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March 19, 2004     Cape Gazette
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March 19, 2004
 

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Trust the committee process in Rehoboth By Mark Aguirre Rehoboth Beach Commissioner The committee process is one of the most important tools our community has to effectively complete the work of the City of Rehoboth Beach. This tool offers us the opportunity to encourage citizens to get involved, discuss potential solutions to our prob- lems and provides a mechanism for new city leaders to emerge. Committees are not decision making bodies; do not be misled by anyone saying differently. Every decision that would affect our city is ultimately made by the City of Rehoboth Beach Board of Commissioners. Being more inclusive of our cit- izens during the decision making process will encourage the syner- gy that creates a successful work- ing environment. As more points of view are collected from the community, final decisions will reflect what the community truly wants. This can bestbe achieved by regularly using all our commit- tees to achieve that combined ef- fect. Through committee meetings the research and idea-gathering duties can be delegated to others. That research is used to develop new ideas of how to confront the problems that challenge our com- munity. Those ideas generate po- tential solutions that are then dis- cussed more freely and evaluated on their individual merits with more time at the committee level. This kind of structure also pro- vides an important path to prepar- ing others to assume roles in city leadership. The committee process draws citizens to serve their community and then trains them on how city government works. As committee members con- sider seeking higher city of- fice they'l! be better pre- pared through their commit- tee work. AGUIRRE Ultimate de- cision making will always lie with the city commissioners. There should be no concern over losing control of the deci- sion-making process. If city lead- ers do not like any of the options placed before them by a commit- tee, they are not bound to choose any of them. City commissioners are either chairing or appointed to all city committees. The committee process is more time consuming as extra meetings are added to busy schedules. The extra effort is most justified when decision making discussions may upset and polarize our community. Much of that anxiety can be less- ened by introducing controversial subjects more slowly at the com- mittee level. Finding committee members is at times difficult, but that will im- prove as city leadership demon- strates a stronger commitment to the committee structure. An un- productive atmosphere of resig- nation can grow from being ap- pointed to a committee that rarely meets. Our city grew by over 21 per- cent during the last census cycle. Continued from page 6 ridiculous. The teachers have an inservice next Monday anyway, so why not start on that next Tues- day? It just makes so much more Sense, doesn't it?" Some teachers though, really don't see a problem with the marking period ending so early. "You just have to adapt to ad- versities," said new English teacher Mike Curry. Ever since the block schedul- ing/strip scheduling fiasco last November, I've come to the con- clusion that the only way to get people to listen to your opinion about certain topics is to have people with authority complain. Therefore, if you want to voice your opinion about the topic, I suggest calling Mr. Fulton at the district office at 645-6680. I've been told that asking ques- tions is a good thing by my teach- ers since grade school. So why isn't the school board taking an interest in our grades this marking period, and why do I have to get my parents and the community involved just to be heard? Katrina M. Henning Milton Listen carefully this summer sea- son as more property owners dis- cuss their intentions to retire here and get involved in the communi- ty. As baby boomers migrate here there is and will be a growing pool of volunteers, potential ap- pointees and future city leaders. A favorite example of a suc- cessful working committee is the Parking Advisory Committee led by former Commissioner Don Derrickson. During budget dis- cussions last year, an interest in raising parking meter rates to bring needed revenue to the city was being considered. After discussion among the commissioners, Don suggested that he take the subject to the Parking Advisory Committee. Through this committee Commis- sioner Derrickson was able to find a suitable compromise that con- sidered the effects of the Streetscape Improvement Project construction on businesses in town, while helping f'md the addi- tional revenue the city needed. The use of ad hoc committees is important as well. These commit- tees are created for a particular purpose and may not exist beyond when that purpose is met. An im- portant example is the Aesthetics Committee. This committee has successfully used community in- volvement to help determine the direction of many of the visual el- ements of the Streetscape