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Our choices for Rehoboth Beach election

July 17, 2020

Rehoboth Beach’s election won’t be decided until Saturday, Aug. 8. However, with requests for absentee ballots at more than 1,000, many people will be casting their ballots early. For that reason, we’ve decided to add our endorsements to the mix now.

Our support goes to Stan Mills for mayor, and to Patrick Gossett and Jay Lagree for commissioners. Their direct experience with Rehoboth government, and the skill sets and approach to local governance they bring best position them to help navigate the tricky waters ahead.

Coronavirus has unquestionably created a difficult climate for decision making, but it has also revealed an expedience- and top-down-based mode of management over the past several months when extra time and effort would have better served. The initial total beach closure, removal of all benches, extensive and ineffective placement of red barriers along Rehoboth Avenue, and the clearly unenforceable requirement of masks on the beach show a pattern of impulsive overreach. Intentions were good, but with more input from commissioners and community stakeholders – especially those hit hard by the faltering economy – those decisions could have been more finely tuned and just as effective with less harm.

Mayor Paul Kuhns deserves thanks for his earnest efforts on behalf of Rehoboth Beach, as do candidates Hugh Fuller and Rachel Macha for their service and interest.      

Mills, Gossett and Lagree, however, have demonstrated commitment to a more collaborative, transparent government. They’re about fundamentals such as the basic infrastructure that keeps Rehoboth Beach a safe and attractive city.

An inveterate wayfarer from his year-round residence in the heart of town, Mills is the epitome of management by walking around. He stays in touch with residents, business people and the town’s employees who know the city inside and out.

Gossett has proven a level-headed and patient listener. In a town where hotels are critical to the hospitality economy, his 20 years of employment with Hilton are a real plus.

Lagree, as a decade-long member of the city audit committee, knows and keeps a close eye on the numbers that represent the real workings of the city.

Rehoboth needs more stability. Mills, Gossett and Lagree offer that.  

  • Editorials are considered by the editorial board and written by Dennis Forney, Publisher Emeritus, with occasional contributions from other board members: Trish Vernon, CoPublisher and Editor; Dave Frederick, Sports Editor Emeritus; Jen Ellingsworth, Associate Editor; Nick Roth, Sports Editor; and Chris Rausch, CoPublisher and General Manager.

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