Bethany to hear from council applicants on March 21

Would-be Bethany Beach Town Council members will have a chance to make their cases for the job to current council members on March 21 at 1 p.m., when the council convenes a special meeting to hear from those seeking to fill the seat recently vacated by longtime councilman and mayor Tony McClenny, due to health concerns.

The council discussed the appointment process at a meeting on Feb. 28, weighing whether the candidates should have time to speak to the council or should be considered based only on the résumés they provide and their involvement with the town.

Acting Mayor Jack Gordon said he didn’t feel the council would need to hear more from the candidates. But Councilman Lew Killmer said that, not knowing who might apply, he felt the council might want to ask some of them about their philosophy and why they want to be considered.

“I believe anybody who would apply for this would have been involved in town committees,” Gordon explained. “I’m not sure I would want to get involved with them if they hadn’t been involved.”

McClenny told the council that he agreed with Killmer that the candidates should be able to speak and the council should be able to ask them questions, if they wished.

The council settled on a three-minute time limit for statements from the applicants, voting 5-0 (with Councilman Joseph Healy absent on Town business) to set the March 21 special meeting, an hour before the scheduled March regular council meeting, as a time to hear from the candidates.

The candidate appointed by the council will complete McClenny’s term, which was scheduled to end with the September 2014 council election and will be subject to popular election at that time.