EDITORIAL: Bethany Beach gets very wild


Sleep little Bethany Beach just got its wake-up call. And there would be no snooze alarm for some.

Two incumbents lost their seats in the election on Saturday. An organizational meeting found the mayor replaced — even though he wasn’t even up for election this time. That vote resulted in the ousted mayor giving up his seat on council, which in turn snowballed into the town council having to find a replacement for him. Frustrations turned into more upheaval as a member of the planning commission resigned his seat on Monday.

Remember when Bethany Beach used to be about boardwalk fries, sunburn and strange parking ordinances?

Well, politics got its way on this particular weekend in town. While many were enjoying the sights and sounds of the Boardwalk Arts Festival, the town was being changed for at least the immediate future from the inside-out. Like the moves or don’t like the moves, the obvious observation to take from this entire chain of events is that there were more coalitions at work here than a reality television show, and the coalitions worked politically just as some intended.

We’ll reserve judgement at this time, as we’d like to give the new council and leadership a chance to prove that they are indeed the ones to lead Bethany Beach in the future. This could turn out to be the greatest thing to happen to the town in many years, or could result in years of in-fighting and politicizing that causes things to remain stagnant — as we’ve seen in many other levels of government.

Congratulations to the new members of the Bethany Beach Town Council, as well as the incumbents who kept their seats. We’d also like to tip our hats to Carol Olmstead and Tony McClenny, who assume greater roles of leadership in the town, and wish them the best of luck in their new positions.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t thank Harry Steele and Lew Killmer for their efforts, class and competence during their time on the council — as well as former Mayor Jack Walsh, who dedicated his time and talent to offer leadership to a town he desperately loves.

Our guess is Bethany Beach will be just fine in the immediate future, as long as talented and dedicated residents and property owners continue to do their best for the town’s best interests, and the town’s employees are allowed to display their own skills.

Oh, Bethany got wild last weekend. Now it’s time to settle down and move ahead.