Bill Sargent files for re-election

Incumbent Identifies outfall, reassessment, trees as biggest issues

By Ryan Mavity | May 25, 2012
Cape Gazette
Source: File Rehoboth Beach Commissioner Bill Sargent will seek re-election this year for a second term in office.

Rehoboth Beach — Two incumbents are seeking to retain their seats in this year’s Rehoboth Beach election.

Commissioner Bill Sargent has filed for a second three-year term, joining fellow Commissioner Patrick Gossett as the first two candidates to file.

Sargent, 74, said he decided to run again because he enjoys working with his fellow commissioners.

“I enjoy working with people,” he said. “I enjoy wrestling with ideas.”

Sargent identified the three things he wants to see through in a second term: the ocean outfall project, a citywide property reassessment and increasing the city’s overall tree canopy.

He said the outfall project was the biggest thing, from his standpoint, because of the tight timeline the city is under to get the project completed. The city has until December 2014 to cease dumping treated effluent into the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal.

On reassessment, Sargent said, “It’s a system that over the years that has lost its fairness.”

He said a citywide reassessment would allow changes to properties over the years to be reflected in their current assessed value, instead of 1968 value, when the city last reassessed. Sargent said a reassessment would make the system more equitable for everyone.

Finally, Sargent wants to see the city continue to pursue expanding its tree coverage. The city has set a goal of increasing its tree canopy – the amount of ground covered by trees when viewed from the air – by 40 percent within the next 10 years.

Although the city and state combined to plant 160 trees in Rehoboth last year, Sargent said the city can do much more.

“We’re a beautiful town, but we can be even more beautiful,” he said.

Prior to winning his first term in 2009, Sargent had served as a member of the Board of Adjustment for 10 years. His son, Richard, also served as a commissioner for more than 10 years before moving to McLean, Va.

When he ran for his first term, Sargent surprised himself by how much he enjoyed campaigning. While its unclear whether or not he’ll have to campaign again – so far there have been no other filings – Sargent said he’ll take it as it comes.

“I love getting out and meeting people,” he said. “Because of my time as commissioner, I know three times as many people as before. I truly enjoy that.”

The deadline for candidates to file is at noon, Saturday, June 2. Voters must register by 4:30 p.m., Friday, June 8.