Dewey mayor discusses town manager situation

July 7, 2017

While I was away on a short vacation, a series of complaints from employees was filed at town hall and, at the same time, sent to the press. The town manager was accused of some serious and complicated offenses. I, and the commissioners, take these issues very seriously.

Although you might hear a few people and attorneys say the town is not doing enough, those who know me will not believe that or any other hearsay. We might not always agree on every item; but you know me personally as an active citizen and elected official. I have consistently followed the code and have always done what is right for the town, employees and property owners as a whole.

I assure you that I do not take any of this lightly. No matter what the outcome, we will do what is proper and legal.

The commissioners have already met twice in executive session to discuss everything with the town attorney and special legal counsel. We have allowed the town attorneys to hire an independent law firm, and given that firm a free hand to conduct a thorough investigation of all allegations. Everyone will be held accountable.

We were also advised to separate the complainants and individuals involved. The commissioners have asked Jim Dedes, our assistant town manager, to act as the town point of contact for the various employees. This will last until the finalization of the process. I am personally committed to the welfare of all employees; and will provide constant oversight of the legal actions on behalf of the town. Dewey Beach town commissioners will properly consider all possible findings and any possible new approaches on a real time basis.

In order to have a personal contact with each and every employee, I have sent everyone an email explaining the situation, and advising them of some rights and benefits available.

The town is dealing with an unfortunate set of circumstances. We need to follow the advice of our legal counsel, and not let this play out in the media, or allow anyone to turn it into their personal political agenda. However, that can and likely will happen.

We've been down that road before. It was not pretty. It complicated the issues, and the resulting mean-spirited divisiveness certainly didn't profit the property owners in any way. For the benefit of all involved, let's try not to do that again.

In spite of the confusion and controversy, I wish you the best for the summer season in Dewey Beach.

Dale H. Cooke
Town of Dewey Beach


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