Im- provement Project. The committee process allows us to encourage citizens' involve- ment in the decision-making process, gather new ideas for con- sideration, and groom future lead- ers. Through this tool we can share the responsibility and credit for successful solutions to the challenges that confront our com- munity. Open multiyear committee po- sitions are appointed each fall. If you are a citizen of the City of Rehoboth Beach, contact the city manager or any city commission- er to express an interest in serv- ing. Base standards on individual ability Whatever happened to the idea of performing to your full poten- tial? The "No Child Left Behind" philosophy seems to place upon some children unrealistically high expectations and upon other chil- dren expectations that are too low. A big part of building confi- dence is to make sure that our youths are successful. As confi- dence grows, so will the ability and desire to succeed academical- ly. My parents and teachers were smart enough to set realistic goals for me, which were not based up- on national or even local stan- dards, but upon my abilities. These goals became harder as I demonstrated mastery. I will nev- er get my Ph.D, run a sub-five minute mile, or dunk a basketball, but I did graduate from college, run a 5:12 mile, and have fun Continued on page 8 Os00eys return for another summer season and ego trials at a barber shop in Nicaragua A sure harbinger of spring, os- preys returned to Delaware's Cape Region on Sunday, March 7, this year - right on schedule. Joe Scudlark, who works at the Col- lege of Marine Studies looking over Roosevelt Inlet, keeps an eye out for these marvelous hunters of fish. The first birds stake out their nesting sites, with the rest of the family to follow in the next few weeks. The return of ospreys is good news for fishermen as well. If there's fish to feed the fish- hawks, there's fish to chase bait. Two weeks ago Becky and I watched ospreys wintering in Nicaragua in the southern end of Lake Nicaragua, also known by its native name Cocibolca. Solenti- name, an archipelago of 36 islands that rise from the clean waters at the southern end of the world's 10th largest freshwater lake, hosts an amazing and colorful array of birds, fish and beasts. Howler monkeys laze in the tropical trees while large yellow-tailed birds named oropendulos swoop toward intricately constructed nests that hang from branches like whale teardrops. Crocodiles lurk in the quiet, marshy waters of a few of the un- inhabited islands, iguanas climb through the trees, and in the deep- er waters of the lake, the world's only freshwater sharks - tiburones - try to hang on to existence after years of overfishing during the Somoza years. Solentiname is home to dozens of primitive painters and balsa wood carvers - a colony of San- dinista artists whose collectivist efforts were encouraged by the revolutionary poet and priest named Ernesto Cardinal. For two weeks we spent time at Solenti- name, on the nation's other islands - Big Corn and Little Corn in the salty and tropical Atlantic - and in the Spanish Colonial city of Granada on the northwestern shores of Cocibolca. I'll give some glimpses over the next few weeks of the communist- inspired artist colony, the Columbian cocaine windfall that had the Little Corn Island commu- nity buzzing, and the dynamics of a Central American nation riddled by volcanoes, earthquakes, revo- lution and hurricanes. But first, a more serious subject: a haircut in BAREF00TIN' Granada. "Almost cut my hair. Happened just the other day. Getting kinda long. Thought it wasn't my way. But I didn't and I wonder why. Guess I felt like letting my freak flag fly. And I feel like l owe it to someone." - Stephen Stills It's amazing what goes through your head when you sit down in the leather and chrome chair of a barber shop. In a foreign country, where you know your broken Spanish must sound like the halt- ing English of Tarzan in the jungle - "Me want haircut" - taking that chair and allowing that white sheet to be pinned around your neck is a giant leap of faith. Such was the case when I set my sails last week for a row of classic barbershops just off the central square of Granada. The temperature in Nicaragua stays in the mid-80s most of the year. There are very few bugs in Granada, and much of life is lived outdoors. Men wear their hair short there. It's cooler. Manuel, a young barber who's been at it for five years, asked me how I wanted my hair - what's left of it. "Corto?" That's a word I know. Short. I swallowed hard, seeing the array of buzz saws he had lined up on the counter be- tween the powder and the green- colored stink juice, the scissors and the straight razor. My eyes wandered to the back section of the shop - the unisex area - where two or three white- coated women chatted while wait- ing on customers. My vanity rose. Then my mind wandered to Taoist teachings and the Indian counsel- ing of the avatar Meher Baba. Continued on page 8 Dennis Fomey photo Shown here is a barbershop open to the street in Quepos, Costa Rice. Next week: barber shops of Nicaragua. Don't miss it.