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September 6, 2002     Cape Gazette
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September 6, 2002
 

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16 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, Sept. 6 - Sept. 12, 2002 idents who are accustomed to vat- until the 2010 U.S. Census is Redistricting in Rehoboth, which is much released. "I'd like to see some Deputy AG: Dewey Beach closer than Bethany, said Price. momentum on the town s part to Continued from page 1 well over a hundred calls from Dewey voters who want to know why they have been separated from Rehoboth," he said. Mc- Dowell fears many Dewey resi- dents will turn out the Rehoboth Elementary School polling place due to the confusion, even for the Sept. 7 primary in the 14th Dis- trict. "I knew about the change but believe we should be voting in the 14th," aid Dewey resident Faith Duncan. "Emotionally, I feel we have been disenfranchised because the choices made by the new representative in the 14th will be the choices that most impact US." Rep. Shirley Price, a Democrat Who has represented the 38th District since 1997, weighed in on the decision. "As I understand it, Dewey Beach was not included in the 14th for purely political rea- sons. I understand the hardship this may have placed on some res- Price is now the incumbent can- didate for Dewey residents. She is being challenged by Republican Gerald Hocker of Ocean View and Independent Donna Sinnamon of Millsboro in the general election Tuesday, Nov. 5. "When I found out that Dewey had been made part of the 38th, I asked the elec- tion commissioner to see if he could put a polling place in Dewey but was told that there were not enough voters to make it possible," said Price. According to McDowell, Delaware law mandates that a polling place must serve 500 vot- ers. "Dewey has about 300 year- round residents, and I would esti- mate 199 of them are registered voters, We looked at the possibil- ity, but I had to follow the law," he said. "People have to live with this decision for 10 years, and it is ridiculous," said Dewey Beach Mayor Bob Frederick. Mandated redistricting will not happen again change the lines. What more log- ical geographical boundary is there than the Indian River Inlet bridge? We share a school dis- trict, a chamber of commerce, and even a ZIP code with Rehoboth," he said. Some of the pertinent boundary lines include Bay Reach and southeast Silver Lake residences. In the development of Seabreeze, residences south of Bentin Drive vote in the 38th District while their neighbors north vote in the 14th District. Registered voters have until noon Friday, Sept. 6, to submit affidavits requesting absentee bal- lots for the state primary election to their respective county Departments of Elections. Redistricting maps and a polling place locator are available online at www.state.de.us/elec- tion. Registered voters that have not received their polling place card should call 856-5367. Crystal, Meoli addre s the issue Fill Your Prescriptions Save up to 50% Easy and hassle free By Bridin Reynolds,Hughes In a preprimary interview, Republican candi- dates for the newly created 14th District, Mike Meoli and Harry "Hap" Crystal, weighed in on re- districting. Republicans residing in Rehoboth Beach, Angola, Long Neck and southern points of Lewes will decide between the two candidates in the primary Saturday, Sept. 7. The mandated redistricting process created this new district, but not without a fair share of political turmoil. What is your opinion of the end result? Will you support legislation to cre- ate an independent commission to redraw elec- tion district lines following the next federal cen- sus in 2010? Crystal: "The primary objective of the redistricting process is to provide the citizens of Delaware with fair and equal representation. The current process provides for district lines to be drawn by the state House and Senate. As it exists today, the process has become one of manipulating voting district boundaries for the purpose of assuring re-election of certain candidates and/or maintaining party control of the two legislative bodies. The process is self-serving. Without question, I would totally support legislation that would create an independ- ent commission to redraw district lines following the next federal census in 2010." Meoli: "I truly believe that Dewey Beach should have been drawn into this district. The issues and con- cerns of the citizens of Dewey Beach are very sim- ilar to those of the citizens of the new 14th. By and large, my opinion of the end result is that it gives a stronger voice to our area. The fact that the lines were drawn more to the west rather than to the north brings into play the cohesiveness of those living in and around the inland bays watershed area. It allows the district to be defined as much by its ecological balance as it does its demograph- ic makeup. Yes, I would support an independent commis- sion that would re-draw election district lines. The best way to keep politics and bias out of the equa- tion is to have the commission made of judges." Commission violated the Freedom of Information Act By Bridin Reynolds-Hughes The Delaware Attorney Gener- al's office issued a response Aug. 30 to a complaint lodged against the town of Dewey Beach by resi- dent Bill Wright. The complaint alleged that the town, and specifically the Voter Eligibili- ty Committee, violated the Freedom of In- formation Act (FOIA) on sev- eral occasions. Deputy At- WRIGHT torney General W. Michael Tup- man concluded that the town did violate the open meeting require- ments of FOIA by holding meet- ings of its Voter Eligibility Com- mittee without notice to the public and without maintaining minutes. In addition, the town commission was found to be in violation for discussing and voting on recom- mendations of the committee at a town meeting without noticing more specifically that public busi- ness would be on the agenda. "We caution the town, and all of its committees, subcommittees and advisory groups, to strictly comply with the open meeting laws," said Tupman. The decision does not carry a penalty. "The decision was 100 percent dead-on. What upsets me is that I had to take this route after bring- ing my concerns directly to the town attorney and was ignored. I think it was pure arrogance on the part of the town. I just hope the town will comply with the law now," said Wright. Dewey Beach commissioner Continued on page 17 i You don't have to pay fullprice for your presc#pUon drugs... pharmacy and save up to 507 Easy and hassle free. Get a FREE PHce Quote todayl 00Cali Toil Free! 1-866-211-3768 or fax: 1-866 287 1595 The 3L's in Real Estate! 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