The papers are filled today with another DelDOT story indicating a sweet deal similar to the one with a liquor distributor in Milford.

Around 2003 a parcel on Rt 113 north of Milford was owned by Fred Hertich who wanted to open a couple of dealships on a parcel. The State Planning office pooh-poohed the idea; enter then Governor Ruth Ann Minner who pushed for the development. Plans were in development stages for a new interchange in that area, which would take years, as it is just being built 9 years later.

Hertich didn’t want to wait, he had an investment in land and he wanted to develop it, so DelDOT went ahead and gave him a temporary entrance, the project was completed, a nice looking complex, and I haven’t heard of any traffic problems because of the development.

To many of you it may appear as the good-ole-boy politics as usual game; to me it was business.

When I was in economic development for the county we tried to obtain an entrance to a property just north of the Maryland Delaware line. We were rebuffed several times. The gentleman who owned the parcel was elderly, owned a small business, had no pension plan, and had purchased the property hoping to sell it for his retirement income.

It was his land, bought and paid for with his money and he couldn’t develop it?

When the next DelDOT Secretary came on board, we tried our luck again. Once again his staff spoke of negative reasons not to develop the land, but this Secretary stood his ground, bucked his staff and slowly turned their negative thoughts into a positive position on giving us an entrance.

Today with the large WaWa and the nice shopping center and a McDonald’s proudly sits that large development. Not only were a lot of people employed in the building, many people now have jobs, the Town of Delmar and their school has a new huge tax base.

To my knowledge there has been no harm to the environment or traffic patterns; everyone came out a winner including the owner of the property who is now able to enjoy the rewards of his years of hard work and foresight.

Too often pencil pushers who work for the government don’t think beyond the box; they have never had to sign a paycheck on the front, only on the back whether there is a recession, snow, hurricane, whatever, they get a check.

The same with the Hertrich deal, more jobs, larger tax base, and the right to develop your property. Governor Minner scored a hole-in-one on that call.



  1. Frank, so what do people do who are not large campaign donors without open access to policymakers, when they are impatient and are unwilling to follow the law?
    Does the end always justify the means? Civilized societies have a process when we want to change laws we elect people whom we trust to follow the laws that they swore on their own bibles to withhold. If policymakerrs violate that trust, for whatever reason, they diminish whatever good they have done and their legacy. Even worse than their personal and professional failure, they breakdown, bit by bit, the laws of society and society loses faith and confidence in the people they entrust their votes to. As a result, chaos ensues and society loses.

    • The person in Delmar, lived in Maryland, was non-political, not well-to-do financially, failed under one gov. and succeeded under another governor, it was the Sect. of DelDOT who made the decision, to me the right one based on economic development. Don’t know the circumstances with the one today, but I feel the same way. Unfortunately under some circumstances money talks and BS walks. Don’t approve of that, but if a person’s home is their castle, then a persons land falls under the same; they have rights

  2. Once again you missed the point of the article, or you just took the part you wanted to read and forgot the rest. The point to this article is now it is going to cost the taxpayers ( you and me) more to do the improvements needed to this intersection. You continuously criticized Bush for his politics, Haliburton and other companies, did they not create jobs and help the economy. How is it ok in your mind when a democrat does go old boy politics but not when republicans do it.

    • You read it differently than I did; I read the by-pass was in the planning state, but would not be done for a few years down the road; Hertrich wanted to move earlier and a compromise was met.

  3. Actually The Delmar Commons traffic pattern is a mess. The RT 54 entrance is entirely inadquate for the traffic on this road and if you try to make a left turn onto RT13 from RT54 between 3 and 6 pm it is even more of a mess. I am glad the shopping center is there but it could have used a whole lot more planning before being approved.

  4. I started reading the article, saw how long it was, said forget it, not worth my time. When I saw that the Govenor, DELDOT and Fred Hertrich were involved I KNEW that any outcome would not be favorable for the remainder of society !!!!!

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