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Rehoboth’s charm is worth preserving

November 19, 2019

With demolitions in Rehoboth Beach occurring at record pace, city officials must work ever harder to preserve the small-town charm Rehoboth treasures. 

Yet, with no apparent input from residents or from city commissioners, city staff recently spent $30,000 to install stormwater-pond-style fountains in Silver Lake – not in the shallow end, west of the Turtle Bridge, where aeration may be needed, but near the bridge to Dewey Beach.

Now we learn these fountains will be lighted over the holidays. What we won’t see, however, are the two lighted trees that for years have floated silently in the lake on winter’s longest nights.

City staff says the trees were beyond repair and called it unsafe to drag the trees into the lake. It also seems the new electrical panel for the professionally installed fountains has no space for one or two outlets to supply power for the floating trees.

Meanwhile, Envirotech, which officials consult to ensure water quality in the town’s lakes, installed the new decorative fountains, but to date the company has made no recommendation to aerate Silver Lake.

These decisions come at a significant cost not only to the budget but also to Rehoboth’s charm.

Now we learn last year’s creche fiasco continues. The Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce has offered to allow the creche to be placed at chamber offices, but since the offices are on city property, that location still could give the appearance city officials endorse one religion. That is unconstitutional.

Why doesn’t the Bandstand committee simply invite religious and nonreligious groups to contribute to a display that would pass constitutional muster?  

An inclusive display could remain at the Bandstand, in the heart of town, and would be a testament to Rehoboth’s welcoming charm and to the spirit of the holiday season: peace and good will to all.

  • Editorials are considered by the editorial board and written by Dennis Forney, publisher emeritus, and Laura Ritter, news editor, 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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