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Town Council election is approaching

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TOWN COUNCIL ELECTION IS APPROACHING


Six individuals are hoping to claim one of three spots on the Bethany Beach Town Council during the municipal election on Saturday, Sept. 7.


Incumbents Jerry Dorfman and Joe Healy are running with the hopes of keeping their respective spots on council, but there will be at least one new face on Town Council after the election, as Councilwoman Carol Olmstead did not file for re-election after serving the town for a decade.

Challengers include residents Charles Peterson and Joseph Bellistri, as well as nonresidents Jane North and Robert Steiner.

Polls are open at Bethany Beach Town Hall from noon-6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7.

Bethany Beach property owners (everyone on the deed up to a maximum of eight people) are automatically registered to vote in municipal elections. 

If you'd like to vote by absentee ballot, visit Town Hall anytime from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. this Saturday, Aug. 31.

Here's information about the candidates:

Joseph C. Bellistri (Joe B.)

Please provide a short summary of your background and experience related to serving on Town Council.

My name is Joseph Bellistri (a lot of people call me Joe B. or just Joe.) I am happily married and the proud father of three girls, ages 6, 12 and 20, and one boy, age 9. I earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Maryland (Go Terps!) and a master's in education from Wilmington College. Currently, I am a teacher at a local high school. I have lived full-time in Bethany Beach for almost 25 years. I have served on the Homeowner's Association of Bethany West for two terms.

What are the three most important issues or goals facing the Town in the next five years, and how would you recommend they be addressed?

Three important issues facing Bethany Beach are the beach, safety and fiscal responsibility. 

Without the Beach, Bethany is sunk. Beach replenishment is a quick fix and consistently more costly and less stable than predicted. I believe money should be invested and avenues sought that could augment sand replenishment by retaining the sand as sandbars a distance from the shore. This dissipates wave energy and diminishes erosion. Plus, the waves would be softer and less likely to injure. The nature of such a wave would facilitate the safe enjoyment of surfing, stand-up 
paddleboarding, kayaking, and bodyboarding.

Safety is a huge issue. Throughout Delaware, pedestrians and bicyclists are being injured and killed. The solution is to get people off the road. It is silly and irresponsible to paint a white bicycle on a small shoulder of the road (Route 26), call it a bike path and then have the audacity to paint ‘no bicycles’ in red paint on the much safer sidewalk.

Finally, fiscal responsibility is always important. Bethany is a beautiful, safe and clean town. It takes a dedicated administration, police force, lifeguard crew, and public works department to run this town — and they do a fantastic job. We need to make sure they are paid well.

Please identify two or three council actions you consider to have been most beneficial to our community during the last two years. Are there any that you think should be reconsidered?

No comment.

Are you for or against the proposed Commercial Lodging (CL-1) rezoning? 
Please explain your position.

Twenty years ago I would have must definitely been against rezoning the lot on Hollywood. Presently, I can’t see how it would make a difference to the summer downtown scene (one my family and I pretty much avoid in the summer.) Most people I talk to are more concerned with finding a place to park and this new hotel provides parking. However it could be a wonderful year-round attraction that could bring some life to the dead colder months. Still, before I make a decision I want to rationally look at all the pros and cons — to which I am still collecting information.

Jerry Dorfman

Please provide a short summary of your background and experience related to serving on Town Council.

My wife, Cherie, and I have owned our home in Bethany Beach since 1993. We have been full-ti
me residents since 1999. Before moving to Bethany Beach, we lived in Wynnewood, Pa., for 27 years. I attended Penn State University and also served our nation in the U.S. Army. Prior to retring, I had a career in real estate in which I oversaw a large real estate management business as the president and sales director. In addition, I created a company that performed maintenance on light rail vehicles for the Boeing Company and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Fifteen years prior to retirement, I partnered with my wife as owners of a commercial and industrial uniform business.

I have been a member of the Town Council for over seven years. Prior to being elected to Town Council, I was a member of the Planning Commission and seven other Town committees. I have been secretary/treasurer of Town for the past five years, and am currently chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee.

What are the three most important issues or goals facing the Town in the next five years, and how would you recommend they be addressed?

