Letters to the Editor
Sussex Council members need to respect all
The elected officials of Sussex County need to accept the changes that they have brought about. In the last 20 years the growth of Sussex County has been significant. We even have a new electoral district to prove it. Their approval of housing developments all over the county, the support of the tourism industry etc. have brought into this lovely county an influx of people from many different places and cultures. That influx has brought in tax dollars which support our schools along with the growth in small business, and an increase in healthcare facilities. This has raised the standard of living in Sussex County - a good thing for all.
With this multicultural influx came people of many different religious persuasions. Our elected officials are obligated to respect all of their constituents. Some of the newcomers may be Methodist, as most of the original inhabitants were, but many have other beliefs. There is no doubt that the influx has brought many Christians into the community, but we also have residents who call themselves Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Quaker, agnostic and atheist and any other belief system they choose.
The Sussex County Councl needs to accept the multicultural community they helped to create. It is unfair to accept the benefits listed above, and be unaccepting of the people who helped bring it about. Give up the prayer at all government meetings. Settle for a moment of silence. And please stop spending tax dollars on this unnecessary battle.
Pay attention to state of air report in Delaware
As a pulmonologist practicing in Delaware for three decades, I have seen patients suffering from a variety of lung diseases. I’ve seen my patients struggle to breathe and to understand why they could not breathe. I’ve met them in the hospital and in the emergency room, as their struggles to breathe became near impossibility. What I have not seen in all of these years is a decrease in the number of people suffering from lung disease.
Lung disease is still the same killer that it was when I first began practicing medicine. And yet, I’m optimistic for the future.
The American Lung Association just released its 13th annual State of the Air report. It shows that while the air most Americans (and most Delawareans) breathe is still dirty, still polluted, still filled with too much smog and soot, it’s getting better. But betteris not safe.
Millions of Americans are forced to breathe dirty air on a regular basis. And for those who already have lung diseases like asthma, COPD, or bronchitis, dirty polluted air makes their symptoms much worse.
I urge all Delawareans to take the time to visit www.stateoftheair.org and learn about the air quality in their community. Then, take a moment to think about your friends, your neighbors and your loved ones who have lung disease and need our support to fight for air that’s safe for everyone to breathe. Join me in the fight for clean healthy air. Learn how to protect yourself and your family from air pollution by visiting www.stateoftheair.org.
Dr. Albert A. Rizzo
American Lung Association
Gossett has experience that Rehoboth needs
I have been a visitor to Rehoboth Beach since the mid-1970s and a homeowner and part-time resident for 25 years. During that time, issues facing the city have grown more and more complex. We need elected representatives who are able to understand these issues and willing to take positive steps so that the community will continue to thrive. To this end, Rehoboth Beach is fortunate that Patrick Gossett has chosen to run for re-election in the August municipal election. He has served the city well, and deserves our support to continue as commissioner.
Patrick has shown exemplary leadership during his terms as commissioner and on the planning commission. He has laid out clear issues and plans on which he is running. He works well with citizens, the other commissioners and city employees to get results. Patrick was the moving force in getting citizen input into the Comprehensive Development Plan, which sets out a blueprint for progress in the city. After citizens and commissioners had discussed for several years how to improve the health of Silver Lake, it was Patrick who got action to charge the planning commission with drafting ordinances that could actually become law.
We need hardworking, conscientious commissioners like Patrick Gossett. I urge all citizens to vote for Commissioner Gossett Saturday, Aug. 11.
Horseshoe Crab festival support appreciated
This letter is directed to a special group of people, all of our wonderful volunteers and sponsors of the recent Horseshoe Crab & Shorebird Festival in Milton. On behalf of the Milton Chamber of Commerce and the community partners of the Horseshoe Crab & Shorebird Festival in Milton we want to say thank you for the time and talents you give to help make the Horseshoe Crab & Shorebird Festival the successful event that it is and has been for nine continuous years .
We especially thank Joe Francis, our Mr. Horseshoe Crab, who welcomes our visitors and sets the fun and festive mood of the event each year. In rain, cold, or frying hot temperatures, Joe wears his costume faithfully to greet young and old alike!
This year our talented Angela Natrin entertained at the gazebo with her beautiful vocals. Thank you Angela.
Our mellow Soundz of Steel drum ensemble returned to entertain us with an unusual and beautiful form of music. This group of young musicians from Sussex County schools, led by Christy Taylor and Ida Fitchett, is so talented. We thank them for being part of our festival.
To our Friends of Prime Hook and all of their interesting naturalists, volunteers and professionals alike, we thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise about subjects that are so important to our environment, our area and our wildlife. You make this a unique festival.
To Tom Arkinson, our volunteer coordinator, thank you for gathering our community volunteers who help with the festival as greeters and hospitality representatives for our visitors. Tom has been so important in involving the community in our event.
To our wonderful boat captain, Keith Mazur, who at the last minute was able to provide scenic cruises on the Broadkill River that gave so many the opportunity to view the wildlife and beauty of Milton’s historic waterway.
