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August 16, 1996     Cape Gazette
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August 16, 1996

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10 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, August 16 - August 22,1996 Cooper wins re-election to mayor's post in Rehoboth Beach . Three months of campaigning came to an end for Sam Cooper and Bill Bahan on Saturday evening, Aug. 10, when election judge the Rev. John Dean announced that incumbent Cooper had retained his seat as Mayor of the City of Rehoboth Beach for the third consecutive three- year term. Cooper won handily with 526 votes to Bahan's 398, despite the fact that the latter had re- ceived the backing of the Rehoboth Beach Homeowners Association 0RBHA). RBHA candi- dates traditionally have an edge over their opponents, although Bitsy Cochran overthrew an incumbent RBHA-backed candidate a couple of years ago. Also on the ballot running unopposed were incumbent Commissioner Jack Hyde, who gar- nered 540 votes, and Betty Ann Kane, who will fill the seat being vacated by Jack Salin, with 563 votes. Above, Kane and Cooper congratulate each other at left, while Cooper accepts a hug at right from Florence Robinson. With 1,457 registered voters, 931 votes were cast on Saturday, which, according to election official Joyce Sutton, is about average in turnout for a Rehobeth Beach election. Last year, with 1,531 registered voters and five candidates vying for two seats, there were 1,048 votes cast, while in 1994, with three candidates running for two seats, there were 1,481 registered voters and 947 votes cast. Following the announcement, Cooper said he felt "great. I'd like to think it is gratification for what weve been doing and people are happy with the way the city is going. I have no hard feelings," he said of the fact that he failed to receive RBHA backing for the first time in his po- litical career, Uand I'm looking forward to working with everyone. = Rehoboth OILs Little By Trish Vernon- The Rehoboth Beach Board of Commissioners continued to wrangle with its policy toward giving city funds to non-profit or- ganizations at its Aug. 9 meeting. A moratorium on granting any further requests was imposed after it was decided to donate $1,000 to the Rehoboth Little League's campaign to pay off the debt in- curred in constructing the new baseball complex earlier this year. Blake Thompson, chairman of the Little League fundraising ef- fort, came before the board in per- son Aug. 9 in an effort to persuade the board to donate to the cause, when his earlier letter requesting $5,000 became the catalyst in a discussion of the city's policy. Terming it a "final plea," Thompson noted that since its founding in 1962, the Rehoboth Little League has played in impor- tant role in the community. Over 250 children, ages five through 13 and more than half girls, are now playing on the new 15-acres off the Glade Road outside city limits, rather than the fields on the Re- hoboth school grounds which they began to outgrow years ago. Ap- proximately 80 adults play a role as well, umpiring, coaching and manning the concession stand. Funds borrowed from a bank and certain individuals, totaling $150,000, must now be repaid, with $60,000 raised to date, while most of the labor was provided free of charge. The Little League has never approached the city be- fore in the quest for funding, and League donation, imposes moratorium this, be noted, is a once-in-a-gen- eration endeavor. "Rehoboth Beach goes beyond the corporate limits," Thompson told them in addressing their con- cern that the field doesn't sit within the city, as many people who work in the city live out- side, but are still an inte- gral part of the communi- THOMPSON ty. "I know the city has a contin- gency fund and we havean emer- gency - so hit the mark and pay for the park," he asked them, adding that most municipalities support their Little League programs. Citing the fact that Thompson lives in adjacent Henlopen Acres, Commissioner Jan Konesey asked him if funds have been requested from that municipality, to which he replied "I'm asking everyone on this room." Konesey told him she feels uncomfortable that they should first build the field and then ask for the money." Commissioner Kenny Vincent, who spoke in favor of granting the funds at the July 29 workshop, re- minded fellow board members that "these kids are our future," while Commissioner Richard Sar- gent asked two questions - whether it is appropriate for Re- hoboth Beach to donate to chari- ties, and if so, if the city should set up guidelines for considering such requests. Reiterating that the Lit- tle League is a noble cause, he asked, "Is it appropriate to give away the money that belongs to the people of Rehoboth Beach?" Mayor Sam Cooper, who played on Rehoboth Little League, said he believes this par- ticular request should be consid- ered. "It's not often we get to do something positive for our kids and I don't want to pass this up," he said. Commissioner Bitsy Cochran voiced her concern with the process. "I think we should take the donation matter to budget meetings and decide how to deal with it there," she said, while Commissioner Jack Hyde also re- minded fellow board members that a number of years ago, when someone came before them asking for money, it was decided that "if we can't give to everyone, we would give to no one. We should follow the policy until budget time, when we can set up guide- lines, although it makes me feel bad we can't do anything tonight." There have been a few excep- tions, however, such as the Boy Scouts, who were given a