It is extremely important to keep Bethany Beach in good
financial standing by continuing to monitor both the fiscal budget, as well as the Town’s monetary reserves. Future financial planning also is a high priority of mine by continuing to keep the Town fiscally sound. My goal is to continue to provide outstanding Town-wide services while maintaining low taxes.

Continued development of the Town Park at the corner of routes 1 and 26 is another one of my important goals. Community involvement will be key.

Over a year ago, the Town entered a mutual agreement with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to determine if there are feasible solutions to the Town’s chronic
flooding problems. The study is ongoing, but a final report may be delayed because of the impact of Hurricane Sandy. Soon, the Town will be receiving updated flood zone maps that might place more Bethany Beach homes in flood plains. I plan to work with my colleagues on Town Council to address the important issues that focus on flood prevention and stormwater management.

Please identify two or three council actions you consider to have been most beneficial to our community during the last two years. Are there any that you think should be reconsidered?

Over the last several years the Town has accomplished a great deal in improving the quality of life in Bethany Beach. The following are some highlights:

The addition of a second water tower that will improve the quality of the Town’s water as well as anticipating and meeting future supply demands while not raising water rates and by paying the 2.16 percent loan off early, saving the Town in excess of $300,000.

Continuing to improve communications with our citizen base through live broadcasts of Town meetings, a much improved website, mailings that provide
timely and important information when key decisions need to be made, as well as free Wi-Fi on our beaches and boardwalk, to name a few.

In addition to providing nightly entertainment on the bandstand, the Town now provides movies on the beach and beginning this year a weekly bonfire, again on the beach, that can be enjoyed by residents and guests of all ages.

Are you for or against the proposed Commercial Lodging (CL-1) rezoning? Please explain your position.

Whether a new upscale hotel will replace the Bethany Arms Hotel ever becomes a reality will be impacted by the results of a non- binding referendum that has been mailed out to 4,700 eligible voters. My personal concern if the zoning change is not approved, is what could be developed on the portion of the property currently zoned C-1 commercial. A commercial use such as a “Sunsations”-like store at that location, in my opinion, would be detrimental to the surrounding homeowners and the overall downtown com- mercial area.

Joseph T. Healy, Jr.

Please provide a short summary of your background and experience related to serving on Town Council.

My entire professional career has been in the financial arena (I am a CPA) and this has allowed me to develop a substantial skill set in financial reporting and long-term planning, as well as managing for results. I have, over the last several years, reduced my employment from a full-time public practice partner to a retired part-time status. I have utilized this extra free time to serve actively on the Budget and Finance Committee from 2006 to present, as well as over the last six years as one of your Town Council Members.

I believe that based on my background, experience, and performance as a Town Council Member, I bring to the table a very high degree of financial and management expertise and a love of this unique community. Therefore, I am told if I am to be elected, I must have your vote. I look forward to continuing to serve you and the best interests of our community in this job. Your consideration of my candidacy is most appreciated.

What are the three most important issues or goals facing the Town in the next five years, and how would you recommend they be addressed?

The continuing financial stability of the Town’s finances.
I have fostered and accentuated Bethany’s emphasis on fiscal responsibility. It has been my distinct pleasure to have served on the Town’s Budget and Finance Committee, and in this capacity my vigilance in addressing issues allows us to look forward to the Town’s successful long-term financial success. 

Beach preservation. 
My involvement over the last two years representing the Town at the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA), and listening to horror stories about Superstorm Sandy, have emphasized the importance of ASBPA’s mantra, “Wide Beaches and High Dunes,” and cannot be overemphasized or ignored.

Combatting flooding issues.
The continued maintenance of our drainage ditches, cognizant adherence with building codes as well as utilization of DNREC and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers techniques. It should be noted that much of the damage from Superstorm Sandy occurred because of back-bay flooding issues.

Please identify two or three council actions you consider to have been most beneficial to our community during the last two years. Are there any that you think should be reconsidered?

The last two years have been very beneficial in resolving the second Water Tower situation. The
financing is most favorable, our location causes a minimum amount of disruption and it affords us with probably the most important utility that we have in Town, an abundant supply of water at favorable rates.

