Armitage Gun Bans

Campaign for Liberty

The powerful anti-gun lobby is close to grabbing their next Delaware victory.

This time, they’re in the city of Newark. Will your town be next?

You may not be familiar with the behind-the-scenes effort that has been taking place to restrict your gun rights and create more “gun-free zones,” but . . .

. . . thanks to the efforts of a longtime NRA lobbyist from Maryland, Richard Armitage, more gun rights are being removed in municipal and county buildings all across the state.

The anti-gun city council in Lewes was the first to act in July before the Governor even signed the Armitage Bans into law, then Bethany Beach, Delaware City, Dover, Elsmere, Newport, and Townsend passed their “Armitage Gun Bans.”

Now, officials in Delmar, Middletown and Wilmington are preparing to strip away 2nd Amendment rights.

The final vote in Newark is scheduled for Monday, January 11th. If this next anti-gun ordinance is passed, citizens will no longer have the right to openly carry and defend themselves in Newark’s municipal buildings.

And that’s how they get your gun rights, chipping away one small piece at a time, one local council at a time.

It also strengthens every municipal building’s profile as a so-called “gun free zone,” where all recent mass shooting tragedies have been taking place!

Honestly, I’m outraged by this compromised erosion of our liberty and safety. I hope you’re fired up, too.

Please sign our “Stop the Armitage Gun Bans” petition today to show your support for the Second Amendment and citizen self-defense.

The City Administration in Newark, and particularly Mayor Polly Sierer, has long been hostile to citizens having any ability to defend themselves with anything from firearms to tasers.

In April, they hired a seasoned NRA lobbyist from Maryland, Richard Armitage, to also lobby Delaware state politicians on behalf of the City of Newark and help spread their radical agendas statewide.

And even though one Newark council member questioned whether there would be a conflict of interest, lobbyist Armitage still accepted the position and the city council voted to hire him.

Soon after, he offered proposed legislation to them for an “optional” city municipal building ban, even admitting to council that the NRA “helped write the bill.” He then sought out sponsors to ram his legislation through the state House and Senate.

To get around the state preemption law, which forbids lower governments from enacting gun restrictions on their own, Armitage made the gun bans “optional,” causing gun grabbing officials in the Delaware League of Local Governments to salivate over the opportunity to take away more firearms freedom.

House Bill 192 was introduced on June 16th by State Senators Patricia Blevins and Representative John Mitchell, both anti-gunners from the City of Elsmere.

They even replicated the language into House Bill 201 to remove similar gun rights in county buildings.

Both Armitage bills passed in the chambers of the legislature in Dover by July 1st. Governor Markell then signed the Armitage Gun Bans into law on August 17th.

In other words, lobbyist Armitage was successful in ramming two anti-gun bills through the legislature in less than 2 weeks . . .

. . . leaving no time for citizens to learn or voice opinion about the 2nd Amendment infringements.

Since then, multiple anti-gun city councils, such as Elsmere, Seaford and Lewes, have already jumped at the chance to take away your constitutional rights of self-defense.

I hope you agree that it’s absolutely outrageous for an NRA lobbyist from Maryland to be peddling anti-2nd Amendment laws as a dual agent for gun grabbing city councils in Delaware.

That’s why I also hope you will sign our “Stop the Armitage Gun Bans” petition today.

If you live in Newark, your council’s vote is on January 11th.

If you do not live in Newark, call your city and county council members right away and voice your opposition to the Armitage Gun Bans.

In Liberty,

Eric Boye
Delaware State Coordinator
Campaign for Liberty

P.S. The City of Newark’s administration has hired a longtime NRA lobbyist from Maryland to operate as a dual agent and push their radical anti-gun agenda across the state.

Lewes, Seaford and Elsmere have already banned open carry for self-defense in their buildings, raising their profiles as extremely dangerous “gun free zones.”

The vote in Newark is January 11th. Will your town be next?

Please sign our “Stop the Armitage Gun Bans” petition today and call your local government officials to voice your opposition on this latest erosion of your 2nd Amendment rights.

P.P.S. Thank you for your continued support of liberty. To help us defray our costs and continue our efforts, please consider making a donation to Campaign for Liberty by clicking here.

Eleven Million Dollar Handout

Campaign for Liberty

Most people complain about government corruption and sweetheart deals, but few of us know about the ones in our own backyard.

The politicians in Dover are professionals in this arena. There are times that municipal leaders are even better than them.

But recent activity in New Castle County is having ripple effects on every taxpayer in the state.

