"David Anderson" Bill Proposed For Soldier To Keep Council Seat - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

"David Anderson" Bill Proposed For Soldier To Keep Council Seat

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Rep. Trey Paradee (D) Rep. Trey Paradee (D)
Dept. of Defense Directive Dept. of Defense Directive
Attorney Gen. Beau Biden, 2008 Attorney Gen. Beau Biden, 2008

DOVER, Del. - For the next year, Dover councilman, husband and father David Anderson will serve with the Delaware National Guard in Afghanistan.

But now, he's fighting to keep his job back home.    

"Military leave is an excused absence," said Anderson via phone. "However, our councilman [Sean] Lynn wanted to see that in writing."

A move to exempt Anderson from a "miss-three meetings and you're out rule" failed. So, after hearing about Anderson's story, Delaware State Rep. Trey Paradee (D-Dist. 29) has introduced a "videoconferencing" bill, bringing a law into the the 21st century by allowing members serving in the military to attend meetings via Skype.

"It's quite possible to communicate in real time with people on the otherside of the world, for free essentially," said Rep. Paradee.

Even if a bill is passed, the Delaware National Guard says Anderson may still be unable to hold office.

According to a Department of Defense directive regarding "political activities by members of the Armed Force", Sec. 4.5.2 states that "a regular member may not hold or exercise the functions of civil office unless otherwise authorized." it's a tough situation as officials confirm Attorney General Beau Biden, who deployed to Iraq in 2008 was not granted these same rights by the Secretary of Defense.

Rep. Paradee says he doesn't want to "interfere with David's mission or anyother councilmen who mau com eup in the future."

"It may very well be that David is too nusy in his duties in Afghanistan and he may not be able to participate.  That's going to be up to his military commanders. All I'm trying to say is that if it's okay on that side of the equation in Afghanistan, I want it to be okay on this side of the equation in Delaware."

This week, Paradee will chat with committee members about the bill, which is the first step before it can even move to the House floor.

Dover City Council will review his proposal to decide if they will install the methods should the bill pass.

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