Bethany election set for Saturday

The annual election for the Bethany Beach Town Council will be held on Saturday, Sept. 6, from noon to 6 p.m., to elect four council members to two-year terms. The five candidates include incumbents Jack Gordon, Rosemary Hardiman, Lew Killmer and Margaret Bogan Young, and challenger Bruce Frye.

Voters should bring to the polls with them proof of their identity and address, such as a current State of Delaware driver’s license, a uniformed service ID card, another current photo ID issued by the State of Delaware; U.S. government, the voter’s employer, high school or higher education institution; a current utility bill, bank statement, credit card statement, a paycheck, or another type of bill or statement; a lease or sales agreement; and/or any other documentation that a person can reasonably and commonly accept as proof of identity and address. A council reorganizational meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on Sept. 15 at town hall.

To help inform Bethany Beach voters ahead of the casting of ballots, the Coastal Point asked all five candidates a series of questions. Here are their responses, in alphabetical order by candidate’s last name:

Bruce Frye

Q. How should the town deal with future proposed large-scale commercial projects (i.e., multi-business retail projects)? Should the Town offer accommodations/incentives to developers to encourage such projects?

A. A healthy business district is one key component of a healthy town. Our 2010-2015 Bethany Beach Comprehensive Plan has a recommendation to “Create a Vibrant and Active Business District.” To me, “a vibrant and active business district” does not mean “large-scale commercial projects.” This question was probably generated by the new hotel (which I think was a one-time event, replacing an old hotel with a new one), but I am not aware of any other large-scale projects planned and I don’t see a need or a desire to create incentives.

That being said, a goal in the comprehensive plan “includes convincing business owners to respond to the needs of an ever-growing locally-based year-round population … rather than focusing solely on summer and beach-related business.” I think good two-way communications between the Town and businesses, along with clear goals (as in the Comprehensive Plan) are all the incentives necessary for healthy growth.

Q. Should the Town further expand its entertainment offerings, such as offering movies on the beach on additional nights or new types of entertainment? Should such offerings be extended beyond Labor Day and/or before Memorial Day?

A. Any increase in summer offerings would need to be financed by the summer income (parking and rentals), which is the town’s philosophy. A goal of the Comprehensive Plan is to extend entertainment/dining/cultural events into the shoulder months, but I expect this would be done by private/commercial interests, not financed by the Town.

Q. What do you feel the Town should do, if anything, about persistent flooding in some areas?

A. There are several causes of flooding: heavy rain resulting in slow drainage, storm surges in the canal which back up in the storm sewers, and major storms and sea-level rise. Improved maintenance of the storm sewers and swales can speed the drainage, so the Town should prioritize this activity.

For the canal issue, the Town is awaiting new recommendations from the Army Corps of Engineers. Once received and approved, the Town will need to look for funding for this potential solution. The sea level rise issue is a longer term concern with no easy answers, but we should start now discussing, planning and incorporating this threat into our Comprehensive Plan. We also need to continue to be actively engaged in county, state and federal efforts.

Q. What do you think should be the features of the new Town park?

A. I agree with the opinions of the majority of our landowners, as seen in the recent survey. Most favor a natural park (no swimming pool, tennis court, etc.) professionally designed with appropriate plantings, paths and park benches. The process will be to have several plans sketched out and subject them to public review before initiating the project.

Q. What regulations do you feel the Town should be enacting regarding residential building (architectural design, color palate, bulk, height – including possible accommodations for height to encourage property owners to build starting at higher levels, due to the potential for flooding, etc.)?

A. One recommendation in the 2010-2015 Comprehensive Plan is: “Evaluate and Recommend Effective Approaches That Focus On The Compatibility of Extra Large Houses With The Existing Housing Stock in Bethany Beach.” I have witnessed a series of good discussions on this subject at the Planning Commission meetings over the past years.

Dictating “taste” is always a tough proposition but the Planning Commission is working hard to understand the “tastes” of the majority and the abilities of the architects and builders to comply with guidelines that are flexible rather than proscriptive, creating tradeoffs and incentives for more “Bethanyesque” houses.

The issue of freeboard and roof height has recently been resolved in South Bethany, and was an issue in Dewey. I believe Bethany will have to have the same discussion in the future months. Reducing flooding damage is good for everyone, so we need to look for ways to make this feasible without jeopardizing our “skyline.”

