Lossť, president of the Claymont Community Coalition, told the
meeting of officers of umbrella civic organizations, which
County Executive Thomas Gordon convenes monthly, that
Representative Wayne Smith floated the idea at a recent meeting
of the Radnor Green Civic Association.
move has been talked about, off and on, for many years with
opinion among residents divided between supporting increased
control of community affairs and opposing potential imposition
of an additional layer of tax-supported government.
for the betterment of Claymont, I am not against it; but I don't
know how it is going to help us," Lossť said.
not immediately respond to a request from Delaforum for
comment as this article was being prepared.
said his understanding is that the area defined by the U.S.
Postal Service's 19703 zip code would be defined as Claymont.
That presently is considered by most residents and others to be
the 'town'. Bordered by the Delaware River, Interstate 95
right-of-way, Pennsylvania Border and Perkins Run, it includes
both the core area around Philadelphia Pike and newer suburban
communities such as Radnor Green and Ashborune Hills.
it has never had legal existence, Claymont traces its history
back to Colonial times when Swedish settlers pushed north from
what is now Wilmington to establish farms and mills overlooking
the Delaware. It served for most of the 19th Century as an
exurban retreat for Philadelphians. Its most significant growth
occurred with the coming of steel, oil and chemical companies
around the time of the First World War.
incorporated, Claymont would rank in size and population with
New Castle and Middletown among New Castle County places. The
Claymont Historical Society's Web site refers to Claymont as
Delaware's "fourth largest town."
those towns, however, Smith's plan, as Lossť described it,
envisions an arrangement similar to what exists in Arden,
Ardentown and Ardencroft, which are separately incorporated,
where local government services are limited and most functions
are handled by New Castle County government.
I understand it, we would be limited to zoning and land-use,
with police and the other [functions] left with the county,"
times, Claymonters have be involved in several land-use
controversies and there is a major effort to effect a
'renaissance' involving renewal and redevelopment along
Philadelphia Pike. County government has been involved with and
has supported that effort.
did not comment on Lossť's presentation at the umbrella group
meeting on June 5 except to say that the county administration
will be represented at any public sessions dealing with Smith's
plans. Lossť said Claymont Coalition expects to host the first
general public presentation of the matter.
who is the Republican majority leader in the state House of
Representatives does not live the area described as Claymont,
but his district includes a large part of it. Following
reapportionment for the 2002 election, the area was divided
among him and two other representatives, David Ennis and Robert
Valihura, and two senators, Cathy Cloutier and Harris McDowell.
All except McDowell are Republicans. McDowell is the Democrat
majority leader in the state Senate.
no likelihood that any incorporation legislation Smith
introduces could be acted upon during the Assembly's current
session, which ends at the end of June. It is common practice,
however, for a significant measure to be introduced in one
session with the intention of considering passage at the next
session which, in this case, begins in January.