Cape Gazette
http://capegazette.villagesoup.com/p/1026339

Reader takes exception to Dewey editorial

By Betsy Damos | Jul 04, 2013

I am writing in response to the Cape Gazette editorial of June 28, “Thoughts on Dewey and Sussex County Council.”

My comments are directed to the three recent decisions regarding Dewey Beach.

I agree with your assessment of the ruling by the Supreme Court exonerating Mayor Diane Hanson of improper action attributed to her by the state Public Integrity Commission and the complainant Joseph Nelson.  And I also agree with you on the ruling by the Attorney General's Office affirming that there was no basis for the submission by Zeke Przygocki against three town commissioners who joined an impromptu lunch following a hearing in Dover.

Both appear to be politically suspect. These charges, and the PIC’s decision were responsible for the needless expenditure of government money.  Still, objecting to them was necessary to provide a just outcome.

However, in regard to the first Dewey Beach case mentioned in the editorial, the Citizens’ case opposing the Ruddertowne project, I disagree and take strong exception to the editorial’s language, “...Delaware's Supreme Court ruled that it would not overturn a lower court decision validating the Ruddertowne agreement ....”

The decision did not “validate the Ruddertowne agreement.”  It only stated that the court decided the appeal was filed too late for the case to be heard.

As a result, the case was never heard on its merits. It never saw its day in court, and the Ruddertowne agreement was neither validated, nor invalidated.

Nevertheless, the money spent on this case was well spent, since in a democratic government, the voting public cannot afford not to object to zoning decisions made in the manner of the Ruddertowne Mutual Agreement and Release (MAR).  To do so might encourage all small towns to roll over as deep-pocketed developers file threatening, but not necessarily valid suits, acting in their self-interest - rather than that of the majority of the town’s voting population.

Betsy Damos
Dewey Beach

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