Q. What are your credentials for serving on the town council? Why should people vote for you.

A. During the past four years, I have literally attended more than a hundred meetings (Town Council, Council Workshops, Audit & Finance Committee, Planning Commission, Non-residential Design Review Board), served on three committees (Charter & Ordinance, Board of Adjustment, and July 4th Parade), and taken two U of D government courses. This exposure gave me some understanding of how the town works and what the issues are.

In addition, during the past year, all of the Town Council members, including the mayors, have encouraged me to run for council. My background is science and industry (manager at General Electric). I sum up my attributes as fresh eyes, knowledge and an energetic volunteer.

Jack Gordon

Q. How should the Town deal with future large-scale commercial projects (i.e. multi-business retail projects)? Should the Town offer accommodations/incentives to developers to encourage such projects?

A. I do not believe we will be faced with any large-scale projects in the near future, as we are pretty much built out in Bethany in our commercial zones. However, if a developer should want to tear down an existing commercial building in the C-1 or C-2 zones and rebuild another structure, our current building construction ordinance and the Non Residential Design Guidelines are currently in place and established to oversee such development. I do not believe that it is the Town Council’s intent or function to accommodate or incentivize such development.

Q. Should the Town further expand its entertainment offerings, such as offering movies on the beach on additional nights or new types of entertainment? Should such offerings be extended beyond Labor Day and/or before Memorial Day?

A. I believe the town currently provides an exceptional level of entertainment and activities in the way of the crafts fair, movies, bonfires and bandstand entertainment during the summer, highlighted by the July 4th parade and fireworks. The town also supports a number of shoulder-season activities in the runs, walks and other charity-sponsored fundraising activities outside the beach season to attract tourists before Memorial Day and after Labor Day. I believe that due to the relatively small size and quiet nature of the town, doing more out of season is not practical.

Q. What do you feel the Town should do, if anything, about persistent flooding in some areas?

A. I live in one of Bethany’s most flood-prone areas of the town, Lake Bethany. During Sandy, Heron Drive in front of my house was under more than two feet of water. I am extremely aware of the problems we have, but I am also very aware that the flooding problem in Bethany has no easy, let alone inexpensive, fix.

The Public Works Department is constantly working to improve drainage in the flood prone areas of the town. This includes work with the swales in most areas of town and replacement of drainage pipes, most recently in the northeast end of town. The town has committed funds to the currently ongoing study by the Army Corps of Engineers of the flooding problems in town and beyond our boundaries to the north to study and seek out solutions to our flooding problem. A report on their findings, delayed by their workload caused by Sandy, will be available soon.

This does not guarantee solutions will be found. They will not want the solution to be to transfer our problems to other areas. We must realize that we in Bethany are in a low-lying area. Most of our drainage is into the Loop and Assawoman canals. If there is a tidal event with a substantial amount of rain, the water has nowhere else to go, and there will be flooding no matter how much money we spend trying to solve the problem.

Q. What do you think should be the features of the new Town park?

A. At its July meeting, the Town Council reviewed and discussed what the Bethany property owners indicated they wanted as features in the new town park in the survey sent to them by the town. The results of the survey overwhelming indicated a preference for a low-key area with walking/bicycle paths, benches and plantings for natural beauty, with a minimum of impact from recreational features. Based on this survey, the council voted for such features in the park and directed the town manager to contract with a park design company to create a choice of designs for such a park. Alternate designs for a park with these features will be presented to the townspeople, and from these a plan will be chosen.

Q. What regulations do you feel the Town should be enacting regarding residential building (architectural design, color palate, bulk, height) including possible accommodations for height to encourage property owners to build starting at higher levels, due to the potential for flooding, etc.

A. The town’s existing building codes are currently very adequate for residential building setting appropriate limitations. They will be reviewed in light of the new FEMA flood insurance requirements to be implemented soon. Height limit requirements on homes could be affected depending on base flood elevation levels that might be established in the future. The Town of South Bethany has recently implemented the ability to increase home heights based on “freeboard” above base flood elevation levels. Bethany should explore this possibility in light of the potential for climate change and rising sea level.

