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Cape Gazette endorsements lack credence

July 23, 2020

Either the editorial board of the Cape Gazette has selective memory or does not refer to back issues of its reporting, or perhaps, most likely, has little credence in what it actually prints. Take your pick.

In making its endorsement of former Commissioner Stan Mills for the position of mayor of Rehoboth Beach, the editors claim transparency as a critical component of their endorsement, together with integrity and experience. Were that only the truth. 

The editors have either forgotten or chosen to ignore some inconvenient truths; an unfortunate tendency that seems epidemic since the installation of the current occupant of the White House. 

A sampling of the realities surrounding Mr. Mills’ transparency, integrity, and experience: 

Mr. Mills actively sought to impose residential zoning restrictions that would have deprived the (taxpaying) handicapped from enjoying the ocean and beach as well as therapeutic and recreational activities in their own homes. Apparently the handicapped don’t deserve the same rights and privileges as the non-physically handicapped (then) Commissioner Mills, of such noted integrity. 

As a commissioner, Mr. Mills fled the commission and left a legacy of out-of-control capital projects and a crumbling infrastructure that threatens our health and safety - so much for experience. 

Commissioner Mills was the first and only Rehoboth Beach commissioner to be reprimanded and censured by the Delaware Public Integrity Commission for violating the Code of Ethics (surely a plaque-worthy opportunity for City Hall, perhaps a commemorative park bench) acting as a vigilante policing targeted LGBTQ-friendly restaurants (one his next-door neighbor) for patio ordinance violations only to be told, after he was instrumental in having the owners arrested, that the two restaurants in question were grandfathered and hence not subject to that particular ordinance - something the commissioner apparently did not know, or chose not to remember - a combination of woeful incompetence and award-winning chicanery. 

It would be interesting to know the research undertaken by the editors in making this endorsement, although I doubt very much that will ever take place. At best we can put this down to sloppy journalism: on a good day.

The good citizens of Rehoboth Beach deserve top-tier elected officials. We do not deserve second-rate, retreads who are ethically and integrity-challenged. We have in place a mayor who has proven his value, his worth, and has delivered results in a challenging environment the likes of which Rehoboth Beach has not seen since the threat of invasion during World War II. There is no textbook that instructs as how to operate in an environment of pandemic.  Mayor Paul Kuhns has dealt with the Trump Virus in a consistently thoughtful, professional, and public safety-first manner. Other beach communities should be so lucky. 

Perhaps in the future the editorial board will consult its back issues, and review the record and experiences of individuals they purport to be worthy of elected office. Don’t hold your breath. 

Matthew T. Hastings
Rehoboth Beach
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