Photo: Delaware Audubon Conservation Chair David Carter (left) presents a vintage soap box to
On December 6, 2013, the annual Delaware Audubon Conservation Award was presented to Victor Singer, a staunch and long-time defender of the Coastal Zone Act.
"As an advocate, Vic has demonstrated that long-term persistence and determination are what make a difference," says Dave Carter, Delaware Audubon's conservation chair. Victor Singer's dedication and resolve has had an enormous effect on critical civic and environmental issues in Delaware. Carter adds that "throughout both his professional and civic life, Vic has always set a standard for the highest level of ethical conduct."
Victor Singer has told many Delaware politicians that the solution to a problem "does not require rocket science." He makes that statement with knowledge and conviction because he was, in fact, a rocket scientist. He retired in the year 2000 from Thiokol/Elkton, where he worked as a structural engineer.
As an avocation, Singer has involved himself with "interfering with Delaware's state and local governments," jokes Carter. A half century of such adventures included:
- Co-authoring Delaware's first Drinking Water Quality Regulation (adopted in 1971);
- Conceiving a re-design of Delaware's regulatory system for investor-owned public utilities;
- Co-authoring the Delaware Public Utilities Act of 1974 to implement the re-design, and nursing the act through the legislature;
- Intervening in numerous Delmarva Power & Light Company rate proceedings (from the mid 1970s to the early 1980s) before the Delaware Public Service Commission, eventually with $90,000 of financial aid from the General Assembly for legal and technical staff (leading to over $100 million in reductions of charges to utility ratepayers and a complete reversal of DP&L's prior operating philosophies);
- Serving as chairman of the New Castle County Planning Board (1998 - 2011), as a member of Delaware's Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board (1998 - 2011), as a member of Delaware's Water Supply Coordinating Council and predecessor entities (for about 40 years and continuing);
- Serving as president of two neighborhood civic associations and two leagues of such associations; and
- Serving on various ad hoc boards and committees investigating DelDOT operating practices, after appointment by several governors or DelDOT secretaries.
To Delaware Audubon, Vic represents the last member of the Coastal Zone Board truly dedicated to the original intent of the Coastal Zone Act--to protect Delaware's coastal resources for future generations. While he stepped down from the board in 2011, he continues to fight for the integrity of the Act, most recently with his comments on the Governor's effort to streamline regulations in the state.
"Vic's fifty years of commitment to advocacy for the public good is an inspiration to all members of the Delaware Audubon Society," says Delaware Audubon president Mark Martell.
For a complete list of previous Conservation Award recipients, click here.