In the midst of massive, bloating government across Delaware – from a $100 million looming deficit at the state capitol to the rise of school tax hike referendums . . .

. . . New Castle County’s government is set to finalize an $11 million taxpayer handout to five well-connected farmers in the Port Penn area.

And the program they are receiving this money through, the “New Castle County Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program,” was not even created by a vote from the county council!

We will be covering this in depth at our meeting, as well as updates on our fight against gun control and a forecast on that legislation next year, in the Bear Library this Wednesday, October 28, at 7:00 p.m. (More details below.)

The State Department of Agriculture has a Farmland Preservation program, which is considered one of the best in the country.

They are graded by the amount of land prohibited from development versus the amount of taxpayer money given to farmers for that agreement.

In other words, the state annually gives farmers money for the promise of not contracting with developers.

And while the act of using taxpayer dollars to pay off selected people and control the market is unconstitutional, the First State is at least less costly to the taxpayer and more efficient than other states. So those of us who oppose the program should also oppose any attempts to make it more costly and inefficient.

The state program looks at all of the applications each year and awards those who will preserve the most land value per taxpayer dollar.

But the existing program does not pick your pockets enough for a few farmers in New Castle County. They wanted to “get rich quick,” and someone behind the scenes decided to use a county-level program to make it happen.

They have even struck a deal to pay their crony buddies TEN TIMES the average award price, paying them for every acre, and still allow them to develop up to 40% of their land.

So much for “preservation”!

Awards at the state level typically fall between $1,400 and $1,800 an acre to “preserve” farmland for roughly 10 years.

The farmer keeps their land, continues to farm it, but the contract to prohibit development stays with the property even if they sell it to someone else.

New Castle County’s inaugural handouts for its first five farmers top out around $26,800 an acre.

Yes, you are reading that correctly.

The state program averages under $2,000 an acre, but New Castle County is giving away the store at $20,000+ an acre – with only half of the money coming from your federal tax dollars.

And your state tax dollars are getting thrown in as well.

The first two farmers demanded $6.3 Million in 2014 and their deals have been held up in this swirling controversy. The county said they could secure $3 Million, which the feds would match, bringing the deal $300,000 short.

That’s when State Senators Bethany Hall-Long (D-10th) and Bruce Ennis (D-14th) got involved, inserting a $300,000 appropriation for “New Castle County Farmland Initiative” into the state’s Bond Bill for 2015.

And every state legislator – both in the Senate and the House – voted YES on that Bond Bill, minus Rep. Jack Peterman, who was absent.

Here are the details for our meeting on Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 28, at 7 p.m.
Bear Library
101 Governors Place
Bear, DE 19701

Please join us for all of the details and the steps you can take to put a stop to this Farmland Preservation scam.

In Liberty,

Eric Boye
Delaware State Coordinator
Campaign for Liberty

P.S. $11 million taxpayer funds are at stake in one of the most brazen acts of cronyism to hit our state in recent memory. Even state and federal dollars are mixed up in the New Castle County “Farmland Preservation” scam.

Help us put a stop to these “Get Rich Quick” schemes. Please join us this Wednesday, October 28, at Bear Library, at 7 p.m.

And please also come prepared to organize against gun control at the municipal, county, and state level as we look ahead to 2016.

Elsmere Gun Vote this Thursday

Campaign for Liberty

The powerful gun lobby has been working overtime to overpower your efforts to stop Elsmere Mayor Steve Burg’s latest assault on the Second Amendment right of self-defense.

In the wake of the Oregon shootings, Mayor Burg is continuing down the path of creating more “Gun Free Zones” for criminals to prioritize as easy targets in your own backyard.

I hope you agree that these Gun Free Zone policies across the country, especially on educational campuses, have produced nothing but fear and casualties.

Two bills will be up for council vote this Thursday, October 8, at 6:30 p.m., at Elsmere Town Hall.

The first, Ordinance 603, will repeal the prohibition of firearms in the town parklands. That’s a good idea, but some council members are planning to vote the wrong way.

The second, Ordinance 604, will prohibit open carry in all Elsmere municipal buildings. According to our sources, four council members are planning to pass this outrageous ordinance.

Please call the following council members and tell them to respect the rights of our citizens and town workers to protect themselves.

VOTE YES on 603, and VOTE NO on 604!

1st District: John Jaremchuck: 302-994-0672
2nd District: Ted Pfirmann: 302-482-3366
3rd District: Robert Kacperski: 302-995-0299
5th District: Joann Personti: 302-998-6608
6th District: Deborah Norkavage: 302-995-0716

And please attend the council meeting this Thursday at Elsmere Town Hall to voice your displeasure with the mayor’s anti-Second Amendment agenda.

