Dewey Commissioners Take Part in Civic League Forum

Aug 24, 2013 -- 11:15am

UPDATE: Dewey Beach Mayor Diane Hanson and Commissioner Anna Legates were joined by Commissioner-elect Ellen Danaher to answer questions from residents and property owners during a forum hosted by the Dewey Beach Civic League.

The three women answered questions about how to enhance revenues and reduce expenses, especially legal costs, for the town. Working with the business community to get business owners to contribute more for town services, and addressing bayside flooding and rising sea levels were also discussed. Commissioner Legates says the town has to keep up with beach replenishment by working with the state and federal governments. Mayor Hanson described how the Planning Commission is working on the flooding issues. However, she admitted that addressing the town's infrastructure problem is challenging.

The town is considering adopting its own Code of Ethics in the wake of the PIC's ruling against Mayor Hanson being overturned earlier this year. Legates says she's been e-mailing back and forth with the state Public Integrity Commission to get some clarification about taking such a step. When she was told that if a town decided to adopt its own Code of Ethics, it couldn't go back, she said she asked the Commission to cite where that was in state law, and it couldn't. Hanson said that after her ordeal, she has very little confidence in the PIC's procedures, and even the members' own ethics. She feels that it costs less to have "home rule."

Parking during the summer has long been an issue in town. All three didn't like the idea of center parking (Danaher called it "an accident waiting to happen"), but did support maintaining free parking in permit areas on Monday through Wednesday evenings.

Mayor Hanson says pleased to see more families coming to Dewey Beach, citing the record turnouts for the movies and bonfires on the beach. While the town still has a reputation as a party town, she says that's gradually changing. Legates says this summer has been a quiet one, having talked to neighbors who say they haven't had to call the police at all because of rowdy behavior outside their homes. However, she says there tends to be "a few bad apples" that are causing the problems. Danaher says the families that are coming to Dewey appear happy to be there. She says she's not sure how to market Dewey as something other than a party town. She says there is room for both the families and the party people, and she likes the energy the young people bring to town.

The two returning incumbents and one new commissioner in Dewey Beach will have a chance to meet with residents and property owners and answer their questions this afternoon.

Mayor Diane Hanson, Commissioner Anna Legates and longtime property owner Ellen Danaher will take part in a public forum hosted by the Dewey Beach Civic League. The forum will begin at 4 o’clock this afternoon in the Dewey Beach Lions Club on McKinley Avenue.

Danaher will take the seat on the Commission that had been previously occupied by Joy Howell, who didn’t file to run for re-election.

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