Olmstead gets second term as mayor

Carol Olmstead was selected to serve a second year-long term as mayor of Bethany Beach on Monday, Sept. 17, with the support of a majority of the new town council.

Olmstead, along with former Mayor and Councilman Bob Parsons and part-time resident Joseph T. “Joe” Healy Jr., were all sworn in to council seats Monday at the annual reorganizational meeting, after finishing in the top three spots among four candidates in the Sept. 8 council elections.

Five of the seven council members were eligible to serve in the new council’s officer positions: mayor, vice-mayor and secretary/treasurer. Part-time residents Healy and Tracy Mulligan were not eligible due to restrictions on the positions as related to their residency status.

Healy nominated Olmstead to continue as mayor, citing the continuity it would provide to the town. Council Member Tracy Mulligan nominated Parsons to return as mayor. But when it came to the voting, Mulligan voted for Olmstead. Parsons received his own vote, with the other five council members voting for Olmstead.

“Thank you,” Olmstead said to the council. “I look forward to us working together this year and all the things we can do for Bethany Beach.”

Vice-Mayor Tony McClenny and Secretary-Treasurer Jerry Dorfman were both selected Monday to continue in those jobs for another year, with no opposing nominations and unanimous support of the new council.

Olmstead took time Monday to thank outgoing council members Lew Killmer and Wayne Fuller, who decided not to run for re-election this year.

“I’d like to express our heartfelt appreciation to Wayne Fuller and Lew Killmer for their service to the town council, and the generous gift of their time and energies,” Olmstead said.

Healy, as a first-time council member, and Parsons, absent from the council for three years, have been offered orientation packets and a chance to meet with town staff to have answered any questions they might have about the town’s and council’s current operations.

The council did not announce on Monday new appointments and leadership roles for the town’s various committees. Council members have traditionally led most of the town committees, with Killmer most recently serving as the council’s representative to the Planning Commission. That post will need to be filled due to his departure from the council, as will his chairman’s role on the town’s commercial architecture Design Review Committee.

The council is set to announce its choices for committee appointments on Friday, Sept. 21, when the council will hold its first regular meeting in the new configuration. There will also be an executive session on possible property acquisitions to be held earlier that day. The executive session is closed to the public, while the 7:30 p.m. council meeting is open to the public.

The agenda for the Sept. 21 council meeting includes:

• Appointments to the Planning Commission and committee chair assignments.

• First reading of an ordinance to amend Chapter 40 (Planning Commission) of the Town Code as per a proposal from the Planning Commission, identifying in greater detail the Planning Commission’s duties, areas of responsibilities and membership; establishing membership as five voting members — plus the Building Inspector and a council member as additional ex-officio, non-voting members; changing members’ terms from two to three years; and incorporating parts of Delaware state law related to Planning Commissions into the Town Code for ease of access.

• Council discussion on whether to review a possible change in the ordinance that allows miniature golf courses as a use permitted by right in the C-1 Central Commercial Zoning District, subject to certain specific limitations and conditions regarding hours of operation, sound, lighting, architectural design and buffering and screening.

• Council discussion of the need for council workshops in the fall and, if needed, the topics and dates for such workshops.

• Consideration of a gift from Mary Elizabeth Short of a small parcel of land off Parkwood Street to the Town of Bethany Beach.

• Consideration of and voting on a contract submitted by Jerry’s Inc. for the 2008-fiscal-year Street Rehabilitation Project, for $147,017.

• Consideration of a contract from Rogers Signs for a memorial wall for Town Meeting Room for $16,870.