couple of hundred dollars, and most re- cently, the Rehoboth Beach Pa- trol, which received $I,000 to de- fray the cost 6f their 75th reunion held last month. Dayna Quillen, who has served on the Little League board, asked if this particular request could be an exception, saying she didn't believe that it would set up a see, Continued on page 11 Growth, long range funds top Rehoboth Planner goals By Trish Vernon Acquiring the funding needed to begin implementing the newly- adopted Long Range Plan and un- bridled growth outside the city limits were foremost on the minds of Rehoboth Beach Planning Commission members Aug. 12. During their regular monthly meeting, the Planners each report- ed on their particular priority items and had been asked at the July meeting to bring their prelim- inary approaches to the table. Planner Betty Ann Kane, who will be leaving her post in September to take her newly won seat on the Board of Commissioners, report- ed on the budget process as it re- lates to the Long Range Plan. "There are a number of things in the plan that have budgetary im- plications. As the city goes through the budget planning [be- ginning in January], we need to coordinate how to further the plan's goals," she said. The Plan- ners should make a presentation at the budget workshops in writing and in person, Kane advised, adding that they should also look into possible grants and loans from other sources. Planner Mable Granke launched into a report on a cause close to her heart, land use outside of the city limits. "There are things go- ing on that the city needs to be in- volved with, such as the Compre- hensive Land Use Plan now being discussed. All coastal towns need to look at this very carefully and coordinate our efforts," she said. The second most pressing issue, is the city's water supply. "The state has promised to relocate the Lynch well on Route One [which is very close to the widened road]. We need to seriously look at our water supply," she said. She also noted her concern that "the city has no more standing than an individual" with the state when it comes to allowing new developments, ingress and egress as well as traffic patterns. She cit- ed the fact that the state and coun- ty approved the shopping center being built on the former Frances Ann Motel site, despite the city's reservations about the safety of the entrances and exits. "We need to exercise the Shap- ing Delaware's Future mandate that municipalities and counties are to coordinate in their land use planning," Granke said. "I get the feeling that our con- cerns are ignored and decisions are already made before the meet- ings, which are so much window- dressing," said Planning Chair Mary Campbell. "It's very dis- couraging trying to get anyone to listen." Granke went on to cite the proposed bike path through Cape Henlopen State Park, which could impact the city, as another exam- ple of the need to get involved, as she reiterated her recommenda- tion that the city appoint a com- mittee to monitor Route One de- velopment and assign one corn- missioner and one-Planner to act as liaisons on regional affairs. She also believes the city should participate more actively in the Sussex County Association of Towns and Association of Coastal Towns. "We need to establish ourselves as an important part of the com- munity and get them to listen to us," Campbell agreed. Planner John Abbott reported on three areas of concern: walk- ways and bikeways; Boardwalk and beach maintenance; and ser- vice to visitors. He proposes that the Street and Light Committee assess the feasi- bility of a bike/walkway to the Rehoboth school grounds across Silver Lake and ending at the Boardwalk. He also suggests a letter be sent to all food service establishments informing them of the recent steps the city has taken to improve the cleanliness of the beach and downtown areas and ask that they in turn cooperatively empty trash receptacles near their stores. Thirdly, he would ask that peo- ple be asked to submit proposals for redevelopment of the Board- walk end of Rehoboth Avenue, with a view toward accommodat- ing more visitors in future years and at the same time "accentuat- ing the distinctive, pedestrian character of the area." Rehoboth Main Street's board is also look- ing into the possibility of a pedes- trian mall on Rehoboth Avenue near the Boardwalk. Planner Patti Shreeve told fel- low Planners that the building in- spector should distribute a form to anyone wishing to develop a par- eel which lists parts of the Long Range Plan that are applicable to new development. This would give the developer information on how to comply with the spirit of the plan, even if the letter isn't yet in place. She also noted the Plan- ners should be apprised of news of proposed development by the building inspector, as any devel- opment can impact the city. "At this point, anyone can still build anything as long as it meets height and footprint requirements," Shreeve noted. "Is it our right to know what major changes may be coming in town? If not, I don't want to be sitting up here," she said. Kane suggested that perhaps the Planners be given the authori- ty to review any proposal over a certain size, whether residential or commercial before any permits are issued. Then again, they agreed that size may not be the proper criteria, as small projects could also impact the city. "We should write up what we'd like to see in an ordinance and turn it over to the city solicitor to be drafted for the board's consid- eration," Campbell said. "It's also very important that we go about it so that the procedure is efficient and we don't interfere with prop- erty rights."