Rehoboth elections Aug. 9: More information needed

July 18, 2014

As of July 16, with about three-and-a-half weeks to go before the City of Rehoboth Beach municipal elections for mayor and commissioner Saturday, Aug. 9, there seems to be little or no information available that describes the candidates in terms of their qualifications and their views on issues that concern many of the taxpaying citizens of the city.

The city website has a link to “Elections” under City Government Administration, but it only gives the date of the election and links to public announcements from which a voter may see the names of the candidates. It does not provide any links to candidate statements or interviews, descriptions of current issues, or any other information that would be useful to the voting public in making their decision on who to vote for.

The city might say it is the responsibility of the candidates to get their message out to the public, but it would be nice if the city enabled that communication through their website.

I have received a letter from two candidates for commissioner, one incumbent and one first timer. It would be nice to know something about the other candidates other than their names, before the election.

I also received a letter dated July 10 from Mayor Sam Cooper that noted two accomplishments during his 33 years of service to the city: the Rehoboth Avenue streetscape project, and improvements to the Boardwalk. His letter says nothing about the major issues facing the city, nor anything about how he would improve the status quo in terms of inclusion and communication with the residents and property owners of Rehoboth.

With the information at hand, I can only assume that the mayor and commissioners will continue to approve spending our tax dollars on costly items such as the $17 million City Hall, and the $30 million ocean outfall solution for waste water treatment. The reports on cost studies, trade-off analyses and other data and logic that support the decisions that the town leaders are making should be transparent to the voters and easily accessible, but it is not clear where this information can be found.

I also received several letters in the last month from Tom McGlone, candidate for mayor. He emphasizes the importance of improving communication with the citizens of Rehoboth regarding all city of Rehoboth Beach business, and modernizing the city’s IT infrastructure to enable video-streaming of all city meetings as well as more efficient business administration such as for taxes, billing, and voter registration.  He is in favor of voter referendums to approve major spending initiatives before beginning costly preliminary studies or design projects.

I hope all of the candidates will make a big effort to reach out to the voters in the next three weeks to describe their qualifications, viewpoints and plans for the future. I also encourage all Rehoboth taxpayers to try to find out as much as possible about all of the candidates, the current issues facing the city, and the current spending initiatives underway. Then vote Aug. 9 in the Rehoboth Beach municipal elections for the people who you think can best lead Rehoboth into the future.

Mary Stuart
Rehoboth Beach


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