Q. What are your credentials for serving on the Town Council? Why should people vote for you?

A. I believe my financial background and leadership skills from my past occupations as an officer in the Navy, an officer of a data processing consulting firm and as CFO of Navy Federal Credit Union have enabled me to be of value to the town since I was elected to the Town Council in 2008. My background, coupled with the experience, insights and knowledge I have gained from six years on the town council as secretary-treasurer, vice-mayor and currently mayor, qualify me to be in a uniquely useful position to continue to serve the residents, property owners and businesses of Bethany Beach.

Rosemary Hardiman

Q. How should the Town deal with future proposed large-scale commercial projects (i.e., multi-business retail projects)? Should the Town offer accommodations/incentives to developers to encourage such projects?

A. Unlike Ocean View and other nearby towns and municipalities, Bethany Beach does not have any remaining undeveloped commercial land tracks. So I don’t foresee any large-scale commercial project proposals in the near future or any reason to encourage such a project.

The only way I see such a project happening would be if an existing multi-business retail structure were to be torn down and rebuilt by the owner. Any project proposed would be considered in accordance with applicable provisions of the Town Code and established procedures, including multiple opportunities for public input.

Any committee recommendations or Council decisions in such a matter would be based on all the facts and circumstances at the time, the controlling legal authorities, and the best interests of our Town and its citizens.

Q. Should the Town further expand its entertainment offerings, such as offering movies on the beach on additional nights or new types of entertainment? Should such offerings be extended beyond Labor Day and/or before Memorial Day?

A. Entertainment and other events at the bandstand, on the beach and at Town Hall contribute to the family-friendly summer experience that draws citizens and visitors alike to downtown Bethany. The Town monitors attendance at these events, seeks feedback to evaluate them and is open to suggestions. Adding movie nights or extending the events beyond Labor Day and/or before Memorial Day are ideas worth considering.

In evaluating such suggestions, the Town would take into account and weigh potential public attendance, cost and personnel. The overall Town policy is that summer revenue must cover summer expenses, including the cost of entertainment and personnel, so that these expenses are not borne by taxpayers.

While movies on the beach are popular, the license to show a movie ranges from $325 to $425 each, depending on the movie. Additional personnel costs for staffing extra work nights and the availability of personnel and related costs for an extended season also would have to be taken into account.

At the present time, Tuesday and Wednesday nights are the only free nights on the Town’s entertainment calendar for two reasons. First, Thursday through Monday are generally the days that there are most people in Town; and second, our small entertainment and public works staff need and are entitled to some time off during a workweek.

It is my observation that at the present time the Town has a great mixture of events. Being professionals, Town staff members are constantly evaluating and open to suggestions to make events and the summer experience even more enjoyable for all of us.

Q. What do you feel the town should do, if anything, about persistent flooding in some areas?

A. My husband and I live in a home adjacent to the Loop Canal and have been affected by flooding on several occasions. So, I am very aware of the scope and seriousness of the problem for so many citizens and am personally committed to finding solutions. In fact, when I was a member of the Communications Committee, I researched the issue, drew on the extensive knowledge, experience and efforts of former Council Member Harry Steele, Town Manager Cliff Graviet and Public Works Director Brett Warner, and prepared an information paper on the subject.

As we know, a significant portion of the Town has been built very close to sea level and almost all of our drainage system is at or below sea level. In addition, the Town is almost entirely surrounded by ocean and tidal canals. It is into these canals that our rainwater drains and from these canals that Bethany floods in a tidal storm and heavy rains. The worst flooding occurs on North Pennsylvania Avenue and the area north of Route 26.

The Town is awaiting an Army Corps of Engineers’ report on whether there is any economically feasible and workable solution to flooding caused by tidal events. Regarding flooding caused by rainwater alone, the Town has devoted significant resources over the last dozen years to enhance drainage throughout the community. Systems that were long neglected have been restored and, overall, rainwater moves out of the Town more quickly than it did over a decade ago.

To my knowledge there is no workable and affordable proposal that would keep North Pennsylvania Avenue from flooding. Although apparently engineers proposed a drainage system that would help move rainwater (without any accompanying tidal flooding) more efficiently from the street, the price tag would be over $1 million. However, we must continue to search for workable and affordable solutions to flooding issues throughout the Town.

