City salutes retiring Seaford Mayor Genshaw

By Glenn Rolfe
Posted 5/20/24

There were a couple humorous roasts, but mostly, it was heartfelt toasts.

On Thursday, city of Seaford staff and the community at large recognized David Genshaw, whose faith, values and perseverance personified his 10-year tenure as mayor.

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City salutes retiring Seaford Mayor Genshaw


SEAFORD — There were a couple humorous roasts, but mostly, it was heartfelt toasts.

On Thursday, city of Seaford staff and the community at large recognized David Genshaw, whose faith, values and perseverance personified his 10-year tenure as mayor.

While his terms encompassed the pandemic, there was also an economic resurgence in the city, highlighted most recently by the proposed multimillion-dollar redevelopment of the former Nylon Capital Shopping Center.

During the well-attended gathering last week at Ross Station, city manager Charles Anderson, acting as master of ceremonies, said Mr. Genshaw focused on improving customer service — making life better for residents, business owners and visitors, as well as championing economic development and job creation.

“David, your leadership was invaluable. Thank you. We could not have had the success that we’ve had without you and the support of the City Council,” Mr. Anderson said. “Your integrity, passion and your courage are truly inspiring. We are all better for having known you.”

In response, the outgoing mayor said, “I came on at a sweet time. Things really just started to happen. And it has been an amazing ride. God did amazing things. Seaford is so blessed to have great employees, both past and present.”

Also offering tribute was Sussex County Council President Michael Vincent, a former Seaford council member.

“Remember one thing about David Genshaw: When he speaks, you never hear him say, ‘I.’ It’s never ‘I’ did this, or ‘I’ did that. It’s ‘we’ did that.”

Among those in attendance were current council members Dan Henderson, Orlando Holland, Mike Bradley and Alan Quillen; past council members Grace Peterson, Bill Mulvaney and Leanne Phillips Lowe; former city manager Dolores Slatcher; Georgetown Mayor Bill West; and former Milford Mayor Archie Campbell.

Mr. Genshaw’s duties officially ended May 14, when he passed the baton to the winner of April 20’s election, Matt MacCoy, who moved from council to the mayor’s seat.

“I met Dave when I was 23 years old,” said Mayor MacCoy, recalling when they were part of a men’s Bible study group. “I find it ironic because I’m following in your footsteps as mayor, but also I’ve been following your footsteps for 20 years.”

Other presenters included a member of U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester’s office, state Rep. Danny Short (another former mayor, who presented tributes from the House of Representatives and Senate), Seaford Fire Chief Jack Wilson, Community Bank Delaware president Jack Riddle, Brimming Horn Meadery co-owner J.R. Walker, Pastor Mason McGill, Pastor Isaac Ross, John Hollis and Rob Herrera, a developer with the Wilmington-based 9th Street Development Co., which is spearheading the Nylon Capital project.

“I’ve never met anybody like you,” Mr. Herrera said to Mr. Genshaw. “It gave me the strength to sort of carry on, that there was a higher power guiding our decisions. I have a special love for this town. I really do appreciate our time together.”

Mr. Genshaw also recalled his years at Seaford High School, as a pint-sized lineman on a successful BlueJay football team.

“I was undersized and was fortunate enough to play on a winning team,” he said. “I feel the same way here. I was fortunate enough to be a part of a winning team.”

Mr. Hollis, a longtime coach in Seaford, said Mr. Genshaw was “an outstanding leader athletically, which prepared him to be an outstanding mayor. Dave Genshaw is about family. He created that atmosphere in his governance. Thank you for bringing family back as the centerpiece of what we’re doing. Thank you for putting family first.”

Mr. Genshaw joined city government as an elected councilman in 2012. He was appointed acting mayor in 2013 and was elected to the position a year later, the first of his five terms.

“I felt this was something that God had called me to do,” he said. “I have tried to do the very best I could do. I appreciate what Mike (Vincent) said because none of us do anything by ourselves.”

Mr. Anderson also offered a personal summation of Mr. Genshaw.

“Mark Twain said the two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why,” he said. “I think David found why at least three times in his life. The first was meeting his wife, Becky. The experience taught David that love extends beyond conditional attraction and emotional highs.”

The second is when he became a father, Mr. Anderson continued.

“Through these challenges and demands of parenting, he developed a deep sense of empathy and understanding, which extends not only to his children and grandchildren but also others in his life.

“The third was becoming the mayor of the city of Seaford. David viewed his position as mayor as a privilege. He faced the challenges and responsibilities with hard work and a very positive attitude.”

Mr. Genshaw and his wife have four children and five grandkids, with whom he’s “looking forward to a great summer,” he said.

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