Letters to the Editor - April 11, 2008

White offers rebuttal to councilman’s letter

Editor’s Note: It is our policy to prohibit letters regarding elections from running the week of voting. The purpose behind that policy is to allow candidates one last opportunity to dispute any letters from that previous issue.


I am writing this letter to rebut the comments made by Councilman Roy Thomas in his letter to the editor, published in the Coastal Point on April 4, 2008, that relate to Susan White, candidate for town council. I, along with my husband, met with Mr. Thomas on April 4 at the town hall and asked that he write a retraction for his comments. He refused.

I have run an independent campaign and have not been in a “camp” with any other candidate. I do not believe that “the Public Safety Department should continue to get the lion’s share of the money available and let the Public Works Department and the administrative function of the town survive on table scraps”

What I have stated publicly and in other newsprint is that I feel we, as a town, need to re-evaluate the budget, delay the budget just passed, hold a public workshop with the Long Range Financial Planning Committee and the town council, and make sure that we have thoroughly covered all financial areas of the town’s needs, adding and deleting wherever we can, in the best fiscally responsible way.

What I stated publicly is that I would like to see the Administrative Department upgraded, to cross-train town employees, add current office and computer software, make use of electronic scanning procedures so that when a town resident/taxpayer needs a copy of a document, it can be scanned and e-mailed to them, reducing reproduction costs, etc.

I also believe, as his “other camp,” that available money and resources should be applied to the different departments on a “needs basis.”

This is the same approach I take in managing my home and my business. I have been a small business owner since 1985. My corporation is on sound financial ground and has been since its inception.

I am very offended by Mr. Thomas’s references to me and my inability to handle budgets and be fiscally responsible. I am the candidate who brought to the forum the issue of the town roads that will need resurfacing and upgrading, the issue of the water deal the council approved and signed for 30 years and how it’s going to be paid for, and the issue of a hostile work environment for some town employees fearful of losing their jobs if they speak out.

If you want to discredit me, why don’t you focus on what I really said and voice your opinion on my true words?

I have never used the words “table scraps.” I have never referred to raiding or depleting the “rainy day” reserves. I think I have made it very clear that I want a thorough investigation of the entire budget and how we have spent money over the past few years and how we are going to spend money over the next five years.

If you, Mr. Thomas, or anyone in Ocean View wants to know my thoughts and opinions on anything, just call me. Do not speak about or for me. As you know, I am very capable of speaking for myself.

Susan White, District 3 Council Candidate
Ocean View

Curves of Selbyville thanks community

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the community, Harris Teeter, Food Lion and all our wonderful members and employees for making our food drive such a huge success.

Thanks to your help, we donated 1,107 pounds of food to our local food pantry. Curves of Selbyville is located on Route 54 at the Williamsville Country Village.

Brenda Granz, Owner
Curves of Selbyville

Reader sees big need for ADA enforcement

We need help in enforcing a 17-year-old federal law making the sidewalks and business entrances handicapped accessible.

On one side is the Delaware Institute of Cosmetology and on the other side is a furniture store. The director of the Institute of Cosmetology has been trying to get the landlord to comply. Handicapped people in wheelchairs have trouble getting in there because of the lack of accessibility with the curb and steps.

There aren’t any handicapped accessible parking spaces or ramps available and the steps should be eliminated for wheelchair access.

With that being said, it is an ADA law that needs to be enforced.

Veronica Hesling

Impacts of plan need to be weighed

One of the biggest concerns of the plan’s critics is the county’s rule allowing two homes per acre on land zoned for agriculture.

Opponents say that level of density can lead to out-of-control development. Supporters, including a majority of Sussex County Council, say changing (reducing) the base density level would require compensation to land owners.

It would seem obvious that the additional cost to the state for allowing two homes per acre should be weighed against the impact on landowners.

Also, it is obvious that as the level of density approaches the “tipping point,” the greater the cost to the state for infrastructure, to homeowners for congestion and critical services, and to the environment and “livable Delaware.”

• What would these costs amount to in five to 10 years?

• Will the state have the resources to provide the infrastructure in advance?

• How attractive will the county be to new residents?

Analogy: as transmission lines approach overload on the bulk power system, congestion chargers are added to the cost of energy transferred through the congested area.

In any event, the state of Delaware should have the last word on Sussex’s Land Use Plan and its impact going forward.

Bill Patterson

Election discussion should be on real issues

In a recent interview with ABC News, Vice President Dick Cheney was asked to comment on the fact that the American public was largely opposed to the Bush administration’s policy on Iraq. Cheney’s answer: “So?”