As a member of the Town Council, I would be committed to ensuring that the Town continues to look for realistic and cost-effective ways to help mitigate the problem of flooding throughout our Town, within the constraints imposed by the elevation, geography and hydrology of the Town and the surrounding area.

Q. What do you think should be the features of the new Town park?

A. I think determination of the features in the new Town park should start with consideration of those identified by a majority of the over 900 property owners and residents who responded to the survey the Town conducted. Based on the input from the survey, the majority of responders want to keep it as natural as possible and incorporate features that mirror that goal: shade trees, benches, bike paths, natural plants, among others.

The next step in the Town’s park development plan is to engage a landscape architect to develop multiple concepts based on these features. The concepts that are developed will be mailed to citizens in the Town newsletter and comments will be solicited. Concepts will be reviewed in a public forum and further refined before any final decision by Council is reached. There will be plenty of opportunity for citizens to participate in the final design of the Park with features that a majority would like to have.

Q. What regulations do you feel the Town should be enacting regarding residential building (architectural design, color palate, bulk, height—including possible accommodations for height to encourage property owners to build starting at higher levels, due to the potential for flooding, etc.)?

A. Over the past year, the Planning Commission has been reviewing the Town Code and how it currently regulates mass, bulk and scale of residential construction. Their goal is to determine how the Code can be improved to address concerns expressed by citizens regarding the compatibility of some new homes with existing homes within a neighborhood.

The Planning Commission will be proposing some changes in the Code to control bulk density of new residential structures, while also allowing property owners, designers and builders to have options and encouraging architectural diversity when designing new homes. The Commission’s meetings have been open to the public, and they have invited and included local architects, designers and builders.

My understanding is that the Planning Commission will be presenting their recommendations to the Council in the near future. If I am on Council at that time, I and other Council members will review and consider the Commission’s research and recommendations. Here again, there will be opportunities for public input before any final decision.

Regarding possible accommodations for height to encourage property owners to build starting at higher levels because of the potential for flooding, I believe that the Town Code already provides for such height adjustment. Some other towns measure permissible height as a certain number of feet from the center of a roadway. This measurement does not take into account base flood elevation (BFE) as determined by FEMA. Base flood elevation is the elevation associated with a 100-year flood, which is a flood with a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year.

In contrast, under our Town Code, the lowest floor of a building cannot start below the base flood elevation of that particular lot. The height is measured from there to the highest point of that structure. The BFE can vary from lot to lot depending on the FEMA map. The Code provisions have served Bethany well over the years and BFE is adjusted automatically with changes to the FEMA flood-plain maps.

Q. What are your credentials for serving on the town council? Why should people vote for you?

A. I believe that I have the relevant knowledge, experience and professional background to continue to make a positive contribution to the successful accomplishment of the work of the Council and our Town government.

Town government experience: I have served as a member of Town Council since March 2014, as well as on various Town committees: Communications (as member and chairperson) Recycling and Charter & Ordinance Review and in past years as an election officer (judge) and member of the Election Board.

County and state experience: I serve as vice president of the Sussex County Library Advisory Board and represent all libraries in Sussex County on the State Council of Libraries. This has provided knowledge of and experience with our inter-governmental relationships.

Professional background: In my prior management and professional life, I served as secretary of the board and deputy executive director of a federal agency; and later as an attorney in private practice representing credit union clients in the resolution of disputes and providing legal advice on various management issues.

In addition to being very helpful as Council member, that experience provided me with a deep appreciation and respect for the rule of law; the duty to apply it fairly and equally; the necessity and value of soliciting and considering different points of view and basing decisions on facts and legal authorities.

Community involvement: Over the past 10 years as a full-time resident, I have gained more knowledge and appreciation for the rich diversity of our area and people by playing minor roles as a volunteer from time-to-time in various community activities: Read Aloud Delaware at Lord Baltimore Elementary School; St. Ann’s bazaar and English as a Second Language Program with Frankford Public Library; Women’s Civic Club of Bethany Beach; VFW Post 7234 (Sunday Breakfast Crew); Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Team; and the Farmers’ Market.

With the background described, I believe that I have the necessary qualifications to fulfill the responsibilities of a Council member, deal fairly and effectively with the broad range of issues that come before the Council, and represent the interests of all citizens.

