Rehoboth commissioners turn down Verrazzano lights

June 9, 2014

The Rehoboth Beach commissioners said thanks but no thanks to lighting for the Verrazzano Monument at the Boardwalk at Olive Avenue.

Nicola Pizza founder Nick Caggiano Sr. offered to pay to illuminate the monument, erected in 2008. Caggiano said it has become one of the most visited sites in Rehoboth.

The commissioners turned down the idea, voting 6-1, saying it is illuminated enough by the Boardwalk street lights. Commissioner Stan Mills said allowing the lights would set a precedent with other organizations wanting lights for city monuments such as the Temperance Union water fountain and the World War II monument.

Commissioner Mark Hunker, the only yes vote, said the city should celebrate the Verraazzano Monument as part of the history of Rehoboth.

Although she voted no, Commissioner Toni Sharp volunteered to come up with a process for accepting gifts from private citizens and organizations. Objections were raised not only to lighting the monument, but also the Garden of the Navigators project. The garden opened a year ago, but not without controversy over its size and the city’s maintenance of it.