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July 28, 2000     Cape Gazette
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20 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, July 28 -Aug. 3, 2000 Candidates Continued from page 1 done," while McGuiness has been a fundamental player in Rehoboth Main Street. chair the fireworks committee and has been active in the downtown revitalization ef- forts. One property owner in the audi- ence, Preston Littleton, said he was "very impressed" with Trosclair's foresight and knowl- edge, asking fellow members to" refrain from endorsing two of the candidates and allow members to "exercise their own judgment" in the voting booth. Hilderley assured him that every member has the right to vote for the candidates of choice; however. RBHA traditionally sup- ports candidates they feel best represent their platform. Member Greg Oliver replied he feels the organization should be non-parti- saN. There Was more agreement With Littleton from the audience, not- ing they were impressed with Trosclair and his grasp of the facts facing the city. Sargent's motion carries Sargent gai'nered support for his motion from Mable Granke, a member of the planning commis- sion. "I'm totally involved in try- ing to protect the city from the county and I've worked with Kat[v in reaching beyond the bor- de'f the city, while Don has ex- perience on Route I and within the city. He's fair and listens to both sides." Granke said. "Both of them are willing to look at options and alternatives and they are two people who can do a good job for the city." McGuiness's husband. Steve. an RBHA member, told the audience that his wife is "a real go-getter. She brought back the fireworks and spearheaded downtown revi- talizati'on and she's a family per- son who scoops spaghetti at the Community Unity Dinner. Gary hasn't participated as a volunteer in this community." RBHA and planning commis- sion member Ed Cerullo agreed that Trosclair is very well spoken. however, he questioned his in- volvement in civic affairs as well. noting he is "conspicuous by his absence." McGuiness. on the oth- er hand. is very involved in both small and significant commumty projects, he said. While not agree- ing with all of Derrickson's views, Cerdllo said he puts in a lot of time and effort and works in a "collegial fashion." Observing Trosclair at Neigh- borhood Preservation Ordinance (NPO) meetings, Cerullo said: "I've not seen any contributions. .just snickering in the audience." Member Jay Smith also remind- ed everyone of Derrickson's ef- forts as chairman cf the parking .committee and his role in institut- ing the residential parking permit system that has eased crowded conditions in a number of neigh- borhoods. Trlsh Vernon photo At the Friday, July 21 candidates forum, candidates (l-r) Kathy McGuiness, Donald Derrick. son and Gary Trosclair field questions from the audience while Cliff Hilderley of the RBHA moderates o- With urging-from Hilderley to • ;, ,.'y , vote on the motion to ,upport Derrickson and McGuiness, it passed handily with little more discussion• Prior to the discus- sion and vote, the candidates had the floor, given an opportunity at the outset to introduce themselves to the membership. Trosclair has commitment Trosclair, noting be is the only candidate who actually lives in town while his opponents own property within the city limits, said he has learned a lot about compromising with people during his career with the Department of Public Health. Upon retiring, he purchased the Cabana Gardens Bed and Breakfast on Lake Av- enue and ,serves on the Rehoboth Main Streetboardof directors. He is also a RBHA member "and I have a strongeommitmont to pro- tect and maintain the charm of Rehoboth Beach." He added that he has attended all board of commissioners and neighborhood preservatmn meet- ings "so "I'm well versed on the issues and | have a lot of ideas, having listened to concerns in the city." Parking and traffic conges- tion. pedestrian safety, neighbor- hood preservation and beach re- plenishment are issues he finds important, as is downtown revital- ization. McGuiness very active McGuiness, who lives in Hen- Iopen Acres, attended Rehoboth elementary and junior high schools and graduated from Cape Henlopen High School. eventual- ly graduating from pharmacy school in Boston prior to return- ing to operate Rehoboth Pharma- cy in 1994. She is the first and former president of Rehoboth Main Street and now the treasurer and chairman of promotions and fireworks, having also chaired the Chocolate Festival and Commu- nity Unity Dinner• 'Tve been very active and busy and I've met many volunteers who are both residents and visitors. I'm runnm,g because I care about Rehoboth and I grew up here. I'd like to see downtown revitaliza- tion carried out and get the pub- lic's feelings on the final draft of the Neighborhood Preservation Ordinance," McGuiness told them, adding that she wants to in- vestigate other alternatives to beach replenishment than pump: ing sand. Derrickson has experience Derrickson, who owns the Sandcastle Motel" in town and the Heritage Inn on Route 1 lives out- side of Lewes but is a native of Rehoboth Beach and has lived here all of his life except for dur- ing a stint in the Navy. He told them he has enjoyed serving on the Board of Commissioners be- cause he likes to contribute• "I try to be fair and I have experience. I love this town and strive to do the best I can," Derrickson said, citing downtown revitalization as his pet project. The candidates fielded the first question from Burton Barr, who asked whether they believe the city solicitor should be replaced. There has been some dissatisfac- tion with Walt Speakman's opin- ion that the planning commis- sion's denial of lot partitionings was illegal. Trosclair