The Streetscape project development is now
finally close to completion. We have only the south side of Garfield Parkway and some work on North Pennsylvania Avenue, which should be finished by late 2013 or very early 2014.

Are you for or against the proposed Commercial Lodging (CL-1) rezoning? Please explain your position.

This issue has certainly been a lightning rod for many. It has been my approach to address this issue as part of the council’s responsibility to manage change. The development of a tastefully designed public lodging facility could be a centerpiece for the Town. 
Having a facility of this nature transcends the environs of Bethany Beach because I believe our public persona is extremely important not only to ourselves, but to the economic vitality of our entire region.

Jane North, Esquire

Please provide a short summary of your background and experience related to serving on Town Council.


I am a trial attorney who has handled complex construction litigation for 22 years. My husband and I purchased a residence in Bethany Beach last year and I have become educated on the proposed zoning changes, which I oppose.

?What are the three most important issues or goals facing the Town in the next five years, and how would you recommend they be addressed?


Balancing the rights of the residents to the quiet enjoyment of their property while maintaining a vibrant business community. Bethany Beach needs to explore thoughtful new business development, which is compatible with the overall goal of maintaining the quiet unspoiled beauty of this town. No variances in zoning should be permitted that do not support this goal. More detailed analysis should be undertaken before any zoning changes are made.

Maintaining the architectural integrity of buildings in the Town to maintain property values. Much of Bethany Beach’s charm is the beauty of its residences. As properties are sold and built, this goal needs to be kept in mind so properties maintain their value.

Looking for creative solutions to address the beach overcrowding issue. Beach overcrowding interferes with the quiet enjoyment of the beach. Beach widening projects should be considered with alternative funding being considered.

Please identify two or three council actions you consider to have been most beneficial to our community during the last two years. Are there any that you think should be reconsidered?

I have owned property for only one year; however, I think the council’s preliminary approval of rezoning to accommodate a hotel developer was very ill-advised.


Are you for or against the proposed Commercial Lodging (CL-1) rezoning? Please explain your position.

I am against the Commercial Lodging rezoning. The beach and parking at Hollywood Street is already extremely overcrowded. Rezoning will create a traffic safety hazard as hundreds more people attempt to cross streets on Hollywood to get to the beach. The resulting overcrowded beach will detract from what should be a wonderful beach experience and will actually deter visitors from returning to Bethany Beach for vacations. A mega hotel is not in keeping with the character of our town. I also believe that due process must be closely followed to protect the rights of residents and that hearings on important decisions like this should be scheduled at times the most property owners would be able to attend, rather than at a time when most prop- erty owners are not in town.


Charles (Chuck) Peterson

Please provide a short summary of your background and experience related to serving on Town Council.

Before retiring, I gained valuable experience managing governmental operations. As a federal executive for almost 20 years, I successfully managed National Compliance Programs for the Internal Revenue Service. These positions included responsibilities for strategic planning, budgeting and program delivery for large organizations employing thousands of people. My Town activities include membership on the Planning Commission, the Election Board, the Budget and Finance Committee, the Charter and Ordinance Committee (chair), the Audit Committee and the Fourth of July Parade Committee. I also manage the TaxAide program at St Ann's Church, where volunteers prepare and E-file almost 1,000 State and Federal tax returns for Bethany area residents. I believe that my job responsibilities and experiences, and my work in Town-related and other local activities, well qualifies me for Town Council.


What are the three most important issues or goals facing the Town in the next five years, and how would you recommend they be addressed?

Beyond maintaining the spirit of the Quiet Resort, here are three issues:

Flooding. Once the Army Corp of Engineers gives us a report, we need to see if there are steps we can take to mitigate flooding issues. The report should hopefully provide the Town options that exist and decisions will have to be made on whether there are any cost effective alternatives.

Beach Replenishment. The State and Federal governments have both threatened to stop funding replenishment efforts in the future. I think it is important for the Town to have a contingency plan in case this comes to fruition. We have to decide if we will fund replenishment on our own in the future or let nature take is course. If we are to fund it ourselves, we have to decide on a funding source. I think these are decisions the community should be addressing while there is time to take a measured approach and not when it becomes a crisis.

