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Lewes, Delaware
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April 25, 1997     Cape Gazette
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April 25, 1997

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6- CAPE , Friday, April 9.5. May 1, 1997 VIEWPOINTS Editorial Time not healing Cape District problem Several weeks have passed now since Nancy Feichtl received notice that she was suspended from her important position as director of instruction for Cape Henlopen School DistricL She of course con- tinues to receive her pay in accordance with her contract, although Cape Henlopen School District is not receiving the benefit of her years of service as a principal and administrator. As each week passes, it becomes increasingly evident that Feichtl won't be coming back to Cape Henlopen School District as an employee. But the passage of time is not making the situation any less disturbing. It still appears, and no information has come forth to reinforce any other belief, that Feichlt fell victim to suffering the unfortunate fate of many a whistle blower. She expressed concerns about contract irregularities involving her boss - Cape Henlopen School District Superintendent Suellen Skeen Irregularities involv- ing the length of a contract which pays the highest salary received by any local public official and the reliability of the official minutes, under the control of the superintendent, represent serious matters at the core of the district's operation. As a result of Feichtl's having expressed her concerns, properly founded or not, it may be impracti- cal to even consider that she and Superintendent Skeen could ever again serve together effectively on the district's administrative team. So there will have to he some sort of settlement. Feichtl has a con- tract that will have to he bought out, perhaps, and that will he expen- sive for Cape Henlopen School District. And we will make every every effort possible to keep the public informed as to how this deba- cle is ultimately resolved. As is so often the case in such matters, there will he changes made quietly in the district as a result of the concerns raised by Feichtl. Already there have been contract adjustments made that bring the Cape superintendent contract more in line with others in Delaware. And people are watching more closely. But that doesn't clear the air of the suspicion that will continue to exist until Cape Henlopen School District Board of Education shows that it respects the people it is elected to serve by making a full disclosure as to why the present situation is so serious that it requires the exit of an able administrator. The people are smart. If what Cape Henlopen school board is doing is the correct course of action, the people will understand it to he such. As it is, the only thing the people understand is that they're being kept in the dark on serious matters and they don't like it. Letters 17 71 53 .07 18 54 41 .19 19 62 44 Trace 20 68 47 None 21 66 45 Trace 22 54 51 .07 23 61 50 None As reported by the Lewes Board of Public Works Power Plant, an official U.S. Wmthe Station. The cows graze in the greening field of a typical Sussex County far Last Quarter New Moon First Quarter Full Moon April 29 May 6 May 14 May 22 Lewes residents have serous concerns I have just read Mike Hill's most recent letter to the editor (Cape Gazette, April 18, 1997). I think it is safe to say that most Lewes residents are justifiably proud that Lewes was chosen as one of the ten best places to raise a family. Most of us appreciate the positive attributes of our historic seaport town and have moved here or continue to live here because of those attributes. Some Lewes residents (it was interest- ing that Mr. Hill admits there are now many) still do have serious concerns about the management of our city gov- ernment, especially how it relates to our police department. And the truth of the matter is that what was once suspect speculation about police department matters has now turned into incontro- vertible fact; i.e., the city insurance com- pany has paid former Chief of Police Hal Barber a cash settlement' two separate cases involving women raped by a for- mer Lewes police officer have been filed against the city and our current city council is evenly divided on the issue of making the active police chief the per- manent chief. The fact that some resi- dents of Lewes (including myself) have continued to he both visible and vocal on these areas of concern in no way dimin- ishes the love and respect we have for the community we call home. The ability to speak one's thoughts is what our demo- cratic process is all about. I have a much greater respect for those citizens who are willing to speak up than for those who have chosen to bury their heads in the sand, pretending that everything in Lewes City Hall is 'just fine, thank you.' Citizens will continue to disagree. It is when the person with a different opinion is not allowed to express that opinion that we really have to start to he con- cerned. I also found it interesting that Mr. Hill wrote of "their police department," refer- ring to the "City Fathers." I thought the Lewes Police Department was a part of the entire community. This kind of think- ing, that the police department belongs to the City Fathers, is one of the reasons we are where we are today and why some Lewes residents continue to have serious concerns about our police department. I also think Mr. Hill needs to be reminded that we have had a lady serving on coun- cil for four years. It is time to take stock of where we arc and learn from our past mistakes. I am troubled that we now have a can- didate for Lewes City Council who is concerned with "Present (ing) a positive message." While there is certainly noth- ing wrong with this idea, I do not believe premnting a positive message is the most important matter facing our community. I would suggest that some members of council have spent too much time trying to 'sell' the message when they should have been worrying more about the issues at hand. We have a chamber of commerce with a very capable executive director whose job it is to promote our city and present it in its best light. The role of our city council is to make deci- sions, on behalf of Lewes residents, that will make our community a better place and allow it to function more effectively and efficiently. The image of our city has been tarnished because of bad decisions made by city council and in some cases because of the city council's inability to make any decision at all. I hope the can- didates for city council will worry less about the sizzle and more about the steak. The city election will he history in a few short weeks. I encourage all Lewes residents to make the candidates: answer the tough questions on the issues that face our community. Only then can we intelligently vote for members of council who will he willing to make the tough decisions, not for their political value, but for their social and moral value. Kevin N. Moore Lewes More letters on page 8 Volume 4 No. 49 Publleher Dermis Fomey Editor Tdsh Vernon News Editor Michael Shod New8 Kerry Kester Rosanne Pack Jan EIIingsworth Janet Anclrelczyk Photographer Angie Moon Sports Editor Dave Frederick AdvertiMng Director Ca Mawyer Fehrenbach Advertising Cindy Roberts Nancy Stenger Joseph Mariann Wilcox Classified Sandy Berr Office Manager Kathy Emery Circulation Harry Stoner Production Staff Susan Porter Deidre Sudlmak Chris Wildt Contributors: Tim Barnforth Susan Frederick Nancy Katz Geoff Vernon The Cape Gazette (USPS 010294) is pub- fished 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-mall: 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. =Men have as exaggerat. ed an idea of their rights as women have of their wrongs," E.W. Howe American Journalist