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Cape Gazette
Lewes, Delaware
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January 10, 1997     Cape Gazette
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January 10, 1997
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u,, ,"O&' ."rl ""',,i"rJ'x',. 91 -rfi",t;t_It|, .,/J"r" " ' " ' t. , 8 - CAPE G.EI'IWE, Friday, Jmxuaz'T 10 - January 16, 199"/ Continued from page 6 brought George Smith to my front door, stood there with Smith a few steps behind and to the fight, and brazenly asked me to vote for Smith. Smith uttered not one word. In addition, I personally ob- served Stango putting up election signs for Smith, Ford and Pratt. How much more obvious could the connection be? It is astonishing and distressing to learn that Smith, Ford and Pratt want to change the city charter, just now, obviously so that Smith can vote twice for his candidate Gooch for police chief. Appoint- ing him and subsequently voting for him in order to break a tie is indeed double voting and must not be permitted. That's just not hon- est, and Smith knows it. So, too, do Ford, Pratt, Steen and Bisbee. The Lewes Personnel Planning and Review Committee which proposes the charter change was stacked by Smith and is made up of his favorite council pair, Steen, a lawyer under contract to the city, and Bisbee, a full-time employee of the city. (Oh, Smith put Shee- han on the committee to make it look good, knowing full well that the vote would be 4-1, which it was.) Steen and Bisbee don't even live or pay taxes in Lewes, for heaven's sakes. How in the world can they ethically and morally serve on a committee to establish policy for the town. What a trav- esty that is. They have no business being on any committee. People who live and pay taxes in Lewes should be named to policy com- mittees. Lawyer Steen should give legal advice - as is appropriate - and nothing more. Smith knows that, too. Mayor Smith had an opportuni- ty to do great things for Lewes and he has failed miserably. Now he should stop being so selfish and stubborn and should appoint a candidate for police chief who would be acceptable to all, and Ford and Pratt should stop abet- ting Smith in his shenanigans. Ford admits Gooch is not quali- fied when he lists things that Gooch must accomplish in six months. Gooch has had years to better himself professionally and has not done so. What makes Ford think he'll do it now within six months? Who's kidding whom? Why are these people so obstinately op- posed to hiring a professionally trained and well-qualified police chief?. It's time for compromise, mediation, or something other than a bull-headed stalemate which is not helping Lewes at all, but rather doing a great deal of harm. Pratt's verbose, vitriolic, vi- tuperative and petty attack on Kevin Moore is reprehensible, undignified and out of order. Pratt is struggling to defend himself and can do so only by viciously striking out at an upright citizen of Lewes. Pratt claims he represents the majority of voters. However, he'fails to recognize (or else hopes we won't realize) that as an in- cumbent running in the last elec- tion, he defeated Judson Bennett, who was running for the first time, by a mere 27 - yes, only 27 votes. That's not a majority by any means. What's more, Pratt accus- es Moore of insulting Steen and Bisbee by saying they are "mind- less or spineless." I don't read that anywhere in Moore's letter. I'm sure, also, that Moore's opinions are shared by more than just a "few" of us, as Pratt would have us believe. Pratt says Moore should be con- structive. Why then is Pratt not more constructive and less per- sonally motivated? Why doesn't he do more for the town and pay less attention to his own ego. Pratt's letter to the editor was not a proper opinion piece, but rather he used it as an mount his scurrilous attack on Kevin Moore. Finally, I, too, will be among those who oppose the charter change when it is presented and will speak out loudly and clearly. I cannot stand dishonesty in any form, and there's plenty of it in our city government at the present time. Mabes Morrill Lewes In response to letter from Anthony This is a rebuttal to the com- ments made by Richard Anthony in his very lengthy letter pub- lished by the Cape Gazette on Dec. 20. Mr. Anthony cites his ex- perience in the field of eldercare and I also have been involved as an advocate for the elderly in the State of Delaware for 14 years. I take issue with some of his objec- tions to the Assisted Living Pro- ject to be constructed on Route 1 and County Road 270A. Assisted living facilities are subject to many state rules and regulations and more stringent guidelines are being developed by the Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabili- ties. Our emergency services in this area are excellent and staffed by many dedicated professionals and volunteers. The sub-station, with an ambulance is located only a short distance from this pro- posed project. I feel the tone of Mr. Anthony's letter was very condescending with regard to my comments be- fore County Council. It also seemed to be very derogatory to the developers. He evidently is joined by Ms. Mable Granke in his opposition. I find this just a lit- tle strange. On March 21, 1995, Ms. Granke and I were partici- pants in the Governor's Confer- ence on Aging. At that time, she and I discussed the great need for a project such as this in our area. She also said she had her eye on a piece of property, located on Route 1 between Rehoboth and Dewey Beach that would be per- fect. I agreed with Ms. Granke that this location would be excel- lent, but unfortunately neither she nor I had the several million dol- lars the owner wanted for this property, nor had we the expertise to get this project off the ground. Now we have a local developer, who builds a first-class complex (East Atlantic Apartments), has the expertise tO make this project happen, and the many approvals needed. Personally, that is enough for me and for the more than 400 citizens who signed the petitions. I agree with Ms. Granke and Mr. Anthony that there might be a more desirable site in Sussex County, but is it so strange that the senior citizens, who make their home in the beach area, would like to be near family and friends as they grow older and more in- firm? I must admit that I voiced an ob- jection to the East Atlantic Apart- ments due to a traffic problem on Route 1 and the north end of Road 270. However, there have been no problems and the developers erected a most attractive complex. Ms. Granke wholeheartedly supported the apartment complex and I fail to see the difference. One project is for moderate in- come families, the other for senior citizens. It seems that the develop- ers are trying to