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Lewes, Delaware
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June 17, 2008     Cape Gazette
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June 17, 2008
 

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q-- 8 TUESDAY, JUNE 17 - THURSDAY, JUNE 19, 2008 NEWS Cape Gazette Quiet negotiations take place among homeowners Ethics investigation denied at Leg Hall By Kevin Spence kspence@capegazette.com Manufactured homeowners say they are working quietly to come up with a compromise be- fore the Legislature recesses Monday, June 30. Following a bit- ter meeting that took place be- tween homeowners and park owners in May, homeowners say they were maltreated and re- quested an ethics investigation into the behavior of Rep. Bob. Valihura, R-Wilmington, who oversaw the talks. In the meantime, Ed Speraw, president of the Delaware Man- ufactured Home Owners Associ- ation, said he was given a green light for a proposed compromise on June 3, after meeting with homeowners at the Colonial East manufactured home com- munity in Midway. The controversy began and continues over Senate Bill 122, a measure that would allow home- owners the f'n-st chance to buy a park if it should go up for sale. The bin was passed in the Senate but it has been held in subcom- mittee since last year. Speraw said he is ready to sub- mit recent revisions of S.B. 122 - agreed upon at the June 3 meet- ing. He refused to disclose the revisions until he presents them to legislators and park owners in Dover. "There was a good showing and the people unanimously agreed with me to go ahead with what we have.on S.B. 122," said Speraw. Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Re- hoboth Beach, also sits on the manufactured home subcom- mittee. Schwartzkopf said he, subcommittee member Rep. Va- lerie Longhurst, D-Bear, and Val- ihura have been meeting with homeowners and park owners to pound out a compromise. "It is my goal to have some- thing in place by June 30 to pro- vide the best return on invest- ment for park owners and give the homeowners the right to buy Dewey Continued from page 5 said Glenn Mandalas informed her the moratorium would pre- vent amendments and changes to existing plans and applica- tions. Brady, who submitted a letter of resignation to Dewey Beach Friday, June 13, and recommend- ed Mandalas for the position of town solicitor, smiled in re- s'ponse to Hanson's statement. Mayor Dell Tush said she doesn't believe the town can go back and tell people they can't amend plans they've already filed, but added that it didn't matter because she understood that the Ruddertowne redevel- opment site plan was going to the Dewey Beach Board of Ad- ]nstment for review. Despite his concerns, Cooke voted in favor of the ordinance. He said it could help with park- ing issues by preventing addi- tional restaurant applications and would not affect anybody who had already put in an appli- cation. "As far as I can tell, John Brady has consistently said it doesn't affect anything already in the pipeline," Cooke said, identifying the Ruddertowne redevelop- ment proiect as the only pending maior application he is aware of. Hanson, Tush and Hanewinckel ]oined Cooke. Walsh abstained. Mandalas could not be reached for comment. Hanson vehemently denied claims that she is anti-business. "So don't say I'm anti-business. I'm not. I'm pro-Dewey Beach," she said. "Get the comprehensive plan done, do it quickly and then the moratorium lifts," Hanson said. their homes and protect their own investments," Schwartzkopf said. Last year, he said no deal was reached between park and homeowners. Since then, four parks have been sold - with no option in place for homeowners to buy their parks. An ethics investigation re- quest came after a contentious meeting when Valihura told homeowners to shut up, slammed his fist on the table and used profane language during May negotiations. Three mem- bers of the Delaware Manufac- tured Home Owners Associa- tion sent letters to the House of Representatives Ethics Commit- tee requesting an investigation into Valihura's behavior. Speraw was having surgery during the May 27 meeting, which began - and ended - at an impasse. But, after hearing about what homeowners called their disrespectful treatment at the meeting, Speraw sent a June 3 letter requesting an ethics inves- tigation. Homeowner lobbyist John Walsh and association member Bobbi Hemmerich, who said they were both offend- ed, sent their own letters re- Continued on page 11 Got a Scooter? Join the Club; Rehoboth Scooter Club Now Forming group Rides Scooter Events Charity Rides All makes & First Meeting 11:gg pJW Sunday, June 22 at $.0.B. '$ Bali 56 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach 302-227-4878 J SELL YOUR GOLD & SILVER AT THE CAPTAIN'S COTTAGE THURSDAY, JUNE 19TH - SATURDAY, JUNE 21ST 10 A.M. - 6 P.M. Instead of letting it take up space in your jewelry box, recycle your old, broken, and unwanted gold and silver, as well as your sterling silver flatware and hollowware. Smyth Jewelers will pay generously for your gold and silver. Captain s N Cottage, Ltd. PLEASE CALL 800.638.3333 FOR MORE INFORMATION. I I