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Lewes, Delaware
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June 7, 1996     Cape Gazette
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June 7, 1996

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e - Dee[ . anuL - ? amJ ,b ,TX qAO 8 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, June 7 - June 13, 1996 tters Continued from page 6 2. The failure to properly search an arrested suspect by a Lewes police officer and the discovery of a handgun on the individual in Magistrate Court. 3. The admitted rape, not al- leged rape, of two women in the Lewes police station by the same above mentioned police officer and two more major lawsuits by the victims against the City of Lewes. 4. The controversial hiring and resigning of the recent Lewes po- lice chief, Stone. 5. The statement by Mrs. Leonardo at the May 13 council meeting praising Chief Stone for eliminating a drug problem in her neighborhood and stating that since his resignation the problem had returned. 6. The claims of certain Lewes police officers at the same May 13 council meeting that Chief Stone's term as police chief was only a smoke screen; that he had nothing to do with the drug raid that cleaned up a Lewes commu- nity. 7. The reply to these accusa- tions by Chief Stone in all the lo- cal newspapers, denying all the statements made by the Lewes po- lice officers. These are the indisputable facts concerning the Lewes Police De- partment in the order in which they occurred. When the citizens of Lewes, re- gardless of who you voted for in the recent Lewes election, look at this entire picture, how do you feel? This citizen of Lewes does not feel so good. I cannot in good conscience be quiet or content until an educa- tion, committed, experienced po- lice chief is in place in the city of Lewes and the highest standards of law enforcement are estab- lished by our city council. The Lewes police force has some good officers, but they need strong leadership, including a responsi- ble mayor and council to guide them into the 21st century. Some suggestions I would make would be for the Lewes City Council to set a policy stating that no future police officers be hired in the City of Lewes unless they have at least an associate degree in criminal justice, that all current police officers must obtain an as- sociate degree in criminal justice within four years, that all officers must maintain a regular educa- tional program during the four year period with at least a C aver- age or better, and that all future pay raises for Lewes police offi- cers have a built in schedule based on educational achievement. In today's world, police work has become more and more so- phisticated. In order to provide a community with the police service it deserves, police officers must be educated in ethics, social services, empathy training, criminology, criminal .low and constitutional law. To my knowledge, there is only one officer on the entire Lewes police force who has an associate degree. Delaware Tech in Georgetown has an excellent criminal justice program under retired Delaware State Trooper Howard Pinder. Pinder has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the Univer- sity of Delaware and a master's degree in criminology from American University. I have spoken with him on many occasions and he would in- deed be willing to work out a pro- gram with the Lewes Police De- partment. There is no excuse for the citi- zens of Lewes not to have the best possible police chief and the best possible police force. The oppor- tunity is now there to implement a new era of leadership for the Lewes Police Department and a new era of responsibility from the community. I campaigned in the recent Lewes election on these issues and I lost to Tony Pratt by only 28 votes. Mr. Pratt, you have been sent a message by the people of Lewes. I challenge all you council members, including Mayor George Smith, Tony Pratt, Jim Ford, George Cleaver and Eleanor Sheehan to do the right thing for the citizens of Lewes by creating a police department we can all be proud of. We will be waiting to see what you do! A. Judson Bennett Recent candidate Lewes City Council Deja vu for Cape School Board Do my eyes and ears deceive me? Are we trapped in a perverted version of "Ground Hog Day?" Or do some things never change? Well, that can't be exactly true. The faces do change. It's only the message that stays the same. I re- fer, of course, to the Cape Hen- lopen School Board's decision to bar their member-elect from exec- utive session before being sworn in  for the second time in as many years. What's the reason for creating this flap? Is it arrogance? i.e., you can't play with us until we say so! Perhaps it's sour grapes, i.e., we didn't really want you to win, so we'll keep you on the sidelines as long as possible! Maybe it's a hid- den agenda, i.e., we have to de- cide what to do about X, Y and Z before this reactionary comes on the scene! Of course, these cloak and dag- ger scenarios are probably as un- founded and ridiculous as they sound. However, the school board stu- pidly opens the door to such spec- ulation by creating suspicions in the guise of political correctness or hair splitting the law. WHY? Don't you board incumbents real- ize you fuel the fires of suspicion among the community with such actions? Don't the lessons of Wa- tergate and Travel-gate cover-ups ring any bells? Admittedly, the analogies may seem a bit extreme, but neverless they are analogous. You might al- so look toward recent local events that took place under your very noses. Or, have you all forgotten that three incumbents from your own body have been soundly defeated by the voters in the past two years. In fact, if you recall, the member- elect you refused admission to the executive session replaced one of them. Remember? Don't you people suppose that such tactics just may have some- thing to do with very evident voter dissatisfaction? Get real, people! People don't vote for change only to see things stay the same. In the process, it's inevitable that some good people will fall by the wayside for stupid reasons. A! Derickson Lewes Shields PTA thanks everyone Shields Elementary School PTA would like to recognize and extend our thanks to everyone who made Staff Appreciation Week a grand event! With parents and businesses like yourselves, your generosity showed our teach- ers and staff how much we value their dedication to the lives and future of Shields Elementary stu- dents. We