Mission statement becomes town template

The primary item on the agenda for the Bethany Beach Traffic and Parking Committee on Saturday, Jan. 15, was the creation of the committee’s mission statement.

The draft version of the mission statement, created by committee Chairman and Town Council Member Bob Degen, was a two-fold success. First, it was adopted by the committee as their recommended mission statement with a single small change. Secondly, Town Manager Cliff Graviet recommended the statement be used as a template for the mission statements of all town committees.

Broken down into the areas of mission statement, scope of work and membership, the parking committee’s tri-fold statement was said by Graviet to be a probable solution for a number of problems and issues that had arisen as the town’s numerous committees worked to develop their own statements.

With a single template used for creating the final mission statements, the basic elements governing the work and establishment of the committees would be more consistent between the committees, leaving less likelihood that major elements would need to be clarified later.

Graviet said he would recommend that other committees use the statement as a template when finalizing their own mission statements and that those who had already completed the draft versions to send to council “take another swing at this.”

The single change made to the draft statement from the traffic and parking committee was to extend the expected term of service for members from one year to two.

Committee members were unanimous in their agreement that the meeting schedule of the committee — only three to four times each year, as needed — meant the task was both less burdensome to perform for an extended period and required a longer initial period to get into the flow of the committee’s work. They deemed the two-year period of service more ideal and changed that element of the mission statement.

The finished draft statement, which will be provided to the town council at the council’s request, reads as follows:

• Mission Statement: The Traffic and Parking Committee is a standing committee established by the Town Council. Its mission and purpose is to review issues related to parking and/or traffic matters, in concert with the Town Manager’s Office and Bethany Beach Police Department, and make appropriate recommendations to the Council, on an as needed basis.

• Scope of Work: The Traffic and Parking Committee will review vehicular, pedestrian, bicycle, traffic and safety related studies, presented by the Town Manager’s Office and to offer advisory services related to these studies and actions contemplated as a result of the studies. The Committee may also make its own recommendations on these topics, and introduce them to the Town Council for approval.

The Traffic and Parking Committee will review all recommendations related to changes in regulations pertaining to parking, parking permits, and parking meter services.

• Membership of the Committee: The Traffic and Parking Committee shall be comprised of not less than five nor more than seven individuals, duly eligible to vote in general Town elections. The Chairperson is a Council member appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Council. Members are appointed by the Chairperson and confirmed by the Council. Each member serves a term of two years, with no limitations on the number of successive terms.

The next meeting of the Traffic and Parking Committee is planned for April 2005. Review of Section 197 of the town code is among the items scheduled for that meeting, per the request of the town’s Code and Ordinance Review Committee (CORC). Committee member Jane Fowler said she hoped the committee wouldn’t “tinker with it too much,” particularly as regards permit parking. She said she feared too many changes would break a system that currently works pretty well.

Fowler also requested further consideration be given to the idea, suggested by Degen, that the town use a two-tier parking permit system to allow the permits to be more useful for residents living west of Route 1.

Degen said he had considered the idea rejected at a previous meeting but would be willing to put it on a future meeting agenda, given sufficient time to announce the agenda items to the public and allow greater public input when the matter is discussed.