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June 20, 1997     Cape Gazette
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14 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, June 20 - June 26, 1997 Lewes Planners grant preliminary OK to assisted-riving subdivision By Dennis Forney Gilman Development Company of Wilmington moved one step closer this week to its 80 unit as- sisted living facility and age-re- stricted residential development between Savannah Road and Kings Highway in Lewes. Lewes Planning Commission members granted preliminary ap- proval for a major subdivision of 16.45 acres which would create a six acre parcel on Savannah Road and a 10.45 acre parcel on Kings Highway. Approval followed a public hearing on the' proposal. Al- though little concern was ex- pressed during the hearing about the proposed use of the lands an- nexed into Lewes a number of months back, there were concerns expressed about the developer's likelihood of receiving approval for an entrance permit for the Kings Highway parcel. Mike Comegys of Gracious Living Inc., a subsidiary of Gilman, which is proposing to de- velop the lands owned currently by Ossie Warrington, spoke to the concerns. "We've been in touch with Delaware Department of Trans- portation officials," said Com- egys, "and the question doesn't seem to be whether We'll get an entrance permit but rather where it will be." "We're willing to commit to coming back to this stage of the process again if we don't receive an entrance approval if that's what it takes,to get preliminary ap- proval," offered Comegys. But Planning Commission member Cliff Diver made a motion to grant preliminary approval with- out any conditions. "I can't see where we'd be able to get to .the final approval stage without an entrance permit to the Kings Highway site," said Diver, "so I don't see the need for any conditions." Planning Commission member Sam Russell seconded Diver's motion and members approved This is an artist's conception of what Gracious Living*s proposed asSisted-living facility on Savannah Road in Lewes would look like. the motion unanimously. Comegys said his next step would be to get all necessary ap- provais before returning for final approval. He said Gracious Living Inc. continues to plan to construct an 80 unit assisted living complex on the six-acre parcel fronting on Kings Highway. The three story building with a 26,000 square foot footprint would provide health care and dining facilities for resi- dents . Comegys said while the assisted living plans are solid, plans for the Kings Highway parcel remain less firm. "We're still looking at an age-restricted development of res- idential units which could include some single-family attached units as well as some single family de- tached units. But it's really too early to say." Rehoboth officials meet with police on union contract By Rosanne Pack bargaining ieam. He said that many hours how professional my delivery is and on my tic, extra personnel on duty or any thing out of meetings led up to developing the pro- posed contract. He said chosen representa- tives, from the department and IBT officials sought input from all department officers and they reviewed citycode books and con- sulted existing contracts of other like cities. "We even went on the internet, to make sure we got comparisons, and we reviewed as many examples as we could before we ommitted our ideas to paper," Corbin said. "Tonight, we gave copies to all the com- missioners and said, 'Here's what we want.' "Money is only one of many different things that we want to address in a contract. And it is not the biggest thing. Attitudes to- ward the members of the police department are very important; procedures regarding promotion, discipline and grievances are big. What it comes down to is that we want a contract that is fair and reasonable." According to Billy Mendenall, IBT inter- national representative with the public em- ployee division, the contract document con- tains 50 articles on such issues as wages, benefits, hours and working conditions. He said many of the items included are stan- dard in the contracts of many police depart- ments nationwide. "I've represented police departments for years now; and I've been complemented on contract language," Mendenall said. "I've always been treated as a professional who is representing professionals. This contract contains federal protections such a the fight to union representation, just cause clauses regarding disciplinary matters, the fight to an objective grievance process. "And one thing we have included specifi- cally is that each officer will have only one personnel file, and officers will have the right to review everything that is in that tile." Corbin thinks that the majority of city commissioners are willing to talk with members of the police department in order to reach a fair contract. He said a successful bargaining process depends on each side hearing the othir with an open mind. "I would like to be part of the rule making rather than just be handed instructions with- out having a chance to provide input," the sergeant said. "Too often we receive a