As I have previously said, I fully understand that the position of Council member is a position of trust and responsibility. If elected, I would, as I have for the past five months on the Council, continue to solicit input from citizens and devote the time, energy and thoughtful consideration to the work involved. I am prepared to make this commitment for the good of our Town and of all our citizens in order to keep Bethany Beach a wonderful family-friendly community.

Lew Killmer

Q. How should the Town deal with future large-scale commercial projects (i.e. multi-business retail projects)? Should the Town offer accommodations/incentives to developers to encourage such projects?

A. Bethany Beach is ? one square mile in total area and other than a few “large” buildable tracts of land that are all zoned residential, the Town is essentially built out! The new hotel that was overwhelmingly approved by the voters is the last of the “large” tracts of land that is considered commercial in nature, which is located in downtown Bethany Beach.

I personally do not consider the installment plan offered to Mr. Burbage as an accommodation/incentives since there is a pending legal suit that is before the court in which the ultimate outcome might have substantially reduced the amount of money that the Town is entitled to receive. This was a compromise, not an accommodation, that avoided all potential legal challenges. To the best of my knowledge, the Town currently, as well as historically has not offered accommodations/incentives to developers.

Q. Should the Town further expand its entertainment offerings, such as offering movies on the beach on additional nights or new types of entertainment? Should such offerings be extended beyond Labor Day and/or before Memorial Day?

A. Yes appears to be the no-brainer answer, but perhaps there are other factors to also consider. When families are watching movies, they are not patronizing our downtown business establishments, in which those downtown businesses heavily rely on the business of those same “summer” moviegoers.

Secondly, there would be the need to provide additional Town staff, security and the coast of renting the movie on multiple movie nights — something the Town would need to establish the bottom-line cost before implementing. Finally, nearby communities, such as Dewey Beach and Fenwick Island, also have movie nights, so it is important that the towns do not oversaturate this form of summer entertainment.

As far as “new types” of entertainment, the current wonderful diversity of the types of entertainment on our bandstand does not require the Town to pursue “new types” of entertainment.

I personally would like to see movies on the beach, weather permitting, offered before Memorial Day and after Labor Day. The Town has a critical mass of year-round residents both in Bethany Beach and in surrounding communities that might enjoy movies on the beach during those times of the year and, unlike our summer guests, it would be a reason for our residents and neighbors to come to our downtown area and patronize our businesses, and it might be the right incentive to possibly justify our business owners to open earlier and stay open longer each year!

Q. What do you feel the Town should do, if anything, about persistent flooding in some areas?

A. I have served on the Sea Level Rise Committee, as well as the Senate Bill 64 committee that focused on stormwater management and flood damage prevention. Did you know that the State of Delaware is the lowest state in the United States regarding sea level and therefore will be the most impacted regarding potential future changes in our climate? Did you know parts of our downtown are actually at and/or below sea level? FEMA will soon be officially issuing the new floodplain map for Bethany Beach. The new FEMA map now has 80 percent of the town in a floodplain, compared to the old map, in which only 50 percent of the town was in a floodplain!

So what can all of us and the Town do regarding the negative impact of persistent flooding? This issue has been discussed, plans developed, studies funded and engineering plans drawn up and paid for by the Town for as long as anyone can remember. There are no easy or cost-effective answers. Sure, there are plans in place that cost millions of dollars that could minimize flooding in parts of the town east of Route 1, but those same “improved sections” will still flood during coastal storms such as nor’easters, hurricanes, tropical storms and torrential downpours! Also, much of our flooding in our town comes from sources of floodwater whose source is mostly north of Bethany Beach.

The best thing that you and the Town can do is to make sure all stormwater drains and swales that may intersect your property are kept clean and free-flowing. The Town needs to continue to inspect, maintain and replace underground stormwater drains that are blocked, undersized or have been crushed. Just look at the dramatic decrease in flooding in front of the U.S. Post Office since some of the preexisting drainage issues were corrected during the construction of the new conference center across from the post office!

Q. What do you think should be the features of the new Town park?

A. I fully support the name that our town manager suggested for the Town park, “Central Park of Bethany Beach,” since Central Boulevard runs along the north side of the park and therefore it would be our mini-version of Central Park in New York City.

