Give new Rehoboth city manager credit

March 13, 2014

There are two separate threads in last week's story about snow-removal in Rehoboth Beach (March 7). I want to comment on each.

First, a city committee indicates it will review “the city's policy toward removing snow from the sidewalks.” Later, the article reports that City Manager Sharon Lynn “would support an ordinance clarifying that it is the property owner's responsibility to clear the sidewalks.” Presently, there is no specific ordinance addressing snow-removal. Enforcement must rely on interpretation of an obscure city code which provides, “cleanliness of sidewalks and of the Boardwalk within the commercial districts of the City of Rehoboth Beach and shall constitute the minimum standards for keeping sidewalks clear and free of foreign matter . . .” [section 227-18]. Therefore, it would be prudent to pursue the city manager's proposition for a specific ordinance to address this significant safety issue.

Next, Ryan Mavity's article refers to snow-removal on streets, but diplomatically sidesteps the citizen murmurings that many of us have heard. Some people were critical of the city manager about snow-removal after the first storm in January. Come on! That was within days of her arrival. Hasn't snow-removal been fine since then?

I met Ms.Lynn at this year's Rehoboth-Dewey Chamber of Commerce dinner; she is very personable and seems very intelligent. I saw her in action at a recent city meeting where she impressed me as a good listener and contributed appropriately during discussions. I understand she has introduced some new office procedures and innovated other administrative activities. It appears to me that the city made a wise hiring decision.

Every public official, whether elected, appointed or hired, should be afforded the opportunity to “learn the ropes.” It will take months, if not longer, to adapt to the position. And remember, there are two parties involved. Our great city employees also need time to adjust to new leadership. To the grumblers I say, patience - it looks like we've got a good one!

Hoyte Decker
Rehoboth Beach


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