memo on a policy or procedure, and we have to act on it. It needs to be recognized that we are on the front line with the public, we are the ones who hear from the public if they don't like something. "An example of the police not being in- cluded in planning is this fireworks display on Fourth of July weekend. We have not been consulted or included in plans for traf- of the ordinary. We know nothing of the plans. This is the type of thing we mean when we talk about attitudes and respect for our professional experience." Mendenall said that the IBT has given city officials a list of potential dates and re- quested that more than one day be sched- uled at a time for bargaining. He Said it is now up to the city to select meeting dates. Cooper said that the city will communi- cate with the IBT within a week; however, he could notestimate when the actual bar- gaining sessions will be scheduled. If a spe- cial legal counsel is selected, he said the en- tire board of commissioners will probably meet with him or her before bargaining be- gins. "I don't want the police department to think that we are dragging our heels. I hope they appreciate that this is a new process for us," the mayor said. "We've got to feel comfortable with it. And at this point, we haven't had time to go - over the contract page by page. That will take some time." "We've put a lot of hours on our own tinie into working on this contract," Corbin said. "We don't want the commissioners to look at us as the bad guys. what it all boils down to is that we want to be treated fair- ly." Rehoboth city officials, representatives of Rehoboth Police and representatives of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) sat down,face-to-face for the first time since members of the police depart- ment voted overwhelmingly to affiliate themselves with the union. The vote was in February, and this week's preliminary meeting took place Wednesday night. The meeting was conducted in executive session with the full board of commission- ers; and the purpose was to introduce a pro- posed contract, and to establish ground rules for the bargaining process. Acknowl- edging that this is the first time city com- missioners have been involved in negotiat- ing union issues, Rehoboth Beach Mayor Sam Cooper said that they will investigate hiring an independent legal counsel that specializes in union contract law. He said identifying such a legal counsel will help determine who will represent the city on a bargaining team. Cooper said that the entire board of com- missioners will not be involved in the bar- gaining process. He could not estimate when the city will be ready to begin con- tract negotiations. Rehoboth Beach Police Sgt. Michael Corbin has been selected as a spokesperson for the department-, and he will act on the Complaint against Rehoboth police chief dropped By Rosanne Pack A September 1996, complaint charge filed against Rehoboth Beach Chief of Police Creig Doyle has been dismissed by the Delaware Attorney General's Of- rice. Filed by Susan Seger-Masofi on behalf of her son, Beau Mason, the complaint charged the chief with harassment and false arrest of the Hagerstown. Md. teenager. In explaining the decision to drop the complaint charge, Robei't Carmine said the attorney gener- al's office could find no :riminal activity on the part of Doyle. Carmine, an investigator in the at- torney general's office, said the investigation included interviews, review of reports of the event and statements taken from some of those itwolved. The incident leading to the com- plaint involved Doyle tackling Beau Mason after a verbal con- frontation in the pavilion area of the Boardwalk at Wilmington Av- enue on Aug. 22, 1996. Mason al- leged that he had complied with the chief's instruction to get down from the back of the pavilion benches when Doyle approached him again and verbally assaulted him. Mason was arrested for disor- derly conduct and resisting arrest after the two exchanged words and the teenager struggled with Doyle when the chief allegedly lunged at him and tackled him in the process of making an arrest. In a family court hearing.in March of this year, Mason was found not guilty of disorderly con- duct. but guilty of resisting arrest. Carmine said that material pre- sented and the decision in that hearing was taken into account in determining the validity of the complaint. "Our operating procedure in a complaint case is to determine if there is criminal conduct. In this case, we concluded that there was no criminal activity and no basis for a complaint," Carmine said. "Now, you need to Understand that is as far as we go. We do not interfere in the administration of a city or in the policy of a depart- ment. "Any administrative action in the way of a reprimand or other operational procedures are left to the city. It is not up to us to go in- to that." Gregory Ferrese, Rehoboth Beach city manager, said that there wilt be no further action tak- en by the city regarding the inci- dent. Ferrese said that Doyle was acting on specific instructions to clean up inappropriate behaviors in the vicinity of the Wilmington Continued on page 16