We cannot allow the irresponsible policies of Gun Free Zones to continue in Elsmere. We cannot stand for the above politicians to put the lives of more people at risk.

In Liberty,

Eric Boye
Delaware State Coordinator
Campaign for Liberty

P.S. The Elsmere Town Council will be taking TWO major votes on the irresponsible policy of Gun Free Zones this Thursday, October 8, at 6:30 p.m. Please attend and urge them to Vote YES on Ordinance 603, and Vote NO on Ordinance 604!

Gun control in Elsmere

Campaign for Liberty

I wish I had better news, but the town of Elsmere may become the second municipality in Delaware to outlaw your right to personal self-defense in municipal buildings next month.

Your State Senator Patricia Blevins was a sponsor of anti-gun House Bill 192 earlier this year, which passed on the last day of session and was signed by Jack Markell in August.

House Bill 192 effectively erased the long-standing, state preemption protection of your Second Amendment rights. With this piece of legislation, every municipality in our state can write their own laws against your right to carry in a municipal building.

But it’s more than that. This legislation also set a precedent the gun control lobby is salivating over. One of their ultimate goals is to create an open season for local governments to erode and destroy our constitutional, Second Amendment rights.

The city of Lewes passed their gun ban a few months ago, but their Chief of Police refuses to enforce it, stating that he cannot enforce an unconstitutional ordinance!

Now, we need your help to push back on the Mayor of Elsmere’s anti-Second Amendment agenda.

Mayor Steve Burg has made it his personal mission to see gun ban legislation passed in Elsmere. He collaborated with Newark lobbyist Rick Armitage to craft House Bill 192 as part of their participation in the “League of Local Governments.

Last month, thinking his victory was just one vote away after House Bill 192 passed in Dover, he called in regional television and radio media for the big event.

But much to his embarrassment, the council shot him down and sent him packing.

I don’t know what arms have been twisted or by whom since then, but he is bringing it back up again at the October 8 Council Meeting and promising he has the votes to advance his anti-gun agenda.

Currently, only Councilman Ed Zielinski of District 4 has publicly stated he has not changed his vote. He will continue to vote NO on any anti-gun legislation. But we have no written or public statements from other council members.

If Mayor Steve Burg has the votes for his gun ban, three of the following council members have changed their position on your constitutional rights. Please give them a call and urge them to VOTE “NO” on the Burg Ban:

1st District, John Jaremchuck: 302-994-0672

2nd District, Ted Pfirmann: 302-482-3366

3rd District, Robert Kacperski: 302-995-0299

5th District, Joann Personti: 302-998-6608

6th District, Deborah Norkavage: 302-995-0716

There is no excuse for council members who seemingly understand the Constitution one month but change their position the next.

It’s important that you call these council members today and demand they not join Mayor Burg’s stomping on your right of self-defense.

Please call the council members listed above and tell them, “Vote No to the Burg Ban in Elsmere!”

In Liberty,

Eric Boye
Delaware State Coordinator
Campaign for Liberty

P.S. Next month in Elsmere, Mayor Steve Burg is making his second attempt to pass a gun ban in the town’s municipal buildings, leaving Elsmere residents without their Second Amendment right to self-defense.

This “Burg Ban” would set a precedent allowing municipalities to write their own gun control laws, the same dangerous road that state preemption protection had guarded against for all these years.

Please call the council members listed above and voice your opposition to Mayor Steve’s “Burg Ban” today.

Follow Up: Referendums, Testing Opt Out, and Gun Control

Our first New Castle County Meeting for 2015 was a great success, with a standing-room only crowd at the Bear Library!

We promised this follow up email, with links to the Testing Opt Out and Gun Control legislation discussed, plus dates to remember for the month ahead regarding the Christina Referendum — starting with our special event next week on May 7th.

Testing “Opt Out”

While there was disagreement in the room on the political strategy of supporting Opt Out legislation, House Bill 50 contains obvious violations of personal liberty.

So long as those infringements on parental and privacy rights exist in the bill, we must remain in opposition to this legislation.

CLICK HERE to find the link to House Bill 50, as well as a description of the problematic provisions.

Municipal Gun Control

Draft legislation for a “Muni Gun Ban” was released to ban personal protection in all municipal building, as well as any building — public or private — where a government entity meets in an official capacity.

