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January 17, 1997     Cape Gazette
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January 17, 1997

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8 - CAPE GAZETYE, Friday, January 17 - January 23, 1997 Continued from page 6 have not. What we want to see is prudent guidelines being followed that do not needlessly disrupt our natural resources or our quality of life. William Holman Rehoboth Higher standards necessary for Lewes The Mayor and the entire city council seem to have great diffi- culty compromising on important issues. Our fair city is deadlocked on the Chief of Police issue and now we have the charter change idea. How much give and take has there been in the executive ses- sions that the Lewes council seems to have so often? A govern- ment cannot be run properly when there are differences of opinion without finding a common ground. Compromise is the true essence of a democracy and our leaders don't seem to have that ability. With all this in mind, I will proceed. In the old days, when AI Stango ran our town, the council mem- bers were hand picked by him and elected by a smaller number of registered voters comprised of long time Lewes residents. What AI Stango wanted, AI Stango got. Slowly over the years, Al's influ- ence, though still mighty, began to erode, thus the election of Elinor Sheehan and George Cleaver to the Council. Lewes is changing and the people are changing, espe- cially with several new communi- ties developing and expanding within our city limits. The point here is that things are not the way they were. The council is not the way it was! There is definitely not a strong majority in Lewes con- cerning many of the issues. The town is equally divided. Fortu- nately, there is a high standard in the law that requires a majority of the elected council members to confirm a government appoint- ment. This is not a flaw or a weak- ness in the system, it is a strength. It requires a higher standard for our government officials. Since our community is obviously no longer totally controlled by a one- sided regime, the support of a di- vided community and a non-parti- san council for a government offi- cial is now doubly important. That is why "the standard" of having a majority of the elected council members giving their support to an appointed candidate is para- mount! By having the majority approval of the council truly rep- resent the will of the people, espe- cially in these diverse times. Politically, the mayor should have appointed someone he knew would be approved by council. In not doing so, I believe he was re- miss. This mistake has now creat- ed a major problem for the people of Lewes and further divided our city. What is done is done, howev- er, and Lt. Gooch must endure the process, regardless of how un- pleasant it is. I believe that our Lewes government should strive to achieve the highest standards of propriety, fairness and credibility. The appearance of an impropriety is as bad as an impropriety itself. To change the charter does not support the will of the people but merely denigrates the democratic process. Again, I strongly urge the May- or and council not to lower our standards. Our appointed officials should have the support of a ma- jority of our elected council mem- bers. Either someone on council must change his or her vote in re- gard to the Chief of Police or the mayor must appoint a candidate that is acceptable to the majority of council. It is amazing that this situation has lasted this long. The council had better resolve this problem soon because Lewes is becoming the laughingstock of the State of Delaware. George Smith could do this, but for some un- known reason, he refuses to do so. Why? It's so simple. Let's get on with it, George! We shouldn't change our charter just because your choice wasn't confirmed. Ei- ther get our council to reach a compromise of some kind or make a new appointment. Be a leader which is what you were elected to do. Everybody in the state is laughing at us! In May there will be a new elec- tion. If the Mayor hasn't done his job by then, the situation could and should be resolved by a new council. If I run and I'm elected, maybe I will break the tie. I strongly believe in compromise when there are substantial differ- ences in opinion by elected offi- cials. It is the only way to run a successful government. Who knows, maybe AI Stango will come back from Florida and run for council. Surely, Mayor Smith wouldn't have to change the char- ter then! Keep the faith folks, A. Judson Bennett Lewes Morrill conclusions are all wrong The current stalemate over the appointment of a new police chief and the proposed City of Lewes charter change should stimulate discussion among the voters of Lewes. That dialogue, however, has down-spiraled to a low point in the opinion piece of Mabes Morrill (Cape Gazette, Jan. 10, 1997). First, the specter of an AI Stan- go machine hovering over and di- reefing certain council members is farfetched and ludicrous. Former Mayor AI Stango does not control the hearts and minds of these offi- cials or the voters who elected them. To conclude he does sim- ply because he campaigned for Mayor George Smith and put up signs for councilmen Jim Ford and Tony Pratt is a shaky leap of logic. Second, the stalemate reveals a flaw in the way council conducts business. Put aside for a moment the "hot potato" of the police chief appointment. No vote by council should end in a deadlock. With the current structure of four coun- cilpersons, provisions should be made for a tie-breaking vote. The mayor, having been elected by a majority of the voters, is the logical tie-breaker. Ms. Morrill is wrong when she concludes that the mayor's "appointing and sub- sequently voting for him (Gooch) in order to break a tie is indeed double voting and should not be permitted." The mayor's "ap- pointment" is simply putting the candidate forward for a vote by council, similar to placing a name in nomination. The appointment is not a vote. The rest of Ms. Morrill's letter serves no useful purpose as it de- generates into personal attacks. I hope Mayor Smith, Councilman Ford, and especially Councilman Pratt, are not disheartened or dis- couraged by this diatribe. Hope- fully, they will continue working for the majority interest as they were elected to do and as they have been doing. Patsy Carpenter Lewes Altering Lewes charter is pure folly Mayor George Smith's analogy comparing his position to that of the President of the United States is an interesting one - illogical, but interesting. The president submits