Many years ago, I had the privilege of serving as the mayor of South Bethany.
Our population was less, homes were smaller, traffic congestion was not as much an issue and life seemed simpler at “The Best Little Beach in Delaware.”
Though times have changed, the purpose and practice of good government has not. Those seated in town council chairs take an oath to govern in good faith, with deliberation.
Over the past year, South Bethany has experienced much discord, and owners have felt their government was not operating transparently nor with open dialogue for communication. Questions asked of the council at meetings were not answered with any response other than “Thank you for your comment.”
Frustration has mounted, and with frustration comes suspicion of behind-the-scenes maneuvering. Case in point with the frequent executive sessions this council has held. Agendas have been vague, votes obsequious and without discussion, and subsequent minutes locked away in a file drawer. Monumental decisions have been made without community awareness, input or support.
Without engagement, transparency and accountability, a government cannot earn the respect and trust from its community. It cannot foster volunteerism and positive participation.
Many serve in government for too long a time. This creates insularity. It causes one to lose objectivity and a willingness to listen. Experience matters, but only when it is constantly refreshed and reviewed by a surround other than its own.
This is a time for change in government for South Bethany, and new voices must be heard to get the Town back on the right path and solid footing.
Vote Abbott, Bonbright, Budd, Donohue this May 25 election. It is the right thing to do.