said Speak- man is merely interpreting case law established in Delaware, while Derrickson said he believes Speakman is doing a good job, as did McGuiness. Preservation hot topic Granke asked their opinion on the NPO, with McGuiness again noting she wants to inspect the fi- nal draft, although she favors the goal of preserving neighborhoods as well as revitalizing the com- mercial areas• She said she will reserve judgment on the NPO un- til she hears the public's views at the upcoming hearings. Derrickson termed NPO a den- sity issue and said he would like the final product to be as simple as possible• Trosclair noted efforts to insti- tute the NPO stem from the sell- ing off of increasingly expensive lots on which larger homes are be- ing built that are out of character in particular neighborhoods, a concern he termed valid He said, however, that the draft NPO does= n't address the demolition of older homes, and although it isn't al- ways possilSle to save them, some measures could be taken to help preserve them. He also termed the proposed NPO "a bit drastic and complicated•" Trosclair said while some. peo- ple are upset with the proposed NPO,they will have a right to Speak out at the hearings "and to- gether we can come up. with a good ordinance" that will pre- serve property values and the character of the neighborhoods. McGuiness, noting "new isn't necessarily ugly and old isn't nec- essarily beautiful," said if demoli- tion of an older building is neces- sary, that perhaps a structure very similar in size could be built in its place• Replenishment an issue The candidates also addressed beach replenishment, with Trosclair saying Delaware's beaches are second only to Texas in. the rate of ..h erosion• He explained thereis $3 million in the federal budget earmarked for replemsbment,'with $72 million over 50 years f a project that wouidestablish an artificial dune and projects are included in the 2001 budget, although nothing is etched in stone. "We need to work to secure the funding be- cause we have 5 million visitors a year who pump $5 million a year into our economy," he said. "The beach is why we're here, but I don't know:,that pumping sand is the nght:vcay to go. We need to bring in,eperts to explore alternatives such(as an artificial reef and researeffour options," McGuiness said, noting "the beach is our primary focus and we need to lobby for funding." Derrickson said while experts don't agree on the method to use to protect the beaches, it will take a lot of money, agreeing with McGuiness that pumping sand probably isn't the best method. "Artificial reefs? Sunken ships? I don't know, but we need to do something, although admitting that the city has very little power, as the state and Army Corps gov- ern the beach." Sewage plant a problem The state's mandate that Re- hoboth Beach spend-millions of dollars to upgrade its sewage treatment plant is an issue that was brought to the floor. Derrick- son said he would like to see the city hook into the county system anti_eventually quit discharging into the canal and that Rehoboth shouldn't be totally responsible, as it treats Dewey and North Shores sewage• Trosclair agreed the city should tie into the county system, while McGuiness said She would like to explore other options• Parking discussed Littleton asked the candidates how they can solve the dilemma of getting in and of town on busy summer weekends• McGuiness said that with the downtown revitalization project, they can explore new traffic pat- terns, such as having one lane in and two lanes out when people are leaving the beach. Derrickson noted that Rehoboth has no power outside city limits where the traffic is going and coming from, adding the answer has to start out on Route 1. Trosclair termed it a "tough nut to crack because there's just a lot of traffic. That's not to say we can't continue to work with the state and the county•" He said that revising flow, adding and sub- tracting lanes during peak traffic times could alleviate the problem a bit. Concerning parking, Derrick- son reminded thereof bisfailure to garner monetary support from enough fellow merchants to build a downtown parking garage, He noted, however, that the permit system is working well, as is the park and ride, although he would like to see smaller nondiesel bus- es in town and banish them from the Boardwalk staging area. Trosclair cited the DelDOT study that shows there are me- tered parking spaces empty even during peak times, While McGui- ness noted that everyone wants to park in the first blocks near the ocean. She said perhaps a tram or trolley could be implemented rather than the large buses, and they could use a staging area be- hind the Bandstand rather than up at the Boardwalk. Bike path-favored Asked how they feel about in- stituting a bike Oath between Lewes and Rehoboth, Derrickson said he has always liked the idea if they can work out environmen- tal iszues. Trosclair agreed it is a good idea, although with Re- hoboth's narrow streets, he said, adding more bicycles could be dangerous• Kramedas also con- curred but said she wouldn't want a paved road between the commu- nities• Asked their feelings on an "overzealous police department and chief, who spend a lot of wasted time enforcing nuisance statutes." McGuiness said she doesn't believe in the police hid- ing in the bushes to catch speed- ers. "I'd like to see a casual, more friendly police system," she said. "I always wanted an Andy Tay- lor rather than a Barney Fife." Derrickson told them, adding the police unionization "is a mess." Trosclair admitted that the police have a difficult job. "They are here to enforce what's enacted. and their priorities reflect what the citizens tell them. The mayor can establish priorities on enforc- ing ordinances with input from the citizens," he said.