DCRAC was a proud Centerpiece Sponsor of the 18th Annual Sussex County Today and Tomorrow Conference “Connections that Work” held on October 26, 2011, at Delaware Technical & Community College. As you would expect, friends can walk in different directions but remain side by side. From our table at this conference, we think some perspectives were missed.
The population demographic presentation was slanted toward the panels on health care and tourism that would follow.
Nevertheless, important constructs were missing from the presentation that will have significant impacts on Sussex County businesses going forward.
Sussex and Kent Counties accounted for 72% of the population growth in the State of Delaware from 2000 to 2010.
And, Latinos, just 4% of Sussex County’s population in 2000 accounted for 25% of its growth during this 10 year period.
These demographics matter for political, social and economic reasons that may well lie at the core of the County’s growth and prosperity in the coming years.
It is time for Sussex County to box out of its weight class in deserving attention from our friends in Dover.
Indeed, Sussex County’s adaptation to this new and emerging tax base can ensure that in its future are today’s youth who will one day be its leaders in business and politics.
However the tourism prism is viewed, not all the colors are bright and cheery.
Foreclosures at our monthly sheriff’s sale for the last year attest to tens of millions of dollars in equity that is disappearing from the County each month.
The beach is the beach and always will be the beach is whistling past the graveyard, particularly in a community that is a statistical outlier in terms of properties that are second homes, and therefore at the root of the county’s tourism success.
Banks, businesses and local government need to initiate an honest discussion of what these foreclosures mean for the future of Sussex County and all the facets of its capital infrastructure.
DCRAC is a willing partner with Sussex County as it undertakes confrontation of these issues.
Ms. Rashmi Rangan, Executive Director
Mr. Rony Peralta, Director, Tax Clinic
Mr. James Angus, Pro Bono Volunteer