Seven candidates running for council in Bethany Beach

After a year off from hitting the voting booths, Bethany Beach citizens are gearing up for a bevy of town council candidates in 2013, as seven candidates filed this week to run for the three available seats on the council. Voting is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 7, from noon until 6 p.m., at town hall.

The slate of candidate includes two of the three incumbents whose two-year terms are up in 2013: residents Jerry Dorfman and Joseph T. Healy Jr. Councilwoman Carol Olmstead did not file for re-election this year. She is currently completing her fifth term on the council, including a stint as mayor.

Challengers in the 2013 council elections include residents Joseph C. Bellistri and Charles “Chuck” Peterson, and non-residents Carol Seal Brigleb, Jane North and Robert Steiner.

At least four of the seven members of the town council must be residents of the town, but all may be residents of the town. Presently, all seven council members are full-time residents of Bethany Beach, with Healy having recently moved from part-time resident to a full-timer.

Healy was elected to the council in 2007 after an unsuccessful bid in 2006 and consideration for appointment to a vacant council seat in 2005. A retired accountant, Healy has been heavily involved in the town’s finances in recent years.

Except for a year off the council, in 2008-2009, Dorfman has served on the council since he was appointed to complete a vacated term in May of 2005. He has served on various town committees and commissions since then and prior to his appointment to the council, including the town’s recycling committee.

Bellistri previously ran for a council seat in 2008 and 2009, coming up short both times. Peterson is the chairman of the Town’s Charter and Ordinance Review Committee (CORC) and a member of the Planning Commission.

Voters in Bethany Beach must be at least 18 years old, and either a property owner for 90 days prior to the election or a full-time resident for at least six months prior to the election. Bethany Beach property owners who are listed on the Town’s property tax list are not required to register to vote in town elections, while residents of Bethany Beach who do not own property must register to vote at least 30 days prior to the election. Residents may register at Town Hall or request a mailed registration form by telephone, mail or by email.

Voters can vote in person on Sept. 7 or may request an absentee ballot by filing an affidavit with the town. Affidavits are available at town hall or by contacting town hall and are also available on the Town’s website at The affidavit must be filed no later than noon on Friday, Sept. 6, in order to receive an absentee ballot. Absentee ballots must be received before the polls close on the day of the election.