From the very beginning of the Bush administration in 2001, there has been an unbelievable attitude that the office of president is above the Constitution, that they can ignore the laws passed by Congress and that the American public be dammed.

There are only nine months left in the Bush administration. We the people should demand that Congress withhold any approval or funding for any continuing relationship between the United States and the government of Iraq. The mess that has been created will need to be repaired by the next president.

We also need to demand that the three remaining candidates articulate their views on the following issues:

(1) Their time table for withdrawal from Iraq.

(2) Their strategy for Afghanistan.

(3) Their position on Universal Health Care.

(4) Their position on the value of the dollar vs. other currencies.

(5) Their position on a sane energy policy.

(6) Their position on funding for Medicare and Medicaid.

(7) Their position on maintaining Social Security.

(8) Their position on a Universal Income Tax rate.

(9) Their position on management of millions of undocumented non-citizens.

(10) Their position on a citizen’s right to privacy.

I am sure that your readers can develop their own list, but let us be well informed as we go to the polls this fall.

The media has failed to address most of these issues during the dozens of “debates.” We are better informed on John McCain’s first marriage, Hillary Clinton’s hair styles and Barack Obama’s pastor’s opinions.

These are not issues that will make a difference for our future.

So… demand answers.

Dennis P. Cleary
Bethany Beach

Walsh discusses bikes on the boardwalk

I’ve been riding my bicycle in Bethany Beach for over 20 years. It’s good exercise, an excellent form of transportation, no pollutants, reduces traffic and parking gridlock in the community.

One of the features I enjoy as part of my bike ride is a brief excursion onto the boardwalk where I can catch a glimpse of sea birds, the beach and on occasion bump into (not literally) a friend/acquaintance for a brief discussion.

I’ve never encountered a pedestrian accident during my rides.

Michael Redmon, Bethany Beach’s chief of police, was recently quoted as saying “complaints to his office are non-existent.”

If the mayor is seriously considering eliminating bicycling on our boardwalk, I would like to know where the public outcry is coming from. In my five years as a council member and former mayor, I’ve never been approached in regards to eliminating bicycle riding on the boardwalk and as both a bicyclist and pedestrian do not see the need for this restriction.

My observation is the bike riding occurring on the boardwalk is for the most part a casual/passive method of viewing the beach and not a high energy exercise activity as compared to the intense power walker or fervent jogger characterized by their heavy breathing and stride thumping as they whiz by you on the boardwalk, which can be somewhat intimidating to the casual boardwalk stroller.

These folks linger, putting in their boardwalk miles to achieve a certain level of exercise for the day. Unlike the jogger or walker, the bicyclist for the most part visits the boardwalk and leaves.

The biggest risk, in my opinion, is the inexperienced bike rider (who for the most part is a young child). Consideration of age and parental accompaniment controls may be a worthwhile thought in tightening up the current restrictions.

A further aspect of this is the consideration of widening the boardwalk (currently being evaluated by the Council?). This could mitigate the presumed risks of bikers to the pedestrians and maybe consider the possibility of bike paths on the boardwalk. In other words, contain bikers to an area on the boardwalk. This approach is being used in other states.

I should mention at this point that the typical adult bike rider is a responsible person and normally respects pedestrian’s safety.

A footnote to this is that Rehoboth has employed the following regulation with seemingly good success:

Rehoboth Boardwalk Regulations:

“Bikes are allowed on the boardwalk during the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. from May 15th through September 15th. Adult bike riders are not permitted on the sidewalks at any time. Children, under 12, please check with police for regulations.”

In talking with the Rehoboth Police Department, they have not experienced pedestrian/bicycle problems. They indicate limited pedestrian traffic on their boardwalk during 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. period.

In contrast, Bethany beach restricts its time period to three hours (Rehoboth’s is five hours), ending all bicycle boardwalk activity by 9:00 a.m.

I’ve limited my comments to the summer months, since I presumed that’s the period where the highest concentration of pedestrians occurs. Needless to say, as the weather cools so does the boardwalk activity.

To summarize, the Town has effective controls on the books which seem to be working. Maybe some further restriction/changes as mentioned above could be reviewed and considered for adoption.

I do not see anything that should warrant the complete elimination of bicycle riding on the boardwalk and respectfully request the mayor/Town Council to support bicycle recreation on our boardwalk.

Jack Walsh
Bethany Beach