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Vote for Rehoboth values and open governance

July 24, 2020

On Aug. 8, the people of Rehoboth have an opportunity to reassert the values that made this city the treasured place that it is, and an opportunity to reclaim a process of governance that is open and responsive to the citizenry.

It’s the opportunity to vote into office three candidates who promise to redirect the energies of the city and reform the process of city government: Stan Mills (mayor), Patrick Gossett (commissioner), and Jay Lagree (commissioner). 

Each man has his own platform, as their campaign letters show. But their platforms share two overarching planks: 1) a commitment to preserve the unique values of small-town Rehoboth: “…concern over the rapid pace of development in the city… .  (Mills) “…never lose our city’s essential character.” (Gossett) “…ensure our city’s charm and character are preserved.”  (Lagree)

And 2) to assure open and citizen-responsive city government: “…restore faith and public participation in our government.” (Mills) “…committed to conducting city meetings in the open… .”  (Gossett) “…bring back transparency and consensus to our city government… .  (Lagree)

Vibrant economic development must maintain the unique character of Rehoboth, or it will be in vain. Today, development without regard to the character of the city - such as a massive hotel on the Boardwalk, and changes to the zoning code that will open the door to both residential and commercial overbuilding - threaten to upend the city’s enduring appeal.

In addition, in recent years, city governance has become increasingly clandestine. We can find examples in the closed-session advocacy of the Clear Space complex; BOC meetings where “open discussion” is pro-forma and outcomes seem pre-set; and the dismissal of citizen input, like past referenda on overdevelopment and the overwhelming citizen outcry on water rates.

We can reverse the not-so-hidden pro-developers agenda of our commission and return to more open governance.  Please vote for Mills, Gossett and Lagree.

Tom Childers and John Hall
Rehoboth Beach
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