Church/Neff Property. A park will be developed on this property sometime in the future. The Town has committed to designing the park including public input. This will be a large and potentially expensive project. It is important to approach it balancing both wants and costs. This park is a very visible cornerstone of our community and should be developed with great care.


Please identify two or three council actions you consider to have been most beneficial to our community during the last two years. Are there any that you think should be reconsidered?

Budget. While this is not a high visibility issue, it is one that impacts all of us. Our Town budget is in excellent shape because of the actions taken by Town Council and Town management to hold down operating expenses in order to match income levels. Examples are finding ways to save hundreds of thousands of dollars on the water tower project; keeping yard waste and recycling under Town control because we could do it less expensively; or saving salary expenses by putting in new parking meters that require less maintenance and coin collection. There are many other examples but these are the types of efforts that keep our taxes down and the Town on solid financial footing.


Communication. Town Council has responded to requests that they do a better job of communicating by hiring a full-time staff person whose principle job is communication. There is a website with almost everything a person would want to know about the Town, including a schedule of all upcoming meetings and minutes of all completed meetings. Town Council and Planning Commission meetings are broadcast live. There are public meetings to gather input on major decisions. I would not change anything in these two areas.

Are you for or against the proposed Commercial Lodging (CL-1) rezoning? Please explain your position.

I am for rezoning. This is an opportunity to have some control over the outcome of developing the Bethany Arms property. I have talked to the owner of the Bethany Arms and he is committed to selling the property. Something will be built there. By zoning it Commercial Lodging ( CL-1), we require off-street parking for the guests, a relatively quiet neighbor, and a nice addition to the Town.


Robert Steiner

Please provide a short summary of your background and experience related to serving on Town Council.


My qualifications are I have enjoyed 30 plus-year career in the commercial real estate industry, working with such notable real estate development companies such as The Rouse Company, working on many high profile properties across the United States and Canada; the Mills Corporation in the United States and abroad; and Madison Marquette, also throughout the United States and internationally. Through this experience, I have worked with many municipalities seeking to improve their communities without losing their (as Jim Rouse would describe this), “sense of place." I am confident that if selected as your representative I would bring a perspective that would be accretive to homeowners values here in Bethany Beach.

What are the three most important issues or goals facing the Town in the next five years and how would you recommend that they be addressed?

As our nations recovers from the recession in 2008, real estate is and remains near the core of its "meltdown" and essential (values) to its recover. I would like to assist in making sure we
(as a community) find the best long range solutions to today’s challenges using ideas and technique's employed by other prestigious seaside communities and real estate investment trusts. I would employ the same skills that are used by Real Estate Investment Trusts as they solve complex redevelopment and development challenges. I will not ignore Bethany Beach’s rich personal and architectural history which has made our beach community known for what it is today.

Please identify two or three Council actions you consider to have been most beneficial to our community during the last two years. Are there any that you think should be reconsidered?

I am now a one-year homeowner and wish not to comment or express views prior to 2012; however, I am concerned with the rezoning efforts (Hollywood Street). I believe a solution could be found to alleviate most concerns.

Are you for or against the proposed Commercial Lodging (CL-1) rezoning? Please explain your position.

As presented, yes I am against the redevelopment plan, however, I believe a solution sensitive to the surrounding homeowners could be reached. I see the Bethany Arms as it is today, architecturally insignificant and certainly not inspirationally as a destination hotel. For this, I do wish to seek a solution that would create a destination hotel that would be accretive to community property values and the community as a whole. 

— Information courtesy of DelmarvaNow and the Bethany Beach Landowners' Association.

If you have suggestions about how the E-News & Information Service can better serve you, please email lhughes@townofbethanybeach.com.


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TOWN COUNCIL ELECTION IS APPROACHING

Six individuals are hoping to claim one of three spots on the Bethany Beach Town Council during the municipal election on Saturday, Sept. 7.

Incumbents Jerry Dorfman and Joe Healy are running with the hopes of keeping their respective spots on council, but there will be at least one new face on Town Council after the election, as Councilwoman Carol Olmstead did not file for re-election after serving the town for a decade.

