Mayor Cooper ignores parking issue for 24 years
The May 9 Cape Gazette Article regarding Fourth of July’s parking problem comes as no surprise. A theme to Mayor Cooper’s approach to governance has been to ignore a problem until it really becomes an issue. This parking issue is the perfect example.
As a result of no long term plan to city affairs, and the mayor’s insistence over his many terms that there is no parking issue in the City of Rehoboth Beach, this year’s Fourth of July celebration will not be a celebration for those who want to come into town and for the city’s merchants.
With a current plan for visitors to park in the Gordo’s Pond parking lot and no shuttle service to get them into town, many will not come into town to support local businesses. Instead, they will watch the fireworks from the beach at the state park. This may seem like a great solution until the masses of people have to come through town to get out at the end of the festivities.
City Manager Sharon Lyn has inherited a city that is in desperate need of planning 101. Although the city spent $500,000 studying a new convention center and parking facility as well as a new police station in 2007-08, Mayor Cooper halted the Tevebaugh study when the architects told him that these city projects could not successfully be completed without the parking issue being addressed. This study took 32 months and is available from the city.
At the most recent Rehoboth Homeowner Association meeting, Mayor Cooper again said that a parking facility was not an issue that could pay for itself. While he claims that a parking facility cannot pay for itself, the parking study done and included in the Tevebaugh study show a different picture. BTW, a new City Hall does not pay for itself either.
As I begin my campaign for Mayor of Rehoboth Beach, it is important for our voters to know that I will bring planning and vision to a town which has operated for the last 24 years under Mayor Cooper. I will halt the current $500,000 study for a new $17 million dollar City Hall and ask our citizens what items are important to them as we put together capital expenditure budgets. In addition, I will dust off the already paid for Tevebaugh study so that new City Manager Sharon Lynn has the opportunity to review a comprehensive plan vs. Mayor Cooper’s City Hall project.