Currently, this draft legislation is still seeking sponsors at the Capitol.

CLICK HERE to find the link to the draft bill, as well as the information we have up to this point on its origins.

School District Referendum

The next tax hike referendum attempt by Christina School District is scheduled for May 27th, with one more school board meeting scheduled for May 12th.

This issue is relevant to all school districts across the state.

The problems facing Christina today have already been felt in the Appoquinimink, Colonial, Red Clay, Seaford, Milford, and Cape Henlopen school districts.

And it will continue.

If we do not tackle the root causes of rising costs and declining student performance during one of these referendums, this problem will continue to spiral further in the wrong direction.

As we outlined in the meeting, it’s clear that the Christina school board is asking the citizens to vote on a bad solution,  insisting on slashing pro-student resources . . .

. . . while protecting nearly 100 non-essential positions and bloated executive salaries as high as $192,000 a year.

We will be having a special referendum event prior to the May 12th board meeting. Here are the details:

Thursday, May 7th at 7:00pm
Bible Fellowship Church of Newark
808 S Old Baltimore Pike
Newark, DE 19702

Proponents of referendum passage have made a conscious decision to use similar tactics from their victorious counterparts in Red Clay back in February, holding regular “political action” meetings, professional marketing services . . .

. . . and even using district taxpayer dollars to fund their pro-tax hike literature and advertisements — including plans to pay for street side billboards!

Parents, teachers, and other residents who oppose the school district’s proposal are having their own tax dollars used against them and need to make their voice heard.

It’s unacceptable. And the current referendum proposal on the ballot is the wrong proposal to be voting on.

We will be calling for the school board to cancel the referendum and START OVER by listening to the better ideas put forth by the community.

Please join us for our special referendum event on May 7th at Bible Fellowship Church in Newark.

In Liberty,
Eric Boye
Delaware State Coordinator
Campaign for Liberty

P.S. Please join us at 7:00pm on Thursday, May 7th at the Bible Fellowship Church of Newark on Old Baltimore Pike.

We need to come together as a county and try to stop Delaware’s high cost, low performance approach to education on the battlefield of Christina School District.

Help us pressure that school board to stop their May 27th Tax Hike Referendum and START OVER by listening to parents, teachers and other residents.

4/22/2015 New Castle County Meeting

Our first New Castle County Meeting for 2015 is next Wednesday and there is no shortage of issues to tackle.

The problems surrounding education in the State of Delaware continue to pile on and there has been no significant momentum to fix them.

With the desperate need for political leadership to straighten out these issues, we will now be organizing activists to ramp up the pressure on our politicians.

Next Wednesday, we’ll be covering . . . 

  • the latest school district referendums
  • the push for “opting out” of standardized testing
  • the path forward for education freedom

We will also have brief updates on the municipalities where we are engaged, such as Newark and Wilmington.

Here are the details for our meeting next Wednesday:

New Castle County – Wednesday, April 22, from 7-9 p.m.

Bear Library
101 Governors Plaza
Bear, DE 19701
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

In Liberty,
Eric Boye
Delaware State Coordinator
Campaign for Liberty

P.S. Please join us next Wednesday at the Bear Library in Bear, DE. Get involved in fighting for change in your town and school district.

What are these Newark candidates hiding?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust a candidate for public office who won’t give straight answers to simple questions. 

For instance: “Will you oppose all tax, rate and fee increases?” 

Simply said, will you vote against any attempt to raise taxes? 

And: “Do you feel that repairing our storm water drainage system should be a higher priority?” 

Simply said, do you support fixing our storm water drainage system before starting new projects? 

I have some good news, though. 

In Newark Council District 1, candidate Mark Morehead stood by his convictions and responded to our survey. 

But I also have some bad news…

The other FIVE candidates in Newark have chosen to ignore the survey we sent them.

And this is AFTER all five of them claimed transparency was very important during the recent candidate forum!

While there is still time, will you contact the following candidates and ask them to return the Newark Campaign for Liberty survey?

District 1: Joseph Charma [email protected]
District 2: Todd Ruckle 302-893-1601
District 2: Glenn Schmalhofer [email protected]
District 4: Margrit Hadden 302-983-9087
District 4: Ronald Walker [email protected]

Tell them it is their responsibility to answer straightforward questions about the issues of the day.

It is vital we get every candidate for the Newark City Council on record on these important liberty issues – now.

This is the time when politicians are really paying attention to what their constituents want.  And now is the time to begin holding them accountable.  

It isn’t the only time.  This is only the first step.  But it is an important first step. 

