Rehoboth needs to listen to its constituents
The following letter was sent to Rehoboth Beach Mayor Sam Cooper with a copy submitted to the Cape Gazette for publication.
I attended the workshop regarding the sister city program garden. I think Pat Coluzzi has done a fantastic job in her efforts to improve the city with this project. The artist's rendering looks wonderful.
I believe the contentious discussion resulted from lack of constituent input and the lack of a big picture plan for the city.
I believe that all commissioners want the best for the city; however, receiving a limited number of emails from constituents certainly does not represent the 3,000 property owners of Rehoboth Beach. Therefore, I believe this heated discussion occurs as the commissioners are trying to balance the desires of a 90-year resident who will probably never use the park as compared to the Washington, D.C. resident who owns property and would be more apt to use the park.
However, the problem arises as many owners in our community do not even know this is going on. Additionally there has been no community outreach or planning as to what other options might be available and desired by our property owners. We have limited open space that is precious, and I believe that options should be laid out for the community to prioritize.
If there was a survey done, perhaps some would like a dog park, others a sister city park, others perhaps some other use. However without input from the property owners, no commissioner could say that a majority are behind the sister city park and, therefore, we are moving on with this project.
Lastly, a couple of commissions ran in their elections promising better communication. Communication today is the same as it was two years ago and the meeting is evidence of the result. This may mean that individual commissioners may need to do their own outreach if the group as a whole is not interested in feedback.
Please reach out to the community, do a survey and ask your constituents what is important to them. Don’t govern by the feedback of your 100 squeeky constituents.