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May 19, 1995     Cape Gazette
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May 19, 1995

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qape voters issue wake up call Large turnout ousts board incumbents By Kerry Kester An excellent voter turnout may be the reason the Cape Henlopen Board of Education will see two new faces on the board in July. Like in many other board elec- tions throughout the state, the in- cumbents were ousted from their seats. June Turansky unseated Walter Hopkins in the Area B race with a comfortable margin of 172 votes. Brent Moore edged out Dave Bak- er for the At-large seat with 75 votes. Tony Streett, an appointed incumbent who was filling the re- mainder of another term, ran un- opposed for the Area C seat. The election followed a year wrangled with controversial is- sues. Last spring, community members fought to prevent fifth grade Lewes students from being moved to Milton Middle School. In a related issue, the communi- ty fought to allow fourth graders to attend Shields Elementary School instead of Lewes Middle School. Surveys the Shields Ele- mentary School Parent Teacher Association distributed to parents and teachers indicated that 370 of the 424 surveyed supported mov- ing the students to the elementary school. The board voted to keep the children housed at the middle school. Later, the board voted to move four portable classrooms from Shields Elementary School to Cape Henlopen High School, eliminating the possibility that the fourth grade housing decision could be reversed. The communi- ty also strongly supported keeping the professional staff positions that the board voted to eliminate because of budgetary constraints. Over 1,000 more voters took to the polls for this year's school board election than last year's election. This year there were 2,198 voters compared to last year's 1,141. Hot topics on the candidates' platforms included budgetary issues; the state's re- form initiative, New Directions; and community involvement. Turansky was thrilled with her win. One of her immediate objec- tives is to propose a budgetary committee comprised of district personnel and community mem- bers who will examine and moni- tor the district's regular budget functions. She also has said that she would like to change the for- mat of some board meetings to in- clude an open forum for commu- nity input. After learning of his win, Moore said he was anxious to be- gin working for the schools. "I think the public wants to see some change, and they got it," said Moore. Running in the Area B seat were as follows June Shipley Turansky, Walter Hopkins, and George Chambers. Running for the At-large seat were Brent Moore, Dave Baker, Dave Stevenson, and Micheal Miller. The board members-elect will be sworn into office during a July board meeting. AREA B Chambers Hopkins Turansk-y AT-LARGE Baker Miller Moore Stevenson AREA C Streett Lewes Milton Rehoboth Absentee Total 339 88 58 29 514 363 182 94 45 684. 553 178 100 25 858 253 259 79 38 629 118 20 18 1 157 439 162 78 25 704 412 42 73 33 560 767 283 178 68 1,296 CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, May 19 - May 25, 1995 - 15 try a charm for Cleaver in Lewes election By Dennis Forney Lewes voters elected George Cleaver and Elinor Sheehan to two year terms on Lewes Council during polling held on Saturday, May 13. For Cleaver, the election marked the end of a mission he started back in 1990. That's when he first ran for a Lewes Council term. He ran unsuccessfully for the post in 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993 and then took a break from the 1994 election. That may have been the neces- sary ingredient. On his fifth try. Cleaver was the top vote getter with 449 cast in his favor. Elinor Sheehan was elected to her second term with a total of 431 votes. Howard Parker, seeking his first elected term after filling out one year of the term left vacant when George Smith was elected mayor, was unsuccessful. He polled 261 votes. John Rhodes and Jack Vessels, both of whom previously served on Lewes Council, were also un- successful in their bids. Rhodes received 179 votes while Vessels received 153. A total of 773 Lewes residents voted, 71 percent of the 1,082 who were registered. That total is down from the 875 voters who came out in 1994 when the may- or's seat and two council seats were up for election. Cleaver and Sheehan will be sworn into office for their two year terms at the Monday, June 12 meeting of Mayor and Council. Following the election, Cleaver said he plans to focus on resolving a lot of issues that have been tabled and postponed. "There are things that have been lingering on that the town needs to come to a decision on. Do something - do something. Get it finished." Cleaver said he likes to work quietly to get things moving. "I've already, started to work on the DiSabatino building. A lot of Lewes Council sets executive session Members of Lewes's Mayor and Council plan to meet Tuesday, June 20 in executive session with Tempe Steen, city solicitor, to dis- cuss Jack Wardngton's contract as director of public safety. Steen has been reviewing the contract since the April 10 Lewes Council meeting when Council member Elinor Sheehan requested that it be reviewed. Her report is expected to be the focus of the June 20 meeting. "Elinor wants to know just how binding the contract we have with Jack is," said Mayor George Smith. "So we'll discuss what Tempe has found and take a look at the legal ramifications of any action we could eventually take, if any, based on her findings." Smith said the meeting with Steen had originally been scheduled for June 8. "But now, since there is a new member of council [George Cleaver], the date has been changed since he will be in- volved in any future dealings we may have concerning the public safety position." Smith has said repeatedly that he believes Warrington's contract, which expires at the end of June, 1996, should be honored. "The le- gal problems that could arise by not honoring the contract could cost us more than what we're paying Jack [$33,600]," said Smith. Sheehan, following election to her second two year term, said she sees things differently: "I don't think the public safety director position is necessary so the question is should we have Jack do another year at a cost to the city of $33,6007 I feel the contract can be ended sooner. I want to do away with the job. If there's no job, there's no contract. The city charter says the public safety director serves at the pleasure of coun- cil. Because of that I feel that the contract is illegal." Warrington has said on a number of occasions that he plansto serve out his contract and then give up the position. - Dennis Forney people call it the DeBraak but it doesn't look anything like the De- Braak did [on Lewes Beach]. I'd just like to see it finished. It wouldn't look nearly as bad if it were finished." Cleaver said he also plans to see some action taken on the Director of Public Safety Position. "I'm not talking about Jack Warrington [who currently holds the position]. What I'm talking about is paying $33,000 a year for a job that can be done by a volunteer. I think the position should be eliminated as a paid position. I also want to see some movement on the Long Range Plan. We have the final Open Space report and the final Annexation report. I don't think we have to wait for the final zon- ing report before we start acting. Open Space and Annexation are two important areas. We should start acting. I want to act, not re- act." Elinor Sheehan said she was very happy that George Cleaver won. "I think I can work with George. He's been attending meetings for years and knows more about what's going on than anyone else in Lewes." " Sheehan said she plans to con- tinue pursuing elimination of the Public Safety Director position [see related article] and wants to continue to work toward clearing up problems related with the leas- ing of certain lands in Lewes. THANK YOU Your Support Supporting your Schools. June Shipley Turansky