With the 2014 municipal election a little over a month away, two first-time incumbent Dewey Beach commissioners up for re-election have officially filed to keep their seats.
Commissioner Gary Mauler filed July 28 and Commissioner Courtney Riordan filed July 16 for the Sept. 20 election.
Mauler said he decided to run because there's unfinished business, and he was asked by people who voted against him last election. “I was surprised when people who didn't vote for me last time asked me to run,” he said.
Mauler said his background as an engineer helps him work through town issues. Engineers are known for being particular, for doing their homework and making sure all requirements are met, he said, and these are good business practices that can be applied to the town.
Mauler said he would like to see improvements in document management. He said he would like various processes and documents to be easier to find, so transitions among commissioners and town employees are smoother.
That'll help resolve some issues, but it's a slow process, Mauler said. Improved documentation will lead to a high quality, consistent product, he said.
Mauler said he would like to try to create an atmosphere in town where if someone makes a suggestion, that suggestion isn't ridiculed. He used the recent issue with the portable detention units as an example. He said it was made as a suggestion, but then blown out of proportion because media outlets were trying to sell papers.
“I'd like to create more of an atmosphere of working together,” he said.
Riordan said he decided to run for re-election because he thinks he can contribute to good governance. He said his philosophy during his first term was to try maintain a level of balance between all parties in town.
There are a number of groups who have different visions of what Dewey Beach should be, said Riordan, and there has to be a balance among those interests.
“What ever we do, it has to be sustainable. We have to be in it for the long haul,” he said.
Riordan said issues surrounding the commercialization of the beach needs to be watched. The beach is the town's most valuable resource, said Riordan, who is generally against any future commercialization. He said the current commercial activities on the beach, umbrellas and small food stands, are linked directly to the beach experience, but he would not be in favor of selling trinkets or T-shirts on the beach.
Riordan also would like to see more cooperation among the different groups in town. There's the entertainment, the youth who want to party and the old who want a nice quiet beach town, he said. It would be good to try and get more cooperation with all the parties involved.
“Dewey is a tolerant place, and I love that. I wouldn't want to see that lost. Anything we do has to be done with great foresight,” he said.
The deadline to file for the election is 5 p.m., Aug. 21.
Interested individuals must be at least 21 years old before the date of the election, have not been convicted of a felony and been a qualified voter for at least one year prior to the election date. Eligible voters have to be at least 18 years old and also a resident, a property owner, hold a valid lease for at least five years, or be a trustee of a trust that owns property.
Individuals must send a letter of intent to the town manager and complete a candidate filing form, which can be found at www.townofdeweybeach.com.