Keeping a watchful eye on our elected officials is vital to holding them accountable. 

But their job as candidates is to let us know where they stand on important issues. 

So please contact these candidates. Demand they complete and return the Newark Campaign for Liberty survey.

District 1: Joseph Charma [email protected]
District 2: Todd Ruckle 302-893-1601
District 2: Glenn Schmalhofer [email protected]
District 4: Margrit Hadden 302-983-9087
District 4: Ronald Walker [email protected]

You deserve straight answers to important liberty questions. 

You can view current survey results by clicking here.

In Liberty,

Jeff Lawrence
Newark Local Coordinator
Campaign for Liberty

P.S. If you’re upset that one or more of the candidates in your district haven’t turned in their liberty survey, or if you want to keep track of how the winner votes in Dover next year. . .


P.P.S. Campaign for Liberty does not support, oppose, or endorse candidates for office.  The goal of the Campaign for Liberty survey is only for keeping candidates true to their word should they be elected.  It should not be construed as an endorsement of any candidate.

You are encouraged to research each of your candidates to make an informed decision on their positions.

Electric Bill Refunds; Stroller Bans; Bill Transparency

Here is a recap of the Newark City Council meeting from last Monday, March 23, 2015.

The good news is, two small restaurants were granted the right to sell alcohol. Wood Fired Pizza and Mediterranean Grill will surely enjoy this liberty.

The pity is the restaurant owners had to sit through three hours of nonsense at the meeting to get to their agenda item.

Each year, Newark’s Council examines the past years electric rates. If the rates are found to have been too high, some of the excess money is returned to the residents.

This year, it was determined that roughly $1 Million in excess money was collected.

It has been standard practice to keep a $1.5 Million reserve to withstand a temporary electric rate spike.

So, with a $1.1 million existing reserve, the City should have returned $600,000 and properly met their $1.5 Million reserve goal.

However, that simple process was bypassed by a 5 to 2 vote.

Luke Chapman, Marge Hadden, Polly Sierer, Stu Markham, and Todd Ruckle decided to fuel the City Administration’s greed and keep ALL of the money.

We just went through a similar scenario with the “Ruckle Parking Meters,” where residents are being robbed of money that goes unused.

When a credit card is swiped, it defaults to the maximum amount of time, regardless of how long a customer intends to stay.

And to this day, despite your phone calls and public pressure on Todd Ruckle, that decision has still not been reversed!

The City of Newark even provided a report on the first few months of parking revenue since the Ruckle ‘smart’ parking meters were installed.

The report effectively demonstrated that the City is collecting much more money with these meters, due to ripping off its customers.

Council has the ability to make the meters work for the residents by changing HOW they work. Yet no one has chosen to step forward and set this straight.

Finally, a bill was up for 1st reading last Monday to modify the policies for City parks.

Some people have been bringing temporary ramps to the skate parks. The City, fearful of a lawsuit, wants to end this practice.

However, the bill was written so poorly that, as passed, people would not be allowed to bring soccer goals, tennis rackets . . .

. . . or even strollers into the parks!

How can politicians mess up this badly?

Several residents highlighted this issue, and recommended the bill be removed, and re-written better.

A motion was made to remove this item, but the motion was defeated 5-2.

Guess who voted to keep this bad legislation as it was poorly written?

You guessed it: Luke Chapman, Marge Hadden, Polly Sierer, Stu Markham, and Todd Ruckle.

Do those names sound familiar?

And to add insult to injury, the Council did what it tends to do all too often.

Instead of simply throwing out a poorly written bill and rewriting it, they spend endless wasteful hours trying to re-write and amend the bad bill — on the fly.

This is what continually leads to excessive lengthy meetings.

But yet, some Council members want to blame the public participation on the lengthy meetings and recently tried to silence the public in the name of shorter meetings.

Guess who they were?

Luke Chapman, Polly Sierer, Stu Markham, and Todd Ruckle!

So now you understand why we feel so bad for seeing the owners of Wood Fired Pizza and Mediterranean Grill sit through this — just to be able to conduct their business!

There was one positive highlight of the meeting.

Councilman Mark Morehead started a discussion to start requiring meeting agenda items to have a sponsor.

It’s a novel concept of transparency; giving the public knowledge of who is behind certain ideas.

This fits right along with Morehead restoring the public’s right to comment on all agenda items, not just the select few as it was a few years ago.

Let’s hope the five other council seats change their behavior in the positive direction after the elections are over.

