Just in time for the beginning of the summer season, the Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach business community got to meet two of the Cape Region’s newest leadership officials – Rehoboth Beach City Manager Laurence Christian and Dewey Beach Police Chief Constance Speake.
Christian went first at the May 17 luncheon hosted by the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce. He started by complimenting city officials and the business community. Describing the chamber as a life force for the local community, he said it plays a vital role in a successful society. As for city officials, he said he’s hit the jackpot.
“As a city manager, I’m looking for elected officials who are going to lead with integrity,” said Christian.
Christian took over as Rehoboth’s city manager at the beginning of the year. A few months in, Christian said he’s still in the evaluation phase of his tenure. He has to evaluate the situation first, he said, adding that he expects to have his first- and second-year goals formalized in the next month or so.
Christian may still be evaluating, but he’s already working on a new fee structure and is moving forward on a traffic study. These are mission value exercises, where a problem is identified and fixed from beginning to end, he said. The traffic study will be the most comprehensive ever done in Rehoboth and will provide a good look of where the city is, he said.
Christian said he’s also begun looking over code enforcement standards to make sure they’re being uniformly applied, new software systems that could be integrated and the creation of a new website.
On a scale from 1 to 10, he said, he’d give the website a five. If someone can’t get to where they need to be in three clicks, it needs to be redone, he said.
Following Christian, Speake said she’s working to change the hard-partying reputation of Dewey.
“I am change,” said Speake, acknowledging that not everyone was excited about her being hired.
Speake was hired in January and sworn in as Dewey Beach police chief in late April. She said she wants her officers to conduct themselves with honor while carrying out their duties and serving the community.
With summer just around the corner, Speake also said she’ll be out on the streets on weekends, like her officers. It’s important to be, she said.
Speake said there will be more officers on the streets, sitting in marked cars and wearing uniforms.
“We’re going for a more professional look, and you’re going to know it’s us,” said Speake.
RBVFC, Marshall recognized
Prior to Christian and Speake, the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company and longtime business owner Rob Marshall were each recognized for service to the community.
On behalf of the entire fire department, Dewey Beach Mayor Bill Stevens presented Chief Chuck Snyder, Capt. Kent Swarts and Vice President Warren Jones with the Dewey Beach Volunteer of the Year Award.
Marshall was presented with a skateboard-themed plaque that read, “Rad & Gnarly on Any Board,” recognizing his nearly three decades of public participation on local boards and organizations.