his nominations to the legislative branch for confirmation. If he fails to garner the proper number of votes he does not, like Mayor Smith, refuse to nominate another candidate because he has been told in advance that anyone he names will be unacceptable. He certainly does not seek to amend the Constitution to insure the con- firmation of his candidate. The president can not vote for a candi- date he nominates and neither should our mayor. Too much is being made of the tie vote. The truth is that a tie vote is not a ma- jority vote as is required by law. Lt. Beau Gooch is a likable'in- dividual popular with many peo- ple in the city, myself included. However, appointment to police chief is not the prize for populari- ty. On two occasions he has been appointed acting police chief. During those periods a man in custody was transported to the Georgetown court carrying a con- cealed weapon. By the grace of God he didn't use it. Two women have been raped in city hall by an officer on duty now serving a prison sentence. Just as the cap- tain of a ship is responsible for the actions or inactions of his crew members (even though he may be legitimately asleep in his cabin) so is the police chief accountable for the actions of his officers while on " duty. Elevating Lt. Gooch to police chief, while being named in two lawsuits, would send a message to the public of arrogance and disre- gard for the rights of the individu- als now in litigation with the city government. Should either pre- vail in her lawsuit, we could have a sitting police chief found liable, thus supplying the media with a field day once again. Bottom line: Altering the city charter to allow the mayor to vote on this or any other of his nomina- tions is pure folly. Let's be honest this once. The determination of Mayor Smith, Vice Mayor Pratt and Councilman Ford in reality has little or nothing to do with selecting a qualified candidate for chief. Rather, they are determined to fulfill the wish- es of their campaign manager, AI Stango. It's payback time! F.H. Buck Jr. Lewes Set record straight on National Register In your article on the sale by the General Services Administration of the Breakwater Lighthouse, you state that because it is a Na- tional Register listed property, the owner will be faced with several restrictions on the use of it - that they will not be allowed to demol- ish the property or alter it in a manner unsympathetic to its his- toric character. This is incorrect, or misleading at best. National Register listing in and of itself places no restric- tions whatsoever on the rights of a property owner to do as they wish with their property. The owner of such a property may tear it down if he or she desires, unless other restrictions apply, such as local zoning ordinances. What National Register listing does do is offer some protection for a property when actions of the federal government may impact that property. While I don't know the particu- lars, I suspect in this case the Gen- eral Service Administration, a fed- eral entity, will place some sort of deed restrictions on the property before they sell it, so that the ac- tion of their selling it will not have an adverse impact on the light- house; In this way, they will com- ply with federal historic preserva- tion laws. I think it is important for your readers to be aware of this distinc- tion, as many of them may be owners of National Register listed properties, and will get the im- pression that they are breaking the law if they choose to remodel or apply vinyl siding. The National Register is often confused with more restrictive local historic preservation ordinances in this way. I do hope that the state will elect to purchase the building and in- corporate it into the park system. I think that tours of the building would be a very popular new at- traction on the local scene, com- plementing those of the recently restored military tower in the park. Bill Macintire Survey Coordinator Kentucky Heritage Council Xi Sigma says thanks Xi Sigma Chapter of Beta Sig- ma Phi International Sorority would like to thank the following businesses and individuals for their gift donations and contribu- tions for our annual Chinese Auc- tion. Our main recipient for this year's auction, held Nov. 2, is Meals-on-Wheels. Without the continued support of those listed here, our donation tO local chari- ties would not be possible. Thank you to Morris Shoe Store, Beach Dell, Roadhouse Steak Joint, Joann Brittingham, Townsends, Gretta Ludwig, Beach Tans and Hair Designs, Di- ane Cooper, Wild Swan, Midway Sales and Service, Twila Farrell, Golf Gallery, Hair Stop on 30, Nature's Touch, Kid's Ketch, Milton Hardware, Bluewater, Ltd., Kris Pritchett, Seahorse, Donna's Designing Women, Joann's Hair Salon, The Buttery, Best Hardware, Joss, Sydney's Side Street, Tijuana Taxi, Cape Gazette, Tri-State Cleaners, Windsor's, Nancy Thornberg, Stillwater Farms, Herb Garden, Joan and Billy Martin, Baby Ba- by, Ralph Dalton, Sandi Smyk, Longeberger Pottery, Club Pot- pourri, Bayberry Flowers, Holi- day Chicken, Victoria's, La Rosa Negra,, Family Hair Setters, Pat Robertson, Heaven in a Hand Bas- ket, Jim Powers, The Saxon Swan, Crabtree and Evelyn, Happy Har- ry's, Nicola Pizza, Clipper Ship, Shinn's, R & L Liquor.s, The Dirty Dog, Penn-Del Lock, Inc., The Swan's Nest, Barb Catts, King's Creek Country Club, Mikasa, Lenox, Beach Plum Garden Nurs- ery, East Coast Uniform, Hair by Edward James, J.B. Landscaping, Edgehill Pharmacy, Midway Bowling, Julie Tigue, Bad Hair Day, Jerry's American Cafe, Oby Lee Coffee Roastery, The Barn at 5 Points, Kaye Webb, Christmas Spirit; Cotton Club, Mill Outlet, Terry Warrington, R & R Sports, House of Candles, Brenda Archer, Mary Kay, Boomers, Rusty Rud- der, Casapullo's, Comfort Inn, Rehoboth EconoLodge, Ecolab, Inc., Five Points Western Auto, Sharkey's Video, Don Mitchell, Harry & David's, Trader's, All- Signs, Browseabout Books, Mil- ton Sausage & Scrapple, Midway Par 3, Karen Burnham, Casapu- la's South, Keith Parsell, Midway Office and Art Supply, Rehoboth Hair Design, Grotto's Grand Slam and Resort Resale. Ann Wotring, Publicity Chairman Xi Sigma Chapter Beta Sigma Phi Sorority Stockley Center thanks all On behalf of the residents and staff of Stockley Center, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all Delaware busi- nesses, civic organizations and citizens who have so graciously donated their time, talents, gifts and finances to make this a mem- Orable holiday season. It is with great pleasure that we take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Wesley E. Perkins Executive director