After more than two years of work, Linda Kauffman has stepped down as Rehoboth Beach parking advisory chair because commissioners continue to ignore committee recommendations on how to improve parking within the city.
In a Jan. 30 resignation letter to Mayor Paul Kuhns, Kauffman said her decision is a result of the path commissioners are taking in regard to the series of recommendations the committee has made. Committee member Jess Behringer also stepped down from the committee.
“I fully understand that our committee serves in an advisory capacity and is not the final decision maker,” said Kauffman, who could not be reached for comment. “However, when very few of the recommendations are being implemented, it is apparent that there is no need for an advisory body.”
Kauffman said the committee has worked hard and put forth a plan that was a compromise for all affected parties.
“As we have always stated, the hope was that the initiatives would be implemented as a whole with the understanding that they are all interdependent,” said Kauffman.
A year ago, after months of committee work, commissioners approved a number of changes to the city’s parking program. Those changes included an increase in commercial district parking meters from $2 an hour to $3 an hour; enforcement of a 3-hour time limit in certain areas; an increase in season length for parking passes; and a reduction of parking spaces dedicated specifically for the post office.
At the completion of the 2019 season, and after Rehoboth business owners complained, the committee recommended commissioners change short-term meter parking from three hours to four for the 2020 season. The committee also recommended limiting the number of permits issued per household to two permanent, two transferable and two scooter. Not being recommended this year is an extension of time within the permit parking areas to 10 p.m.
More recently, during a January workshop, city commissioners discussed increasing the amount of time possible for the short-term meters, but to 6 or 12 hours instead of four hours.
It has been a pleasure to serve the city, said Kauffman, who is still a member of the city’s board of adjustment.
It doesn’t appear the committee vacancies left by Kauffman and Behringer will be filled anytime soon. In an email Jan. 30, city spokeswoman Krys Johnson Johnson said committee members are typically assigned in the fall.
Moving forward, Johnson said the commissioners will continue to review committee recommendations for parking in Rehoboth.
Kauffman is also the chair of the city’s parking garage working group, which hasn’t met in months. It’s unclear if her resignation from one parking-related committee will affect the other. Johnson said the parking garage group meets as needed. At this time there are no meetings scheduled, she said.