would like to extend "Thanks" to the following: Ann Marie's Italian & Seafood Restau- rant, Ashby's Oyster.House, Bad Hair Day, Bayberry Flowers, Beach Tans and Hair Designs, Bellinger's Jewelers, Browseabout Books, Cape Gazette, Chelsea and Crew, Colonel Mustard's Phabulous Phat Burgers, Crabtree and Eve- lyn, Creative Impressions, Dewey Beach Club, Barbara Donahue (Mary Kay representative), Exel's, Gertie's Green Grocer, Gilligan' s Restaurant; Goff' s IGA, Green Leaf Florist, Heaven in a Hand Basket, Kid's Ketch and K-Mart (Rehoboth). Additional "Thanks" go to Kupchick's Restaurant, Lamp Post Restaurant, Little Greek Boys Restaurant, Lowe's, Mid- way Office & Art Supply, Mur- row's Flowers & Gifts, Nicola Pizza, Oby Lee Coffee Roast- cry/Lewes Bake Shoppe, Ocean- Bayside Outlets, Pack Rat, Parsell, Atkins and Lodge Funeral Homes, Peebles Department Store, Rehoboth Outlet Center, Rose & Crown Restaurant and Pub, Rusty Rudder Inc., Sharkey's Video, Sir Guy's Restaurant and Pub LTD., Small Craft Advisory, Stillwater Herb Farm, Tan De- lights, The Barn at Five Points, The Buttery Restaurant, The Chop Shop, The Edge, The Jetty, The Roadhouse Steak Joint, Totally Tina's, Traders' Jewelry and Gift Shop. and Windsor's Flowers and Plants. Ruth Ann Baker PTA Staff Appreciation Chairperson Lewes Milton to change f'mancial reporting practices By Kerry Kester The Town of Milton will adjust some of its accounting practices as a result of its last fiscal year au- dit, which indicated the town may be starting to undergo some nega- tivefinancial trends. Auditors said during the Monday, June 3 town meeting that although the town has strong cash reserves, new financial management strate- gies are needed to improve its fiduciary health, According to Thomas Sombar, certified public accountant and partner in Sombar & Cimo, the town's $3.9 million in total assets is approximately $20,000 less than last year. "Your cash [over $300,000] is still very strong," said Sombar to the Milton Town Council members. "They certain- ly have a reasonable reserve there," he said later. Liabilities are up, he said, and accounts payable went down, which he said is a positive for the town. "And there is essentially no debt," he explained. However, he said he is con- cerned with a couple of aspects of Milton's finances. "There' s been some consumption of assets through normal depreciation and some other things," he said. "Some negative trends appear to be there. There's been somewhat of a decline in revenue." Milton, he explained, needed to use more than $65,000 from its re- serves last year, which dropped its reserve funds from $177,301 dur- ing the 1994 fiscal year to $111,823 for the past year. It's a concern, said Sombar, but "not to the point of being a problem." Mayor Jack Bushey said that the reserve funds are sufficient to cover the cost of the two larger debts the town has incurred - re- pairing and repainting the Water tower and the town's new dump truck. "But you don't want to spend all of your cash reserves in case of emergency," he said. Part of last year's expenditures included a $30,000 tax reassess- ment, which led to a number of properties being taxed at a higher rate. Sombar noted that those rev- enues are not reflected in the au- dit. "I'm almost positive we'll see some significant increases [in rev- enues] next year," he said. "There are some things that need some attention," Sombar said. For example, he suggested the town keep more current with its financial information.on a monthly basis. Gordon Harmon, senior staff accountant, recommended the town alter its internal record keep- ing system to be more consistent with the standard accounting pro- cedures accountants use. Howev- er, he noted, even if the town be- gan implementing the changes im- mediately, the system would prob- ably not have a big impact until the next fiscal year. With the town' s purchase of a new comput- er system with up-to-date ac- counting software, that data will be easier to monitor. Another problem Harmon noted was that most bills were being paid from a general account. They should, he said, be paid through separate accounts within the general ledger. He also rec- ommended that those bills that are paid each month be listed and in- cluded with the officially recorded Milton Town Council meeting minutes. Harmon also suggested the town take an extra measure for recording its source documents. He suggested that whomever re- ceives an invoice should initial it, as well as packing slips, upon re- ceipt. Presently the standard pro- cedure is for packing slips to be signed tipon receipt, but as council member Dennis Hughes pointed out, the packing slips often .are not reunited with the invoices. Har- mon also suggested that paid in- voices be kept separately from un- paid invoices. "The town's in no danger - that's for sure," said Sombar. It does, however, need to monitor its expenses, alter its accounting practicesand be careful with its budgeting. The Milton Town Council will be meeting with the accountant during it Wednesday, June 12 7 p.m. workshop meeting at the Town Hall. "We'll definite- ly do what he suggests for us," said Bushey. "Why have an ac- countant if you're not going to ac- cept his recommendations?" The council will soon be start- ing its budgeting process, with the first draft due by July 30. "It's go- ing to be a real challenge," said Bushey. "We're going to have to take a real hard look at everything and stay within our means." Inland Bays water quality volunteers sought Volunteers are needed to help monitor water quality of Delaware's in- land bays in a program sponsored by the University of Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service. Volunteers are part of a system that builds a long-term data base to help scientists and resource managers learn more about the bay's health. The citizen's monitoring service of- fers a short training program and volunteers are given a site where they collect data on air and water temperature, salinity, pH, dissolved oxy- gen, water depth and clarity, nutrient concentrations, and bacteria levels at locations around the bays. Volunteers are. particularly needed on the ocean side of Rehoboth Bay, the upper Indian River, the south side of Indian River Bay and along Little Assawoman Bay. It takes volunteers an average of one hour a week during summer months, and one hour, every other week during the winter. For information contact Joe Fun'ell, 645-4250. A training session for new monitors is scheduled for June.