McGlone doing Rehoboth more harm than good

July 10, 2014

Well, at least Tom McGlone has put his cards on the table: he boasts that he has better judgment than the rest of the citizens of Rehoboth Beach. Further, virtually every major city decision of the recent past has been wrong, including the repeated re-election of Mayor Sam Cooper.

What else can be concluded from McGlone’s strident call for term limits for the mayor and members of city council?

Well, let me inform the failed mayoral candidate of a salient point. Rehoboth Beach already has term limits. The process is called elections. If a majority of voters do not wish someone to continue in office, they can give him the boot through the ballot box.

Now finishing his eighth term, Sam Cooper must be doing something right - despite the wrong-headed and ill-documented claims of failed candidate McGlone. The mayor had opposition in some of those elections, included an unsuccessful attempt by McGlone the last time around. The majority of voters made it plain - repeatedly - that they like the job that Cooper is doing. Perhaps McGlone feels the only way he is going to be able to replace Cooper is by changing the law to limit the number of terms he can serve.

Oh, bosh. Why not trust the citizenry to make the decision on whether persons should continue in office? In high school, I learned a name for that process: democracy.

In a recent campaign mailer to our home, the failed candidate makes considerable negative noise about plans for the new City Hall, calling it “Wasteful spending of YOUR Tax $ as proposed…Pure Government overhead…that Will increase your taxes” (the capital letters are McGlone’s). Did the failed candidate bestir himself to attend the intensive planning sessions that led to the current plan? I prefer to take the word of full-time residents who devoted butt-numbing hours of meetings to examine the plan in detail. McGlone prefers to kibitz from the sidelines with no visible effort to acquaint himself with the facts.

Similarly, the failed candidate criticizes the plan to deposit treated sewage wastewater outfall into the ocean. (The disposal of wastewater is a requirement mandated by the state.) The tone of his complaints suggests that raw sewage - ick! - is going to be dumped into the ocean. He moans about ruining Rehoboth Beach’s reputation for having great beaches with clean water.

Hmmm. Several years ago, I attended a citizen briefing at which various alternatives for disposing of wastewater were discussed. The meeting was open to the public (and I do not recall seeing McGlone in the audience).

As Mayor Cooper and other city officials explained, one plan considered was to pipe treated wastewater to other parts of Sussex County for irrigation. The problem is that the water table is so high that the wastewater would not be absorbed, and farmers did not want their fields to be flooded.

Then Cooper played his trump card. Treated wastewater would not affect the purity of the ocean, he declared. He picked up a Mason jar containing treated waste water. It looked tap-water clean.

By mouthing misinformation about the nonexistent dangers of treated wastewater, the failed candidate, for his selfish political purposes, risks doing great harm to Rehoboth Beach’s tourist business - the very lifeblood of our town’s existence. Summer visitors who read his rantings in the Cape Gazette - not knowing the facts - could well decide to vacation elsewhere next summer.

(Of course, the most recent flier that has come to our home piously says that the would-be drive-by mayor has “no attention of running a negative campaign.” As a journalist and author who has written about politics in many jurisdictions in my 60-plus year career, I can spot a “negative campaign” when I see one.)

Rehoboth Beach residents who take our government seriously have elected Sam Cooper eight times because they know he is a sensible leader who takes his office seriously and does his homework (eliciting broad community input) before acting. He is conservative when it comes to spending from the public’s pocketbook, as witness our no-deficit government.

Replace this very successful official with such an irresponsible candidate as McGlone? I think not. For one, I prefer democracy. Let the voters decide. Legislating Sam Cooper out of office is a travesty of an idea.

Joseph C. Goulden
Rehoboth Beach and Washington, D.C.

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