Present Dewey leadership has failed

September 15, 2017

As former commissioners in Dewey Beach, we are endorsing the three Clean Sweep candidates, T.J. "John" Redefer, Jill Compello and Paul Bauer.

Some people have questioned why we are supporting these candidates instead of the incumbents Diane Hanson and Dale Cooke.

Dale Cooke abstained from the most important vote in Dewey history on the Ruddertowne hotel height, plunging Dewey into years of lawsuits and legal bills and the resulting 45-foot hotel towering above our 35-foot height limit. And he's turned a blind eye to the problems at Town Hall for the last two years. We can't trust him to do the right thing and stand up when we need real leadership.

Some have asked whether the big businesses are close to the new candidates. It's true that a variety of strange bedfellows have come together to endorse the new candidates. More importantly, we have worked up close and personal with Appelbaum, and we honestly feel he is a bigger threat to the town than the big businesses.

Under Hanson and Cooke, Appelbaum has run roughshod over town employees, commissioners, the town attorney, and property owners. It appears he has used his power as town manager to achieve absolute power, and ignored open government requirements. He's ignored commissioners' direct requests for information and purposely withheld important information from the commissioners. He walks out of the room if questioned.

Appelbaum directed the abolition of the town budget and finance committee to avoid citizen oversight. He granted special favors to the Ruddertowne hotel during ongoing construction, and refused to answer citizens' questions about his actions and whether the hotel was complying with the settlement agreement. His actions when a commissioner paved the way for the overbuilt hotel.

Shockingly, he has brutally attempted to coerce commissioners to do his bidding with threats of personal lawsuits and verbal abusive intimidation. He has insinuated that commissioners would be sued and the town would not defend them, leaving them vulnerable.

Something has to be done. The three candidates may not be well known, but unfortunately Marc Appelbaum is and so are the incumbents Hanson and Cooke, who have allowed him to flourish. This is a far more serious problem than dirty jeans and flip flops. Regardless of how many of the allegations are proven, we feel the leadership in Dewey has failed. Vote for a clean sweep Saturday, Sept. 16.

Vote for Jill Compello, T.J. Redefer, and Paul Bauer.

Joy Howell and Gary Mauler
former commissioners
Dell Tush
former mayor of Dewey Beach

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