The Town has sent and collated the results of a survey sent out to all voters in the town, with the majority wishing to keep the park as natural as possible, with walking paths, benches and similar low-impact features, as well as directing the Town to control the cost of improving the property. The Town is in the process of hiring a landscape architectural firm who is experienced in developing town parks, and they will propose a number of design concepts that will be open for review and comment from the public before finalizing on the design.

Q. What regulations do you feel the Town should be enacting regarding residential building (architectural design, color palate, bulk, height) including possible accommodations for height to encourage property owners to build starting at higher levels, due to the potential for flooding, etc.

A. You have asked a lot of questions in a single paragraph. First, color of a residential structure is a personal choice, and the Town should not be involved with that issue. The Planning Commission has just finished a multi-year study dealing with the issue of residential bulk density for the R-1, R-1A and R-1B zoning districts.

This proposed new ordinance that was recently sent to the Town Council for their review and their possible consideration sometime in the future deals, with bulk, existing neighborhood compatibility of a new structure, in terms of size and scale, style of residential structures, as well as setbacks, maximum lot coverage and other related zoning issues for all new structures. This well-illustrated proposed legislation will soon be on the Town’s website.

Regarding height of residential structures in Bethany Beach, I personally see no need to increase the height of a residential structure above 31 feet above base flood elevation.

Q. What are your credentials for serving on the Town Council? Why should people vote for you?

A. It has been my honor and privilege of representing our community on the Bethany Beach Town Council for the past nine years. In addition to currently holding the position of vice mayor, I am also the chairperson on the Planning Commission, as well as the Non-Residential Design Review Committee.

Over the course of several years, I have successfully pursued a course of instruction that was designed for the development of municipal leaders. I also actively participated in a number of training courses sponsored by various federal and state agencies on such topics as public administration, the impact of climate change on coastal Delaware, planning and zoning, downtown community development, public safety, emergency management and transportation, to name a few. As a result of my commitment to continuing education, I was awarded a certificate of accomplishment from the University of Delaware’s Institute of Public Administration.

I have also volunteered for a number of community groups and organizations, such as the Delaware Valley Science Fair, the Sussex County Science Fair, the Seaside Craft Show, Adopt-A-Highway Program, South Coastal Library, Saint Ann’s Men’s Club and the Knights of Columbus. I am also on the executive committee of the Delaware League of Local Governments and actively involved with the Sussex County Association of Towns.

Working with the Bethany Beach/Fenwick Island Chamber of Commerce, I will continue to act as an liaison between the Town Council and the commercial and business property owners so that relationship continues to be more proactive rather than reactive and to reach out to municipal leaders in our surrounding communities for the need for all of us to speak with a single voice to the members of our state and county legislators, especially for those issues that impact coastal communities.

Margaret Young

Q. How should the Town deal with future large-scale commercial projects (i.e. multi-business retail projects)? Should the Town offer accommodations/incentives to developers to encourage such projects?

A. Great attention needs to be given to any code, or rezoning changes. The unfortunate decision, which was not in conformance with Bethany’s comprehensive plan, to rezone the area south of Hollywood from residential to commercial lodging, has set a precedent which will present difficulties in the future, when it may be referenced by developers requesting zoning changes in order to gain approval for their non-conforming building plans.

Large commercial enterprises, particularly east of Route 1, threaten Bethany’s future as the best of the “Quiet Resorts.” Prospective developers are well aware of our fees before proceeding with their projects. To accord them preferential treatment is unfair to all other taxpaying citizens, all of whom should be treated equally, without regard to their personal wealth, or powerful influence. Large construction is undertaken for one reason only — monetary gain for the developer.

Q. Should the Town further expand its entertainment offerings, such as offering movies on the beach on additional nights or new types of entertainment? Should such offerings be extended beyond Labor Day and/or before Memorial Day?

A. The Town presents entertainment on the bandstand three evenings per week from June 13 to Aug. 31. Movies are shown on the beach every Monday, along with a bonfire held on Thursdays. Three children’s theatre productions are presented at Town Hall during July. There are several exercise/yoga classes offered during the summer. In addition, the Town hosts the Seaside Craft Show on the first Saturday in June, the Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival on the first Saturday in September, and the Jazz Funeral on Labor Day.

