'All' for McGuiness, McGuiness for 'All!'

August 1, 2014

There are not many people left who can say they are from here. Here being Rehoboth Beach. Well Kathy McGuiness is one of those people. So when people say things about how "things" are changing, or have changed, she knows, as do I.

Going to school, working and practically living on the beach as a kid here, I remember all my friends would go to "big" Ocean City. I would much rather stay here and enjoy the hometown feel of Rehoboth Beach. When I moved away for the military and school, I new I would be back. I never new it would be so soon at the age of 24. I always thought it would be years later and I would end up retiring here.

At 26 I opened my first business here on Baltimore Avenue. Well 21 years and three locations later, there have been a whole lot of changes to my business and Rehoboth Beach. Some think for the good and well, some think for the worse. Just as I do with my business. When I opened my first business, I thought it was going to be myself, maybe a cook and a dishwasher, catering to what I thought at the time would be a projected whopping 25 to 30 people a week at a corner hangout. A little something for me to enjoy at the beach and just chill without the pressures of the real world. I figured, I would be open from May until October if I was lucky. Then I would get a job in the winter in Florida or somewhere warm. Boy was I delusional.

My first business opened and it grew immediately, and it grew and it grew - me fighting it the entire time. It kept growing and is today the Purple Parrot Grill on Rehoboth Avenue with sometimes over 100 employees in peak season and thousands going through the door a week. But what I have learned, is, you can have 10 employees or 100 employees, but when the people you know walk in the door and you are doing what you love, you might as well be the only one working. It is what you make of it that matters.

I love that about Rehoboth Beach, I love everything about it. I love that we are able to live a great life here. Amazing beaches, some of the best restaurants, diverse people and a community that gives so much back, that it makes me proud when I talk about our town. I love that you know the mayor and local politicians, and that they come out and eat or enjoy themselves in town. It keeps things real.

I worked my entire life to be part of a community and Rehoboth Beach has given me that in droves. There isn't much I would not do for this town. Sometimes (very few) we may end up on opposite sides of the aisle, but we manage to come together in the end. Rehoboth Beach is like a family; we won't always get along, but in the end we do.

You might ask, "what this has to do with Kathy McGuiness and the election?" Here is how it does. Rehoboth Beach is in some ways exactly like my business. Whether we like it or not, it is going to continue to grow; Rehoboth Beach is popular. People keep wanting to come here. Every year more and more tourists come and more and more new residents move here. There is just no way around it. We can fight it, we can complain about it, or we can find a way to manage it.

I actually heard a resident tell Kathy McGuiness before a meet and greet, that Rehoboth had too many people and that we should ban all bikes and mopeds from this side of the canal and close the bike paths that we just built between Rehoboth Beach and Lewes just to stop people from coming downtown. What? Well that was just stupid. Stopping people from coming is not an option. It is happening and is going to continue to happen. Rehoboth Beach is small town politics with some big city issues. We have got to figure out a way to address issues that concern all of us.

Whether it is the traffic, the parking, house size, noise, taxes, businesses, trees, water, bikes, mopeds, whatever it is, we need to address them, but address them with ideas on how we can manage them. Kathy McGuiness has those. She has been a progressive thinker for the entire time I have known her. She literally will take the time to listen and actually "hear" what you are saying.

We might not always like what the answers may be, but there needs to be a discussion on topics that concern us as property owners and businesses. I know that Kathy McGuiness will represent all of us when elected. We might not always get what we all think should be the right answer, but at the very least there should be a discussion before coming to a solution. Kathy McGuiness will give us that.

Before Kathy McGuiness was commissioner, she led the fight to bring the fireworks back to Rehoboth Beach. Whether you are for them or against them, you can not argue that the vast majority of people love them. The day of the fireworks, it actually takes away revenue from my business, but I know in the long run it brings it in. Sometimes we have to give a little to get a little in return.

I know there are some people that do not really care whether there is a viable business district downtown or not, and just about 20 years ago those people would have been happier than a kid in a candy store, as the saying goes. The Route 1 outlets and the chains nearly killed downtown businesses, but thanks in large part to Kathy McGuiness and others, we have what is a growing, lively and thriving downtown business district, that also maintains our small town charm.

We need someone who can represent the type of growth we can manage, Kathy McGuiness is that commissioner. There is a reason Kathy McGuiness was the top vote getter every time she ran for commissioner; it is because she gets results.

I do not really know all the people running for commissioner. I am sure they are all good people, but I do know Kathy McGuiness, and I do know she is more than good people, she is good for Rehoboth Beach.

I would not call Kathy McGuiness, "pro" business or "pro" property owner. I would call Kathy McGuiness "pro" Rehoboth Beach. So do Rehoboth Beach and yourself a huge favor; vote Kathy McGuiness commissioner again. We all deserve it.

Hugh Fuller
resident and business owner
Rehoboth Beach

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