Challengers include residents Charles Peterson and Joseph Bellistri, as well as nonresidents Jane North and Robert Steiner.

Polls are open at Bethany Beach Town Hall from noon-6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7.

Bethany Beach property owners (everyone on the deed up to a maximum of eight people) are automatically registered to vote in municipal elections.

If you'd like to vote by absentee ballot, visit Town Hall anytime from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. this Saturday, Aug. 31.

Here's information about the candidates:

Joseph C. Bellistri (Joe B.)
Please provide a short summary of your background and experience related to serving on Town Council.

My name is Joseph Bellistri (a lot of people call me Joe B. or just Joe.) I am happily married and the proud father of three girls, ages 6, 12 and 20, and one boy, age 9. I earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Maryland (Go Terps!) and a master's in education from Wilmington College. Currently, I am a teacher at a local high school. I have lived full-time in Bethany Beach for almost 25 years. I have served on the Homeowner's Association of Bethany West for two terms.

What are the three most important issues or goals facing the Town in the next five years, and how would you recommend they be addressed?

Three important issues facing Bethany Beach are the beach, safety and fiscal responsibility.

Without the Beach, Bethany is sunk. Beach replenishment is a quick fix and consistently more costly and less stable than predicted. I believe money should be invested and avenues sought that could augment sand replenishment by retaining the sand as sandbars a distance from the shore. This dissipates wave energy and diminishes erosion. Plus, the waves would be softer and less likely to injure. The nature of such a wave would facilitate the safe enjoyment of surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and bodyboarding.

Safety is a huge issue. Throughout Delaware, pedestrians and bicyclists are being injured and killed. The solution is to get people off the road. It is silly and irresponsible to paint a white bicycle on a small shoulder of the road (Route 26), call it a bike path and then have the audacity to paint ‘no bicycles’ in red paint on the much safer sidewalk.

Finally, fiscal responsibility is always important. Bethany is a beautiful, safe and clean town. It takes a dedicated administration, police force, lifeguard crew, and public works department to run this town — and they do a fantastic job. We need to make sure they are paid well.

Please identify two or three council actions you consider to have been most beneficial to our community during the last two years. Are there any that you think should be reconsidered?

No comment.

Are you for or against the proposed Commercial Lodging (CL-1) rezoning? Please explain your position.

Twenty years ago I would have must definitely been against rezoning the lot on Hollywood. Presently, I can’t see how it would make a difference to the summer downtown scene (one my family and I pretty much avoid in the summer.) Most people I talk to are more concerned with finding a place to park and this new hotel provides parking. However it could be a wonderful year-round attraction that could bring some life to the dead colder months. Still, before I make a decision I want to rationally look at all the pros and cons — to which I am still collecting information.

Jerry Dorfman

Please provide a short summary of your background and experience related to serving on Town Council.

My wife, Cherie, and I have owned our home in Bethany Beach since 1993. We have been full-time residents since 1999. Before moving to Bethany Beach, we lived in Wynnewood, Pa., for 27 years. I attended Penn State University and also served our nation in the U.S. Army. Prior to retring, I had a career in real estate in which I oversaw a large real estate management business as the president and sales director. In addition, I created a company that performed maintenance on light rail vehicles for the Boeing Company and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Fifteen years prior to retirement, I partnered with my wife as owners of a commercial and industrial uniform business.

I have been a member of the Town Council for over seven years. Prior to being elected to Town Council, I was a member of the Planning Commission and seven other Town committees. I have been secretary/treasurer of Town for the past five years, and am currently chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee.

What are the three most important issues or goals facing the Town in the next five years, and how would you recommend they be addressed?

It is extremely important to keep Bethany Beach in good financial standing by continuing to monitor both the fiscal budget, as well as the Town’s monetary reserves. Future financial planning also is a high priority of mine by continuing to keep the Town fiscally sound. My goal is to continue to provide outstanding Town-wide services while maintaining low taxes.

Continued development of the Town Park at the corner of routes 1 and 26 is another one of my important goals. Community involvement will be key.

