Beaufait, Letonoff file for Lewes council seats

Incumbents say there's work to be done
February 5, 2013

Incumbent Lewes City Councilmen Fred Beaufait and Victor Letonoff are the first to file to run in the annual municipal election set for Saturday, May 11.

Both men filed Feb. 1, the first day of the filing period, which closes at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, April 4.

Two city council seats are open.

Beaufait and Letonoff said they would like to continue serving the city because it’s fulfilling and there’s work to be done.

“I’ve enjoyed working with the mayor and my fellow council members as we are all focused on doing what is best for Lewes and its future. When faced with an issue we are able to work collectively and collegially to reach a decision,” Beaufait said.

Both men said during their last term, the city council’s negotiation for and purchase of the Thompson property as the site for the new Lewes Public Library was a significant achievement.

“I feel that we have a well-balanced council, strong leadership from our mayor, dedicated city staff, a strong volunteer base supporting the city, and a good working relationship between the city council and Board of Public Works,” Beaufait said.

Letonoff said,  “While it is hard to rank what has been recently accomplished in Lewes, I would have to place the fiscal integrity of the city as the number one achievement. I might also focus on the Bay Avenue rehabilitation.

“Bay Avenue is now a much more esthetically pleasing place for residents, and perhaps of more importance, it is a safer place to live as utility and public safety services are provided to residents and visitors.

Letonoff also said taking care of the city’s finances is crucial. “There are also other issues that will require our attention, like managing growth and maintaining the historic character of our city. Some challenges will arise that we do not anticipate,” Letonoff said.

Beaufait, 76, was first elected to city council in May 2011 and appointed secretary in June 2011.

He and wife Lois have lived in Lewes since 2004. Beaufait has served on the board of The Friends of the Canalfront Park, is active in the Lewes Presbyterian Church and works with the summer music program held in Stango Park.

Beaufait holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Mississippi State University, a master’s degree in structural engineering from the University of Kentucky and a doctorate in structural engineering from Virginia Tech.

Early in his career he worked for a private consulting firm and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He has been a registered professional engineer in Tennessee, West Virginia and Michigan.

Beaufait spent 46 years in higher education, starting as a professor and ending his career as a college president. He enjoys painting abstract-modernistic works.

Letonoff, 77, is a three-term incumbent who was first elected to city council in May 2007. He has been a Lewes resident since 1984 and works as a fine artist in his Lewes studio.

A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Letonoff served in the United States Army for 35 years. He is a two-time Silver Star recipient honored for gallantry against an enemy in the War in Vietnam. He held the rank of colonel when he retired.

Letonoff earned a master’s degree from the University of Texas in Austin, attended the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., and also holds a certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. He also attended the Ecole Des Beaux Arts in Paris.

Letonoff has served on the Lewes Drug Alcohol Abuse Council, a task force to improve Cape Henlopen schools and on the committee that developed Lewes’ core values.

He is an ex-officio member of the Commercial Architectural Review Commission, Mitigation Planning Team and the city’s and the bicycle and pedestrian finance and street improvement committees.

Those interested in running for office must obtain a candidate filing form at Lewes City Hall, 114 E. Third St. Forms are available 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For additional election information and candidacy requirements, call 645-7700, visit City Hall, or go to

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