After months of controversy and debate, Seaford City Council voted in favor of closing its 911 center and transitioning its services to Sussex County.
City Council members voted 3 to 1 in favor of closing the 911 center during a meeting Tuesday evening.
Late last month, Seaford Mayor David Genshaw announced the formation of a committee to examine ways to potentially keep the 911 center operational.
The committee presented its findings to the council and recommended redirecting the calls to Georgetown. Council voted in favor of the proposal, ultimately deciding that the 911 center was too costly to keep.
Moving forward, the call center will no longer offer dispatch services or answer incoming emergency calls. The 911 center will instead provide supportive services for city leaders and local law enforcement.
Only one city council member voted against the proposal, James King, who issued a scathing statement Tuesday night condemning the decision to close the 911 center.
“I feel we can keep the 911 center open without raising taxes or creating additional costs to services,” King said. “There has been no meaningful work or conversations around cost saving measures that could save our 911 call center.”
Despite the committee’s findings and the Mayor’s position that the 911 center is too costly, Councilman King said “there has been no study conducted to provide city residents with accurate and hard-data based facts around the costs, and if a tax or service increase would be needed in order to save our call center.”
Councilman King feels the Mayor didn’t keep his promise to accurately and thoroughly explore alternative means to try to save the call center.
“His promise to look at other things within the city that could be cut, have not been fully, accurately or fairly vetted,” King said. “It came down to scare tactics of a sort in a blanket narrative statement of ‘saving the call center means raising taxes.'”
WGMD News reached out to Mayor Genshaw who issued a response, saying Councilman King has a history of flip-flopping.