The South Bethany town election on May 25 will be especially important for the welfare of our community, currently and for the foreseeable future.
In my view, the traditional,low-key culture of the South Bethany community has been needlessly roiled for at least the last 18 months by a variety of regrettable actions by the mayor and town council.
Among other things, South Bethany homeowners have endured an unexplained, seemingly-planned diminution and unraveling of our well-liked police department, a demotion and virtual forced “resignation” of our chief and unaccounted expenditures of taxpayers’ money for legal expenses and most notably — a persistent failure to welcome, consider and heed citizens’ pleas for greater transparency, input and participation on all these issues.
The Mayor’s complaint (Coastal Point, April 26, 2019) cites “abuse from the audience and misinformation spread”— describing very legitimate questions from citizens related to the Council’s processes, procedures and motivations — as “abuse.” In my experience in South Bethany going back to 1984, this town has never seen the level of discord, mistrust , half-truths and disingenuousness from Town leadership as it has in the past 18 months or so.
There is a resulting need for change in South Bethany — and a renewal of Council’s dedication to openness and accountability. Four citizens have stepped forward to seek your votes to try to do just that. I have made it my business to get to know each of them. I am confident each will be trustworthy, be respectful of homeowners’ input and will welcome their participation in Town government. Each is committed to sharing their thinking about the Town’s priorities, as well as maintaining transparency, accountability, engagement with citizens and good governance as matters deserving the highest priority.
I urge all South Bethany residents to vote,whether by proxy or in person, for Derek Abbott,Jane Bonbright, Larry Budd and Darren Donahue. They and their families have long ties to South Bethany. They have done their “homework” about the Town’s actions and are ready to commit to restoring our community’s tradition of tolerance, openness, engagement, comity and accountability — all of which have been negatively affected.
Daniel D Cowell