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February 21, 1997     Cape Gazette
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February 21, 1997

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6 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, February 21- February 27, 1997 VIEWPOINTS Editorial Sussex multi-year contracts a step forward Sussex County Council sent a strong signal of intent this week that bodes well for the future of the county. By a unanimous vote, coun- cil members approved three year contracts for Sussex Administrator Bob Stickels and Finance Director Dave Baker. The contracts came within an atmosphere comfortable with the news of another audit showing Sussex County's government operations in robust financial health. The multi-year contracts represent a favorable departure from old- style politics which often saw administrator and financial director positions change when there was a change in the majority party on Sussex Council. That's an out-moded brand of government that vot- ers are less and less willing to tolerate. In Sussex, as well as through- out the nation, voters have little patience left for partisan rhetoric and action that leads most often only to instability and the resulting lack of progress on all fronts. And as a society on the whole, we are increasingly aware that stability in government translates into favor- able interest rates when the county borrows money to pursue public projects, not to mention the generally favorable economic climate to which such stability contributes for the private sector. Easing the contract decision for council members of course was the impressive track record of Stickels and Baker. Both have long records of positive public service in Sussex which have helped to bolster the confidence of Sussex citizens in their county government. Stickels, in his friendly but firm fashion, has shown a steady willing- ness to study diverse issues extensively and work for solutions in the interest of the greatest number of residents while balancing at the same time the interests of a growing force of county employees. Baker meanwhile brings to the table a deep perspective of Sussex County finances and the conservative and prudent approach that helps instill confidence in overall financial stewardship. They bring to their positions the added advantage of being active in their respec- tive communities with family and friends supporting their success. The multi-year contracts for Baker and Stickels will give them the job security necessary to devote themselves wholly to their duties without political distraction, and represents real forward progress for Sussex. Take time to read Cape student essays We hope you had the opportunity to read the Cape Henlopen High School student essays in the Feb. 14 edition of the Cape Gazette and will seize the opportunity to read several more in this issue. In the refreshing style of young people, these students are speaking their minds openly and straightforwardly on important issues such as their education and quality of life. The writing came forth in response to our request for essays addressing the question: "If you could change one thing about Delaware's Cape Region, what would it be?" This week's essays may be found on page 26. Snowdrops peak through the soil on a glorious February (???) morning, when the spring weather fools the flower Last Ouaer New Moon First Quarter Full Moon March 2 March 9 March 15 March 24 , i Setting record straight on Silver Lake issue In response to the State News (Feb. 9), and the Whale's glaring headlines which stated, "DEWEY COUNCIL FAVORS CLOSING OF RIGHT OF WAY," a clearer understanding is needed as to what happened at the town meeting. As I understood the vote, commissioners Frederick, Lavelle, and Bracken voted not to use the 50 ft. right-of-way as a state roadway but recommended a public footpath approximately five feet wide for public use around that portion of the lake shore to connect to the paved road in Silver Lake Dune Estates. This would be for day use only and patrolled twenty four hours by Dewey Beach police. This footpath would be less intrusive for the four property owners and would satisfy the public with a path to access all shores of our Silver Lake Wildlife Refuge. The state and public could declare this a "conservation easement" and continue to act as "stewards of the environment" without giving land title of this precious lake front property to four property own- ers who do not possess title presently. We have many volunteers willing to assist in planting vegetation, trash pick- up, etc. to maintain this easement. In the news reports it was also stated that commissioners Tansey and Duncan voted AGAINST closing the right-of- way. This makes one believe that these two commissioners were our heroes, voting for the interest of the Dewey Beach residents and the public in general by giving us whatwe wanted, our public access. This is in error! Their opinion, as was stated, "this is a private issue, a legal issue, not a public issue," tells it all. The two commissioners should have abstained from the voting as presented, if they did not want the town of Dewey Beach involved in the interest of the public. After gathering 185 petitions to date and 25 letters from residents in Dewey, Rehoboth and the residents between in Sussex County, people who intimately know the area, how can Com- missioners Tansey and Duncan state that this does not concern our community? Another statement made by Commis- sioner Bracken, which angered the resi- dents in attendance, "Who cares about 185 petitions; the people are not here today." You understand, it was snowy, rainy, there were breathtaking winds - it was one of the worst mornings we've had all winter. Those who promised to address the commissioners were coming from as far away as Washington, D.C., Maryland and Wilmington for the week- end. We thank the concerned residents who chose to speak out for all of us. We do not know if this recommenda- tion will be considered in Superior Court on March 6 in Georgetown, but if it is not accepted, we have the promise from Mayor Bob Frederick that the town will not go forward in court to close the pub- lic right-of-way and give title to the four property owners of this easement. We need your help with a personal appear- ance before Judge Graves. It is a public open forum for your statements. Mark Thursday, March 6, 9:30 a.m. on your calendar and be at Superior Court on the Circle in Georgetown. Let's keep our green spaces open. See you there! Martha Tillman Dewey Beach More money won't buy better roads In its Jan. 27 editorial, "4-cent gas tax increase is small price to pay for good transportation," the News Journal implies that there is a direct link between higher gas taxes and good transportation. Question - since when does throwing more money at a problem ever help? The fact is, higher taxes have not and will not necessarily produce good trans- portation or any other public service for that matter. Recalling $10 million that didn't count: Those who think more money Continued on page 8 Volume 4 No. 40 Publisher Dennis Fomey Editor Trish Vernon Nm Editor Michael Short Nffs Kerry Kester Rosanne Pack Jan Ellingsworth Janet Andrelczyk Photographer Angie Moon Sports Editor Dave Frederick Advertising Director Carol Mavjer Fohronbach Advertising Cindy Roberts Nancy Stenger Joseph Mariann Wilcox Classified Sandy Barr Office Manager Kathy Emery Circulation Harry Stoner Production Staff Susan Porter Deidre Sudimak Chris Wildt Contributors: Tim Bamforth Susan Frederick Nancy Katz Geoff Vemon The Cape Gazette (USPS 010294) is pub- lished by Cape Gazette Limited every Friday at the Midway Shopping Center, Highway One, Rehoboth Beach DE 19971. Second class postage paid at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Address all correspondence to Cape Gazette, P.O. Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. Telephone: (302) 645- 7700. FAX - 645-1664. E-maih Subscdptlons are avail- able at $25 per year in Sussex County; $40 elsewhere. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Cape Gazette, P.O. Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. "An intellectual is a man who doesn? know how to ark a bike." Spiro Agnew