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Congratulations Mayor Cooper.  But.....

August 22, 2014

Congratulations Mayor Cooper on your recent re-election, but....well, there you go again. The Cape Gazette reported that one of the first things the mayor said when discussing his re-election was that the victory “says people understand we need a new City Hall and that people understand ocean outfall is the right choice for the city.”

Well, that of course assumes that all of the 685 people who voted for the mayor are, in fact, also in favor of both the new, expensive City Hall and the ocean outfall option for disposing of treated wastewater, as opposed to their having voted for him because they know him, or are afraid of change, or didn’t like the other candidate, or one of a dozen other possible reasons that may have led them to cast their vote as they did.

No doubt some do support both initiatives, but I wager at least some who voted for the mayor are not in favor of one or both of those choices he has made and pushed.

More importantly, if you make the questionable assumption the mayor makes as to why the 685 voted for him, then you must assume that the 364 who voted against him were not in favor of either the new City Hall or the ocean outfall disposal method. Let me see, that means over 35 percent of the those who voted were against the policies the mayor claims the voters affirmed.

And, this doesn’t take into consideration the 22 percent of registered voters who didn’t vote, for one reason or another, as well as those not registered and the many non-voting constituencies who contribute greatly to the economic and social well-being of Rehoboth. Don’t their views count? Despite this, the mayor can conclude that “people” have decided on a new city hall and that ocean outfall is the best choice?

What happened to the mayor for “all” - the word and slogan I saw on your campaign posters?

I know the mayor reportedly also said that the victory “doesn’t mean we ignore public input,” but what does it mean then when you assert that the vote means “people understand” we need a new city hall and that “ocean outfall is the right choice.....”? I read that as the mayor asserting and assuming that 685 people have so concluded, and so that is enough for him to consider that his choices have a mandate - no more discussion.

No doubt the mayor rests his questionable assumption on the fact that he already had decided that he needed a new City Hall and that ocean outfall is the best choice. This is exactly the problem I pointed out in my letters in these pages before the election. I believe that the mayor has come to believe that his choices are the right ones for all, and other views really are not welcomed - they are just an annoyance.

There are not too many difficult issues confronting Rehoboth, and so all goes well probably whomever is the mayor. But fair treatment of taxpayers and ocean outfall are serious issues, and discussion should not be curtailed on those. The mayor will continue to get elected until there are enough people like me and those I mentioned in my letter of July 11 in these pages, who have had to fight and litigate with the city to secure what clearly were their rights, and until the many who do not vote feel the effect of the way decisions are made in Rehoboth Beach.

Until then, all is well, I guess, as long as the 685 aren’t adversely affected by some of these decisions and aren’t worried that others are or may be in the future. Congratulations.

Bruce Hiler
Rehoboth Beach

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