And to Brenda Sims and Shelly Grable and their many volunteers, including some of our town council members, who worked all day in the Children’s Tent to give our young visitors an idea of the importance of our horseshoe crab population with hands-on activities, games and demonstrations. Each year they gather, clean and prepare crab molts to be decorated by young artists and future scientists, and this year a special thank you to Theresa Geanette of Beach Bumz Gifts who donated almost 100 molts ready for decorating.
We also thank our town manager and town employees who always work behind the scenes to ensure a safe, orderly and clean festival. We are grateful to have their participation.
And our special gratitude to the chamber member businesses and patrons who contribute financially and in kind with many behind-the-scenes works that go into producing a wonderful family- and nature-oriented festival in the Town of Milton.
Michael Clark, president
Georgia Dalzell, executive director, Milton Chamber of Commerce
Ban outsiders from community yard sales
A "community" yard sale should only be for those who live in and pay dues to that community. Having a person living there and then inviting all their friends and relatives to come and put things out for sale is not fair to the owners who live, pay dues and have homes in a development. Bringing in outsiders makes it harder for those of us that live in a community to sell our items.
Our HOA pays to advertise our yard sale, not for others to bring their items in and sell. Let these outside people with their items for sale pay to have their own yard sales.
Last weekend in our community most of the items for sale were from people not living in our subdivision.
Rehoboth Beach Post Office a real gem
Over the many years I have used the postal services of multiple post offices (I'm 73 years old), I have been ignored, glared at, snarled at and basically mistreated. I always believed the myth that postal employees are generally lazy and disrespectful.
Not so in Rehoboth. We have lived in the Rehoboth area for 23 years and have often marveled at the outstanding service we have received. Lou, Rick, Rob and Della are just outstanding. They always make sure that I am getting the best bang for my buck, sending via the best route, making sure that my packages would arrive when I wanted. Della has even rewrapped a package that she didn't think passed muster.
I can't overlook the friendly and efficient help that I always receive from the satellite office when picking up my held mail.
Last, but certainly not least, I thank Chip Davis for the friendly, efficient service he has provided us over the years. He even carries mail that will not fit our mailbox to our door, always with a smile. He is so reliable that you could set your watch by him.
Thank you all for showing us that old myth just is not true, at least not in Rehoboth Beach.
More openness needed in DMHOA records
Recently I was sent a copy of the audio of a Delaware Mobile Home Owners Association meeting where Dixie Boucher did a presentation on my request to see the books and records. Since August of 2009 I have requested to see the books and records for DMHOA. As a member-at-large since 2002 and vice president of our HOA, we have paid dues since 2002 to DMHOA. Because of a mix-up our HOA dues are paid up for years.
I also served as secretary on the DMHOA board. I resigned after witnessing what I felt were repeated inappropriate actions on the part of president of DMHOA. Here are just some of the issues I witnessed that I think are clearly an abuse of office:
• No receipts for expenses after repeated requests in recorded meetings by the treasurer and other board members,
• Refused an audit that many years was offered for no fee by several CPAs. An audit, that is required each year for grant applications, has never been done.
• Took trips for conferences without member approvals. Refused to supply detailed expenses/receipts for conferences which also included airline and hotel for his wife. Refused to supply a trip report and present conference info to members and community HOAs.
• Denied members involvement for committees.
• Denied member approval for expenses.
• Denied other board members to attend meetings with landowners. Insisted that he and his wife be invited to dinner to meet with the landowners. Stated many times he took time away from his wife for volunteering for DMHOA and this was paying her back for the inconvenience.
• Denied board members involvement with the operation of DMHOA unless Mr. Speraw approved.
In addition, DMHOA has collected close to $10,000 to date in grant-in-aid monies from the General Assembly. As a taxpayer, anyone should be able to see where our money is being spent. Last year, seven board members resigned because of the lack of transparency. Many feel the wrong people resigned. And for the president of DMHOA and the new board members to throw the previous treasurers under the bus and try to blame them for the poor leadership is laughable to say the least. The president of DMHOA doesn’t want the books audited. In the article written about the board resigning, having his cable bill paid for is the least of what we have witnessed for years. Any time any one of us requested info about the expenses, Mr. Speraw and Mr. Neil told us it was private. When we asked why Mr. Speraw had four cell phones, we were told it was private.
This is a nonprofit organization and the books and records need to be open to the public. Ed Speraw has fought my request for years. When my first letter was so sent in March 2010, a third party was brought in and Mr. Speraw, me, and this witness agreed to give DMHOA until the end of tax season (April) 2010 to get their books in order. Not hearing anything back at the end of June 2010 I wrote another letter. Mr. Speraw responded by trying to rescind my membership.
In this audio Dixie Boucher also talks about having an internal audit done. Internal audit means no one will know the inappropriate things that have occurred. DMHOA tried to send me a certified letter, which Dixie mentions in the meeting. But as I have explained to DMHOA in writing, don’t send me anything certified, send it overnight, it is cheaper and you still have a paper trail. And does DMHOA really think selective copies of the financials would satisfy my request? Seriously?
They do not represent residents if they do not allow us to vote on issues and include members in the operation. This is not a private club! Membership in DMHOA has dwindled to almost nothing. I think residents in manufactured housing need credible people representing them.
We cannot have this nonprofit continue to state they represent manufactured housing if they refuse to be transparent. Why not make the books and records open to the members?