Elisabeth Gibbings and incumbent David Jasinski have filed to run in the Dewey Beach municipal election, set for Saturday, Sept. 18.
Elisabeth Gibbings, a clinical psychologist, filed July 19 as a non-resident candidate; her primary residence is in Chadds Ford, Pa. In a July 23 interview, she said her candidacy began during a Dewey Business Partnership event on the Baywalk.
“My two French Bulldogs chose to sit with some of the town leaders,” she said. “We started talking about things in Dewey and someone there suggested I should run for town council.”
Intrigued, Gibbings said she explored the idea by meeting and speaking with town and business leaders.
“I had lunch with Mayor Dale Cooke at Woody’s one Friday,” she said. “When he said he thought a female candidate should run to fill his spot, knew I had to enter the race.”
Gibbings said she had no specific agenda; rather, she said she wants to continue to build upon town council’s current momentum.
“I am very excited about how well Dewey is doing and want to be a part of continuing that,” she said. “I am so pleased that others are noticing this positivity as well, as has been noted in a number of recent articles in Cape Gazette.”
Some issues will need attention, Gibbings said, including keeping up the pressure on the 5G tower issue.
“Public safety will remain a priority,” she said. “The new crosswalks have been well received, but some adjustments might need to be added, such as signage and light placement. Bill Zolper, our town manager, already has some great ideas. As a clinical psychologist, I’ve frequently advised that you manage the environment so that you don’t have to manage the individual.”
Because people come to the beach to enjoy the outdoors, Gibbings said she would like to explore ways to make expanded outdoor dining options work for the town and business owners.
Gibbings said she grew up in Virginia Beach, and discovered the Delaware beaches while at grad school at Hahnemann University in Philadelphia. She said she and her family rented vacation homes for 20 years before buying their dream home in Dewey in 2019.
In addition to her private outpatient psychological practice, Gibbings is an adjunct faculty member at Immaculata University and a psychological consultant for IMA Group in Philadelphia and Dover.
She previously held administrative and clinical positions at Widener University, Rockford Center and Crozer-Chester Medical Center.
Gibbings has also held elected positions, including president with state professional organization Delaware Psychological Association and with national professional organization American Psychological Association as a member of the Council of Representatives.
“I believe these experiences would allow me to be a valued and productive member of Dewey Beach’s town council,” she said. “I have so enjoyed building relations with local and state leaders and look forward to continued productive exchanges if elected.”
Gibbings’ husband, Doug Marlowe, is a lawyer and psychologist who was involved with the evaluation of drug courts across all three counties in Delaware. They have two grown children living in California.
After twice filling in to serve a vacant town council seat in the past, incumbent Commissioner David Jasinski filed July 23 to enter the municipal race.
“I decided I was willing to make a two-year commitment, provided the citizens of Dewey Beach want me to,” he said by phone July 26.
Jasinski filed as a non-resident commissioner; his primary residence is in Washington D.C. He has owned property in Dewey for 23 years.
In May 2020, commissioners voted to elect Jasinski to fill the remainder of former Mayor TJ Redefer’s commissioner term; Redefer passed away in April 2020.
In 2014, council also selected Jasinski to serve as commissioner for the remainder of former Commissioner Ellen Danaher’s term; Danaher had resigned two months into her term, citing stress.
Jasinski said the town managed the pandemic situation well, but that he wants to continue to help town businesses, many of which are experiencing staffing shortages.
“And, we have a new town manager doing a rock-star job,” Jasinski said. “We are very grateful to have him here and I think he’s grateful to be here, too.”
Before becoming commissioner, Jasinski served for a number of years on the town budget and finance committee and the planning and zoning commission.
Two-year seats held by Jasinski, Mayor Dale Cooke and Commissioner Paul Bauer are up for election. Cooke announced June 11 that he would not run for re-election. Bauer had not filed by the Cape Gazette print deadline.
The deadline for candidate filing and voter registration is 5 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 19. Eligible voters may vote by absentee ballot or in person.
The election will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 18, in the Dewey Beach Lifesaving Station, 1 Dagsworthy Ave. For more information, go to townofdeweybeach.com or call Town Hall at 302-227-6363.