In an election year fraught with citizen concern about finances and more, South Bethany will have nine candidates for the four available seats on the town council – one of the most contended elections in the town in years. One of those seats has a one-year term, owing to the departure of Councilman John Rubinsohn last year. The other three seats have full two-year terms.
The incumbents for the three full-term seats are all running for re-election this year: Jay Headman, Bonnie Lambertson and Richard Ronan.
Contending against them for the seats are challengers Michael Matera Jr., George A. Morabito, Timothy D. Saxton and Robert S. Youngs.
Vying to compete Rubinsohn’s remaining year on the council are Joseph J. Brusich and Diane M. Matera.
Voting is set for Saturday, May 23, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at town hall.
Absentee ballots are available for any resident who is not able to vote in person on May 23. Residents who need to obtain an absentee ballot by mail should call the Town Hall at (302) 539-3653 and an affidavit will be mailed to them. After receipt of the affidavit, the absentee ballot will be mailed.
Voters may also go to town hall between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to complete the affidavit and receive an absentee ballot.
The affidavit and ballot must be filed with the town no later than noon on the day before the election, in this case, May 22.
As in most of the area’s beach towns, in addition to full-time residents, South Bethany permits non-resident property owners to vote and run for council seats. State law only prohibits non-resident council members from holding officer positions on town councils, such as mayor, vice-mayor/deputy-mayor and secretary or treasurer.
But would-be voters must be registered to vote in the town. Registering to vote in state or other elections does not qualify them to vote in South Bethany.
Headman, Ronan, Youngs, Morabito, Diane Matera and Brusich all list South Bethany as their full-time address. Saxton and Lambertson are part-time residents. Michael Matera lists a Rehoboth Beach address as his full-time residence.
Residents who may have questions regarding their qualification to vote in the town election should contact town hall at (302) 539-3653.