I take this opportunity to express my views regarding the candidates for the South Bethany Town Council. At the Candidate’s Forum on May 10, I was impressed by the stark distinction between two sets of Town Council candidates.
Mailings and signs in the town declare that “New Voices” are needed on the Town Council. Indeed, the four “New Voices” candidates are new to voters in the sense that (with one exception) none have participated on any of the Town committees or activities that have helped make South Bethany great. Four candidates with a record of one total South Bethany volunteer experience among them all.
One of these New Voices expressed the distinction of having attended only one Town Council meeting in the many years he has lived in South Bethany. And, he didn’t even stay for the Town Council meeting that immediately followed the forum. It is unclear what these “New Voices” have done for the town to make them the best-qualified candidates for the Town Council.
Before the official election season began, a hostile campaign was waged on behalf of the “New Voices” that maligned the Town Council and the police department via social media, emails and neighborhood online sites. Their efforts misled the public and stirred up unnecessary controversy, resentment and division.
In response to the question, “What would you have done differently about the police department?” none of the New Voices candidates had definitive answers. I perceived, based on their statements, that they were unaware that their “transparency” issue does not apply to personnel matters that must be conducted by the Council in confidence so as to protect the interests of Town employees and contractors.
In stark contrast, the opposite set of Town Council candidates grounded their qualifications for Town Council through extensive South Bethany volunteer civic involvement before they sought positions on our Town Council. They believe in earning your vote through service to South Bethany before aspiring to represent you on the Council.
I urge the voters of South Bethany to vote for Frank Weisgerber, Carol Stevenson, Gerry Masiello and Dick Oliver for Town Council.
I look forward to the election so that the whole town may come back together. I hope that the winning, as well as the losing, candidates can commit to work together and become involved in making our 50-year-old town an even better “Best Little Beach in Delaware!”