serve both ends of society. They deserve support, and not continued criticism and objections. Lucien Ferguson Lewes More comments on Silver Lake easement In response to the Coast Press editorial and forum on Silver Lake access dated Jan. 1, 1997, we en- joyed bringing in the new year in our coast town, but not with the biased editorial it projected acting as public relations for the petition- ers. In an earlier publication itstat- ed that litter and crime have been a problem there. We asked it to retract this state- ment as no research was made as to the dates of these occurrences. As to this writing we cannot find any criminal occurrences on the Silver Lake easement or to the homes of petitioners. We have re- quested in writing through Judge Graves any relevant evidence of crime in this area. In regard to the trash problem, we walked daily in August, prime season time, noting no litter. As for dogs relieving themselves, Mr. Houlon can ask his own neighbors to the right with the "Beware of Dog" sign, or to his left with two beautiful gold- en retrievers with freedom to run. We have been falsely accused of being unfair and untrue in our statements and questions asked. We have researched all details with many full time residents, lo- cal officials, and county officials with little time. A few points of concern in Mr. Houlon's letter needs a response: How can one say keeping the access path open to the public will "degrade the area", while all access paths to the ocean have not degraded our area. These public paths are an essential access to the beauty that abounds us in this community. A statement, "there was no "re- al' public access made." "No Trespassing" signs were posted by owners, a huge driveway gate erected beyond owners property line with "Beware of Dog" sign posted and four foot brambles growing, how could anyone in- trude on this passage? "Imagine our shock and dismay" in regard to property lines and the fight of way easement. Every homeowner has a survey and title search when purchasing property. Some of these homes were recently con- structed. How did the recent sur- veyors establish property lines? We need this small portion of the south shore of Silver Lake to com- plete a circle to stroll around "all shores" of the lake and to also safely access the Rehoboth Boards. Mr. Houlon also notes that by selling this beautiful shoreline, the public would ensure that the "ecology of the delicate shoreline will be preserved." How can this happen with four private boats stored for the winter and presently lying on the shore- line with great damage to the sea grass existing and party decks ex- tending on the shores. We have been falsely accused of being unfair and untrue in our statements and questions asked. I delivered our statements in front of the judge at the Dec. 20 hear- ing. Why weren't you heard? The public access path presents wildlife opportunities to be expe- rienced by this generation as well as our future generations and pro- vides the circle needed to stroll around all shores of Silver Lake. Over several dozen letters were received with 166 signatures in opposition to selling out for $50,000. Please continue to write your sincere feelings to Superior Court of the State of Delaware, Pro- thonotary Office, P.O. Box 756, Georgetown, DE 19947, referring to CA#96M-10-01. Put us on your calendar for March 6, 1997, for the public open forum court hear- ing in Georgetown. See you there! Martha Tillman Dewey Beach Nursing School thank all Beebe School of Nursing stu- dents recently held a candy fundraiser which was greatly sup- ported by local residents and Beebe Medical Center staff. A portion of the fundraiser prof- it has been used to support chil- dren and families at the Sussex County Consortium this holiday season. The nursing students would like to extend their heartfelt appreciation to the Rehoboth K- Mart store, especially to Tom Usher, general manager of the store and to assisting staff Ann Powell and Suzanne Ostan, who provided a generous discount on all purchases for the Consortium. The discount allowed the stu- dents to purchase more gifts for the children and their families than the students had anticipated. Maureen Leary Public Relations, Beebe Medical Center Labor ruling favors Rehoboth police; city to appeal By Rosanne Pack If a recent Public Employees Relations Board (PERB) ruling stands, sergeants of the Rehoboth Beach Police Department have won the fight to be represented in the same union bargaining unit with officers of lesser rank, if they elect to affiliate with a labor union. The Delaware PERB issued a ruling earlier this week, clearing the way for the current 17 officers below the rank of chief of police to vote as one group in an up-com- ing election to determine if they will be represented by the Interna- tional Brotherhood of Teamsters, Public Employees Division. Be- fore a city objection led to a PERB hearing in December, the majority of Rehoboth officers had signed letters of intent requesting an elec- tion to join the IBT Local 326. According to Deborah Murray- Sheppard, principal assistant/hear- ing officer for PERB, an election can be scheduled within 30 days of issuance of the ruling unless an appeal is filed. Murray-Sheppard was the hearing officer and author of the ruling. City to appeal Gregory Ferrese, city manager, said that an appeal will be filed be- fore the Monday, Jan. 13 deadline. He said he and Walter Speakman, city attorney, feel that an appeal is justified. "We still take the position that sergeants are supervisors" he said. "We will appeal to the full board, and not just appear before a hear- ing conducted by one person." Contacted Wednesday, Jan. 8, Mayor Sam Cooper said he had not read the ruling that was issued Monday, Jan. 6. Because of the short time span allowed to file an appeal, seven days from the date of the ruling, he said it is neces- sary for the city manager to make a decision. The full board of com- missioners has not been contacted on the issue. "They put you in the position of having to give a quick decision," Cooper said. "This is not commit- ring the city to much in the way of time and legal fees anyway." The City of Rehoboth Beach ob- jects to sergeants of the police de- partment being represented along with officers of lower rank, saying that they are too often in a supervi- sory capacity. Ferrese and Speak- man presented the city's position at a Dec. 3 hearing. Included in their arguments was the opinion that sergeants are fre- quently responsible for evaluating and recommending merit increas- es as well as recommending disci- plinary actions for lower ranked officers. In making an appeal, Ferrese said that the city will emphasize what it feels to be the most valid objections to all officers under the Continued on page 13