New commissioners discuss vision for DeweyHanson, Legates, Danaher take oath of office
Dewey Beach — Diane Hanson will serve another term as mayor of Dewey Beach. “In spite of people sometimes questioning my sanity, I’m happy to serve again,” Hanson said smiling.
The newest member of Dewey Beach Town Council, Ellen Danaher, was sworn-in next to Hanson and Commissioner Anna Legates, Sept. 28. After the three women took the oath of office, council voted unanimously to appoint Hanson to another term as mayor.
Danaher was appointed to relieve Commissioner Courtney Riordan of his duties as council secretary.
Former Commissioner Joy Howell, who did not run for re-election, did not attend the meeting. Danaher, who replaced Howell, said in the next two years, she plans to focus on zoning issues in residential districts and re-examining the town’s comprehensive plan.
The new council also discussed its vision for the coming year, which includes controlling public intoxication, encouraging more diverse and family-friendly businesses, reining in loud noise and making the town more aesthetically attractive.
Hanson said the vision is still a work in progress, but council has worked toward achieving many of its goals in the past year. When I say these things are getting better, I’m not saying they’re where they should be,” she said. “I’ve heard from many, many people that it seemed to be a much quieter and safer town this year.”
Other goals included creating a productive, efficient town hall and balancing the budget. Hanson thanked Town Manager Marc Appelbaum for managing the budget and his assistants Jim Dedes and Mary Dunmyer for helping Appelbaum clean up town hall. “We’ve never had a town manager that’s been quite so proactive,” Hanson said.
Election committee calls it quits
The new council also disbanded some committees, including the election committee and the quality of life committee.
Election committee Chairwoman Beverly Corelle asked council to eliminate the committee. “We think we’re ready to be disbanded,” she said.
Corelle said she has chaired the committee for four years; it’s most recent accomplishment has been to establish and carry out an electronic voter registration system.
“It’s now time to put together a different structure,” she said. Corelle said to avoid backtracking on the committee’s accomplishments, the Board of Elections, which she also chairs, should work with the town manager to keep voter records up to date and carry out successful elections. “That’s the way it was before there was a committee,” Corelle said. “So, put us out of business, please.”
Council members thanked Corelle for her years of service. “You’ve done such a wonderful job,” Legates said.
Corelle said, “It was a team effort, and I was proud to be the leader.”
The quality of life committee was also put to rest. Hanson said Chairman Gary Keith tendered his resignation, and the goal of the committee – to create a noise ordinance that could be successfully enforced – was accomplished.
Hanson said there were fewer noise complaints this summer compared to last summer, and businesses are working harder to comply with the town’s maximum decibel levels.
Earlier in the meeting, Keith said noise and disorderly conduct were still a problem in town. “I spent the worst season of my life here,” he said.
Hanson said infrastructure committee Chairman Rick Judge plans to resign, and council would decide whether to disband the committee after a presentation on the Dewey Beach Stormwater Master Plan, which Judge facilitated.
Carla Carter, a new full-time resident of Collins Avenue, was appointed to lead the marketing committee. Carter has 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical and healthcare industry marketing.
Former Chairman Garland Williams said he was not interested in retaining his position for another year, Hanson said.
Larry Silver was reappointed as chairman of the audit committee, and Len Read and Gary McLhinney were reappointed to co-chair the public safety task force.
Hanson put off any decision about the budget and finance committee. The committee has no chair since former Chairman Courtney Riordan resigned last month.