SOC Statement on 2012 Rehoboth Beach Election

Save Our City 2012 Rehoboth Beach Election Statement

July 13, 2012

Save Our City was formed in 2005 as an issue-oriented citizens organization dedicated to protecting the unique character of Rehoboth Beach through active participation in City government, public education on key issues that would impact the City's character, and with particular support for the Planning Commission, the City Commissioners, and the Mayor in the preparation and active implementation of the Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP). We believe the CDP process to be careful, participatory, transparent and thoughtful, and the resulting plan to be the most reliable and trustworthy roadmap for the City. The sound implementation of the CDP is, we believe, the best and most certain course to protect the character of our City.

This year's elections involve both CDP implementation goals and other issues that have arisen and must be addressed by our leaders. These include, among others:

  • Complete the action taken by the Mayor and Commissioners directing the Planning Commission to analyze and to make recommendations for ordinances to protect the City’s lakes.
  • Review of the implementation of the City's tree ordinance and the adoption of measures as necessary to ensure that it is fully serving its intended purpose to protect and enhance our resource of trees.
  • Implement the CDP recommendations for a "Complete Streets" policy improving safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, and consideration for the gradual reduction of automobile traffic, possibly related to alternate means of moving about the City.
  • Complete the ocean outfall system for the City's treated wastewater.
  • Resolve the noise and patio ordinance issues by recognizing the experience of the past year and balancing the legitimate interests of residents and businesses in a manner that recognizes that in a resort community, there will be areas in which both interests must coexist.
  • Adopt and implement the Emergency Operations Plan including the appendices that define how specific responses to public emergencies should be completed, kept updated, widely publicized, and made readily available.

SOC measures the candidates for City Commissioner against this challenging agenda in terms of their relevant experience, their demonstrated understanding of the issues, their actual accomplishments as public officials, and their approach to and support of the CDP. On this basis, Patrick Gossett stands above as the candidate most qualified for election and service to the City.

Mr. Gossett has served with success as a Commissioner, with a record of specific accomplishment on the FAR (Floor to Area Ratio) issue, the tree ordinance, re-zoning, and as an activist for the betterment of the community. He has served on the City's Planning Commission, helping to prepare and frame the CDP. He clearly understands and accepts the City Commission’s role to actively and constructively implement the CDP on an on-going basis. He is zealous in pursuit of the facts and public opinion on the issues he undertakes, and he leads from a perspective of full preparation combined with openness to new and better ideas. Even in the short months of his new appointed term on the board, he moved quickly to provide fact-finding and leadership on the issues of the environmental health of our City lakes and the implementation of the tree ordinance. Without qualification, we recommend Patrick Gossett to Rehoboth Beach voters.

In comparison, candidates Bill Sargent, the incumbent, and Toni Sharp, a new candidate, are clearly capable persons of substance, community activism, and lifetime accomplishment in the private sector. Bill Sargent has roots and experience in this community and is a dedicated veteran in public service to Rehoboth Beach, and now serves as a city commissioner. Neither, however, have achieved the level of tangible accomplishment or appear to possess the degree of commitment to the CDP and its implementation that SOC believes to be essential to best protect the character of the City. We recommend to the citizens who share the goals of Save Our City to closely follow these candidates during the campaign, speak with them, and then determine which of them makes the stronger case on the issues and accomplishments as well as the meaning and importance of the CDP, then base their votes on their conclusions

The Rehoboth Beach Election will be held on Saturday, August 11 at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center. Polls will be open from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. SOC encourages all eligible voters to cast their votes. If you are unable to vote in person, please consult the City of Rehoboth Beach website to obtain an absentee ballot.

To contact the candidates directly, please write:

Patrick Gossett This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bill Sargent This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Toni Sharp This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.