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Lewes, Delaware
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December 3, 1999     Cape Gazette
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December 3, 1999
 

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, December 3, December 9, 1999 - 15 Rehoboth Beach Patrol Capt. Jate Walsh asked to resign By Rosanne Pack After serving on the Rehoboth Beach Patrol for more than 17 years, 11 as captain, Jate Walsh was asked to resign last week; the request was made by Rehoboth Beach City Manager Greg Fer- rese. Ferrese said it was time for new leadership in a position of great importance to the city. Walsh did submit his resignation rather than face termination. "I felt that there was a general lack of leadership," the city man- ager said. "There was a lack of discipline, an inconsistency in behavior of beach patrol members. The city had to address it." In addition to Walsh, two other beach patrol members were termi- nated and five will not be rehired for the 2000 season. Ferrese said he was not happy with an article that appeared re- cently in the Washington Post, at- tributing what he termed as inap- propriate quotes to some mem- bers of the beach patrol. However, he denied that the article was the reason that some members were not rehired. "There were comments made that do not project a positive im- age of the beach patrol; I didn't like that," he said. "But there were conditions that had been worsening and had not improved in the last few summers that caused me to take this action. The Washington Post story was not the reason." Ferrese said that five beach pa- trol members will not be rehired because they refused to take rou- tine and mandatory drug tests. He said he became aware of the fact that Walsh had not enforced the drug test requirement uniformly and instructed him to have those members comply. According to Ferrese, they refused to do so. "We have to have consistency in disciplining and leading the beach patrol," Ferrese said. "These men and women present an image to the public, many of whom are from out of town. To the visitor, these members say, 'We are here to save lives, to pro- tect the bathers.' This is no place for a lot of clowning around." He said there were reported in- stances of inappropriate behavior that could lead the public to doubt the seriousness and professional- ism of beach patrol members. He said his office did receive some specific complaints that he would not make public. "I don't appreciate the clowning around that some of the public no- ticed, but in addition to some complaints, there were routine du- ties that were not performed regu- larly," Ferrese said. "Things like moving the guard stands back above high tide line at the end of the day, and posting the high and low tides on the stands as we've done for years. There seemed to be a general lack of concern with the routine organizational duties that are part of operating a patrol. Discipline was too lax." He said a captain will be chosen who will provide leadership and organization and who will be an asset in recruiting new beach pa- trol members. He said a replace- ment for Walsh should be named within the month. "We are looking to name some- one from within the department," Ferrese said. "Out of 43 members, there are certainly good people. It is a good group overall, it's just that a few can ruin the image for all of them. "They are in the public eye all summer, and they need to know that they represent Rehoboth." Walsh could not be reached for comment. Army Corps Continued from page 14 meeting in November. Over the years delineations for the ease- ment boundaries grew less and less clear. Remedy attempted To remedy that situation, the Corps contracted a surveying firm to clear up the easement issue. The maintenance arm of the Corps, located in Philadelphia, wants to plan maintenance proj- ects for the canal but needed to know what lands it has to work with. Most of the easement areas are in marshy ground east of the canal and north of Anglers Mari- na. 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Attorney Bill Wright, who ex- perienced the property settlement problems, said he has been trying to get the Corps to issue waivers for the easements but without suc- cess so far. "Settlements are being held but there's a lot of pucker factor," said Wright. "The way the Corps works it could be six years before there's any resolution to all of this. I'm telling people to talk to Delaware's congressional delegation - to try to get all of this expedited." In the meantime, Army Corps representatives are preparing in- formation packages to distribute in Lewes. Susan Lewis of the Corps' real estate division in Bal- timore said 150 copies of the full size maps delineating the Corps' easement areas have been pro- duced as well as copies of the in- formation presented at the public meeting. She said those materials are be- ing assembled in packages that will be sent to Lewes for distribu- tion through some public place such as the library. "Hopefully they will be in Lewes next week for distribution." Lewis said representatives of the real estate division will meet with representatives of the Corps operations division in Philadel- phia sometime in December. "We want to review existing easements to determine which ones are need- ed and which aren't. When we de- cide which ones aren't needed for operations, we will then send those recommendations up the ladder for action. It's hard to say how long that whole process will take," said Lewis. "The important thing is that now that the ease- ment areas are defined we can move ahead." If you're planning to take distributions from your qualified pension plan, you could end up paying a 20% withholding tax. 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