In Liberty,

Jeff Lawrence
Newark Local Coordinator
Campaign for Liberty

P.S. The City of Newark Council continues to work for the Administration, and not their constituents.

Marge Hadden, Todd Ruckle and three others voted to withhold at least $600,000 of the residents’ money for no reason.

They also voted against removing a poorly written bill banning strollers in the parks, guaranteeing that a lengthy discussion will be required to amend the bill during the next meeting and dragging out meetings to labor over a bill that needs to start from scratch.

Meanwhile, Mark Morehead started a discussion that will further the transparency and accountability of the City government.

At least one of them seems to understand that his job is to serve his constituents, not to betray them!

Is Newark Councilman Todd Ruckle serious?

Is Councilman Todd Ruckle saying one thing, but doing another?

Comparing his words to his voting record is truly puzzling.

Councilman Ruckle has continued to support tons of useless spending within the City and votes to tax more of your money away to fund it.

Yet, during the recent Christina School District referendum, he was very vocal in his opposition for increasing the school taxes, challenging the School Board to enact budget cuts instead.

How does oppose taxes for the school district, but then behave in exactly the opposite manner as a deciding vote on a City Council — where he actually has control over the matter!

At one single council meeting alone, he voted to raise our property taxes and to raise our water rates.

Let’s suppose Todd thinks the City’s budget is already cut to the bone.

Then why, at the very same meeting, did he vote to spend nearly $200,000 on solar powered trash cans for Main Street?

At this past Monday’s Council meeting, he again voted to spend another $130,000 on yard waste cans and to give them out for free to the residents.

This is despite the fact that members of the public suggested the City sell the cans to recuperate the cost for this valuable, but non-essential service.

All of this spending will be overshadowed by the threat of a $14 million parking garage for Main Street.

Todd’s solution to this one is to form a public-private partnership where the private sector and the City would somehow partner in this endeavor.

“Public-private partnership” is another term for crony capitalism, plain and simple.

When government and industry mix, trouble inevitably follows. Favorites are picked, while competitors are rejected. Profits are privatized, while losses are picked up by the taxpayers.

There is a much easier solution.

The City could sell the land upon which the proposed garage sits, and let the private industry decide if a garage is even needed!

And if they decide one is needed, they can put their own money up to build it, without the entanglements of the City.

The sale of the land would surely bring in around $3-7 million, which could go a long way to solving the City’s biggest issue . . .

. . . our crumbling Storm Water System.

He previously sold the residents out with the recently installed ‘smart’ parking meters.

He supported the idea that money left on a meter after a customer pulls away should be stolen and given to the City, rather than being left for the next customer.

In a brief moment of empathy, he promised that he would try to modify the meters to refund that extra money back to the original customer.

After a quick phone call, we discovered that the meters were already capable of refunding unused money!

And yet, after this was brought to Todd’s attention almost 6 months ago, he has done nothing about it.

Broken promises?

During this six months, around $25,000 has been stolen from meter customers, many of which are Newark residents, in this “Ruckle Reset.”

As each day passes, more and more money will be stolen, until Todd gets his act together.

Finally, at the next Council meeting, on March 9th a bill that Todd sponsored will go up for vote.

With this bill, he is trying to restrict the height of your back yard fence!

A resident in his district has a problem with a tall fence his neighbor built. While the concern is valid, this does not call for liberty-stripping legislation!

See, these types of disputes should be settled by the courts, who can evaluate them on a case-by-case basis.

If every neighborly grievance led to legislative restrictions, we would have NO liberties at all.

That is why we have three branches of government – to establish a separation and balance of powers:

  • legislative branch to craft a simple set of laws
  • executive branch to carry out those laws
  • judicial branch to interpret and enforce the laws

Todd should really understand this – especially as he is supposedly part of one of those branches!

Please let Todd know that he really needs to start voting better.

Call him today and tell him to stop staring at his cell phone, and start paying attention to the residents of Newark!

Todd Ruckle: (302) 893-1601

In Liberty,

Jeff Lawrence
Newark Local Coordinator
Campaign for Liberty

P.S. Todd Ruckle, in his first year of council, has done a pretty bad job.

He has repeatedly voted for tax increases, while also approving wasteful spending. He continually supports money being stolen from residents via the ‘smart’ parking meters.

And he does not even understand the separation of powers in our three-branch government system. After stealing your money at his meters and throwing it into solar powered trash cans, he now wants to tell you how to build a fence.

Please call Councilman Ruckle today at (302) 893-1601 and urge him to figure out what he stands for.