I believe there are enough entertainment events during the summer season. However, a movie might be welcome on weekends in September and October, and also in April and May, as there are many weekend visitors during those times. Saturday nights would be the best choice.

Q. What do you feel the Town should do, if anything, about persistent flooding in some areas?

A. In 2011, Bethany Beach entered into a partnership with the USACE, which I sponsored, to participate in a feasibility study to discover solutions to our flooding problems in the northern section of town. Three years have passed with no progress reports, or recommendations, which should be supplied on a regular basis.

The deterioration of the Loop Canal, our second most important historic site, completed in 1910 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, must be addressed. It is mud-filled with street sediments and bank erosion. The canal is Bethany’s only stormwater retention pond. That retention grows less and less every rainy day.

The Corps study is dealing with tidal flooding primarily. We need to know if ways to stem the tidal flooding from the Loop Canal are both cost-effective and workable. The Town has done some work in improving stormwater drainage in its northern area, but more work is still needed. Our beach is well protected with the dunes, but the tidal flooding north of Garfield needs to be seriously addressed and acted upon.

Q. What do you think should be the features of the new Town park?

A. The new Town park should include flowers, shrubs and trees, walking paths and benches. An area for ground level games, such as horseshoes, bocce, the new, very popular beanbag toss, and hopscotch, would afford a choice of activities. A very small play area for young children, similar to the one at the Nature Center, would provide an activity for them, while their parents are relaxing on the benches. If a water problem arises, a water feature might be added as an attractive solution to that problem.

Q. What regulations do you feel the Town should be enacting regarding residential building (architectural design, color palate, bulk, height) including possible accommodations for height to encourage property owners to build starting at higher levels, due to the potential for flooding, etc.

A. I’m not certain that Bethany needs to enact new residential regulations — certainly not without extensive public involvement on the part of those who own the residences and pay the taxes that support regulations. Bethany’s residential height restrictions already have an accommodation allowing homes in low-lying parts of town to modestly exceed the 31 foot height limit when attempting to reach the 8 feet above sea level requirement for the first habitable floor of new or rehabilitated homes.

In order to relieve the bulky sensation that some new homes create, the Planning Commission has been studying ways to encourage builders to design homes which, though large, would closely resemble traditional beach cottages. I think residents appreciate the restrictions, maximum lot coverage and setbacks that help keep our residential areas reasonably comfortable.

Q. What are your credentials for serving on the Town Council? Why should people vote for you?

A. When Bethany approved an unpopular increase in residential height limits, I and other citizens circulated a petition for a referendum. We gathered nearly 1,000 signatures — half of which I got myself — and forced the Council to repeal its earlier work. In 2011, I sponsored the Town partnership with the USACE in a feasibility study to discover solutions to the flooding of the northern area of town. As a member of the Cultural & Historic Affairs Committee since 2004, I researched 40 historic sites, leading to the placement of the bronze markers around town. I was a member of the Communications and Intergovernmental committees until their disbandment.

I serve on St. Ann’s Pastoral Council, and am involved in several activities there. I am a board member of the BBLA and the Farmers’ Market, for which I have recruited and scheduled volunteers since its founding in 2007. With an associate, I co-authored the updated publication of the BBLA booklet “Bethany Beach – A Walk through History.” I led the way for the recognition of Ensign Henry Clay Drexler, son of one of Bethany’s founding families, as our sole Congressional Medal of Honor recipient.

I opposed the construction of the AT&T tower at Arby’s, supported the construction of an additional water tower, and the Maryland Avenue residents against the installation of exercise equipment in their “back yards,” worked to enact “no parking” and lower speed limits on Kent Avenue, and advocated for the placement of benches on the beach approaches. Yearly, I serve on the Beach & Bay Cottage Tour, am a 41-year member of the Women’s Civic Club of Bethany Beach, for which I was secretary for nine years. I mentor at John M. Clayton School, and read to children at Lord Baltimore School for the DE Read Aloud literacy program.

In my six years on Council, I have never missed a council or workshop meeting. Having spent every summer here, and being a permanent resident for 17 years, I love Bethany deeply, and am totally committed to maintaining the town as a quiet, family-oriented retreat with a character and sense of place that makes it different from places like Ocean City and Rehoboth. As in the past, I promise to always be available to listen to your concerns and do my very best to assist you in solving them.