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August 15, 1997     Cape Gazette
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August 15, 1997

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12 - CAPE GAZETYE, Friday, August 15 - August 21, 1997 Rehoboth Beach voters elect Cochran, Derrickson to Board of Commissioners Voters in the City of Rehoboth Beach sent incumbent candidate Bitsy Cochran back to the Board of Commissioners for a second three-year term and elected Don Derrickson, a former commissioner, to the other seat up for election on Saturday, Aug. 9. Cochran was the top vote getter with 553 votes, followed by Derrickson's 432 votes. Former commissioner Jack Salin tallied 305 votes. A total of 719 votes were cast out of more than 1,300 eligible voters; 44 were cast by absentee ballot. Above left, head election judge the Rev. John Dean reads the results as can- didates Cochran and Salin, joined by Bill Bahan (left) take down the figures. Center, Cochran is congratulated by Kay Wheatley, while Dayna Quillen looks on, and at right, Derrickson (left) shakes hands with Commissioner Jack Hyde. Following the election, Cochran termed the turn out in her favor "very grat- ifying. It's overwhelming that you must go around asking people to vote for you and they make a point of doing so." Her first priority as she begins her second term is replacement of the old water tower and installation of a new well. "We may need to review the pre- sent water rates to find the necessary revenue to do the work," Cochran not- ed. She also stressed the importance of maintaining the town infrastructure and she will work to improve management and promotion of convention cen- ter, with funding for a new kitchen there and the need to look at replacing the floors. Derrickson, who ran an especially low key campaign, also pointed to water rates as an area they must examine, while his main thrust will be to look into the construction and funding of a parking garage. "The business community must come to the plate with the money to help defray the cost of a garage or the idea will be dead in the water," Derrickson said. "A garage would not on- ly be a boon to the business community, however. It would also help preserve our neighborhoods." Better lines of communication between the board and police department is another area Derrickson believes to be important, "and I plan to hit the ground running." The two will assume office on Saturday, Sept. 12, when outgoing Commis- sioner Jan Konesey will step down from the board. Incumbents share spotlight at Dewe:y candidates forum By Jen EUingsworth While northern neighbor Rehoboth Beach went to the polls for its municipal election last week, the Dewey Beach con- tingent also had issues of candidacy in mind when the town's civic league hosted its an- nual candidates forum Saturday, Aug. 9, at the Rusty Rudder. With the Thursday, Aug.-21, filing dead- line looming near, there haven't been any takers for the race thus far. Three seats are available, those of incumbent commission- ers Jim Bracken, James Lavelle and Bill Tansey. Dewey Beach Civic League President Bobbi Turk said she was pleased with the healthy turnout of citizens for the sixth an- nual forum, and felt the commissioners have arduous agendas in mind. "It was very exciting," she said. "The things that came up were all of the things we've been wanting for many years - safety issues and the cleanliness and beautifica- tion of our town. "I think we're in a new place. We're fo- cusing on healthy things and creating a very visible, tourist-friendly town." The civic league boasts a roster of 376 from 220 households and publishes two newsletters a year. The league's latest newsletter will publish at the end of the month, and will feature views from all three incumbents. If no one else files for the three seats be- fore the Aug. 21 deadline, there will be no election on Saturday, Sept. 20. Anyone interested in running for a seat on the Dewey Beach Board of Commis- sioners must file a formal letter of intent at the town hall on Rodney Street by Thurs- day, Aug. 21, at 5 p.m. For more information, call the Dewey Beach Town Hall at 227-6363. Bob Spengler, civic league vice president and moderator for the forum, called the function to order, and lamented the absence of Lavelle from the "BLT Ticket" because of a scheduled business vacation. "We don't have the lettuce, we just have the bacon and tomato," he said, noting that Dewey Beach Mayor Bob Frederick was on hand to field questions and to read Lavelle's prepared statement. Spengler presented the three men with the following question prepared by the civic league: "You are running for an office with a term of two years. What is your vision of Dewey Beach in two years and what steps will you take to attain your vision?" Jim Bracken Bracken, a Dewey Beach commissioner for four years who is also a former civic league president and chair of the planning and zoning committee, was first to respond. He is seeking his third term as a commis- sioner. He said although he is pleased with "pos- itive changes that have taken place in Dewey," he feels that there is still more work to be done. "We [the BLT Tick- et] can point with pride to the changes that have impacted crowd control, noise abate- ment, a renourished beach and a better BRACKEN town image as well as the improvements in town government that have brought homeowner interest to the forefront. We three share the belief that re- sponsible governing is good governing." Bracken went on to stress his view of Dewey in the near future, and said the town needs to pursue the maintenance of a clean beach in the summer and during the shoul- der seasons, make sure the bay is kept free of pollution, work to re-pave streets and place a greater emphasis on beautification by funding consistent maintenance of plant- ings. He also said the town needs to up- grade its trash receptacles and ensure regu- lar street sweeping on Route 1 through Dewey Beach. Bracken is the president of Billcom Ex- position and Conference Group, a trade show management firm based in Alexan- dria, Va. Although he is a full-time Vir- ginia resident, Bracken has owned property in Dewey Beach for nine years and said he has visited the town for nearly two decades. "We have to ensure we go beyond the ag- gressive legislative agenda of the last sever- al years and forge a family and business- friendly alliance and work together to cre- ate a Dewey Beach we can all be proud of." Bracken, who is also chair of the town's personnel and planning committee, said he finds the current issues refreshing com- pared to those the town has overcome in re- cent years. "We're not dealing with the same issues we were, which included bars, noisiness and drunken people," he said. "The issues we're dealing with now include issues of traffic safety and beautification. That's what is important to us now." Bill Tansey A retired general of the National Guard, Tansey is an environmental health and safe- ty officer for the Star Enterprise in Delaware City who is also seeking his third term as a Dewey Beach commissioner. He said he'd like to see a resort communi- ty with appeal to all, residents and vaca- tioners alike. "Four years ago, when I was first elect- TANSEY ed town commission- er, I was committed to making Dewey Beach a place that appealed to all, residents and visitors alike," he said. "Since then, along with my fellow commissioners, I have supported efforts to make that vision a reality. These efforts include enacting an ordinance to control noise and an ordinance to regulate real estate signs, a program to clean and maintain the beach and to permit such recreational facilities as the miniature golf course on Collins Avenue and the amusement center at the comer of Read Av- enue and Route 1." Tansey, who also serves as government liaison for the town, said in the next two years he'll work towards improving the re- lationship between business owners and town government. "I would accomplish this by evaluating proposed legislation, not only from the standpoint of how it addresses a specific is- sue, but how it impacts on all facets of the community," he said. "I would encourage the business owners to assist in this evalua- tion, by communicating with the commis- sioners and other members of the town gov- ernment and make them aware of how pending town action might effect the busi- ness community." Tansey also said he'll support efforts to promote the utilization of Rehoboth Bay. "This is a Dewey Beach asset that is sometimes overlooked," he said. "In this respect the town should revisit the need for a public boat ramp or possibly subsidize the use of one of the private boat ramps in Dewey Beach." In addition, he said he will work with state representatives to enforce high speed watercraft regulations and he said he will approach bayfront businesses about spon- sorship of bay-related activities such as re- gattas and wind-surfing races. He said he believes the members of the "BLT Ticket" share a common vision for Continued on page 13