Over a year ago, the Town entered a mutual agreement with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to determine if there are feasible solutions to the Town’s chronic flooding problems. The study is ongoing, but a final report may be delayed because of the impact of Hurricane Sandy. Soon, the Town will be receiving updated flood zone maps that might place more Bethany Beach homes in flood plains. I plan to work with my colleagues on Town Council to address the important issues that focus on flood prevention and stormwater management.

Please identify two or three council actions you consider to have been most beneficial to our community during the last two years. Are there any that you think should be reconsidered?

Over the last several years the Town has accomplished a great deal in improving the quality of life in Bethany Beach. The following are some highlights:

The addition of a second water tower that will improve the quality of the Town’s water as well as anticipating and meeting future supply demands while not raising water rates and by paying the 2.16 percent loan off early, saving the Town in excess of $300,000.

Continuing to improve communications with our citizen base through live broadcasts of Town meetings, a much improved website, mailings that provide timely and important information when key decisions need to be made, as well as free Wi-Fi on our beaches and boardwalk, to name a few.

In addition to providing nightly entertainment on the bandstand, the Town now provides movies on the beach and beginning this year a weekly bonfire, again on the beach, that can be enjoyed by residents and guests of all ages.

Are you for or against the proposed Commercial Lodging (CL-1) rezoning? Please explain your position.

Whether a new upscale hotel will replace the Bethany Arms Hotel ever becomes a reality will be impacted by the results of a non- binding referendum that has been mailed out to 4,700 eligible voters. My personal concern if the zoning change is not approved, is what could be developed on the portion of the property currently zoned C-1 commercial. A commercial use such as a “Sunsations”-like store at that location, in my opinion, would be detrimental to the surrounding homeowners and the overall downtown com- mercial area.

Joseph T. Healy, Jr.

Please provide a short summary of your background and experience related to serving on Town Council.

My entire professional career has been in the financial arena (I am a CPA) and this has allowed me to develop a substantial skill set in financial reporting and long-term planning, as well as managing for results. I have, over the last several years, reduced my employment from a full-time public practice partner to a retired part-time status. I have utilized this extra free time to serve actively on the Budget and Finance Committee from 2006 to present, as well as over the last six years as one of your Town Council Members.

I believe that based on my background, experience, and performance as a Town Council Member, I bring to the table a very high degree of financial and management expertise and a love of this unique community. Therefore, I am told if I am to be elected, I must have your vote. I look forward to continuing to serve you and the best interests of our community in this job. Your consideration of my candidacy is most appreciated.

What are the three most important issues or goals facing the Town in the next five years, and how would you recommend they be addressed?

The continuing financial stability of the Town’s finances. I have fostered and accentuated Bethany’s emphasis on fiscal responsibility. It has been my distinct pleasure to have served on the Town’s Budget and Finance Committee, and in this capacity my vigilance in addressing issues allows us to look forward to the Town’s successful long-term financial success.

Beach preservation. My involvement over the last two years representing the Town at the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA), and listening to horror stories about Superstorm Sandy, have emphasized the importance of ASBPA’s mantra, “Wide Beaches and High Dunes,” and cannot be overemphasized or ignored.

Combatting flooding issues. The continued maintenance of our drainage ditches, cognizant adherence with building codes as well as utilization of DNREC and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers techniques. It should be noted that much of the damage from Superstorm Sandy occurred because of back-bay flooding issues.

Please identify two or three council actions you consider to have been most beneficial to our community during the last two years. Are there any that you think should be reconsidered?

The last two years have been very beneficial in resolving the second Water Tower situation. The financing is most favorable, our location causes a minimum amount of disruption and it affords us with probably the most important utility that we have in Town, an abundant supply of water at favorable rates.

The Streetscape project development is now finally close to completion. We have only the south side of Garfield Parkway and some work on North Pennsylvania Avenue, which should be finished by late 2013 or very early 2014.

Are you for or against the proposed Commercial Lodging (CL-1) rezoning? Please explain your position.

This issue has certainly been a lightning rod for many. It has been my approach to address this issue as part of the council’s responsibility to manage change. The development of a tastefully designed public lodging facility could be a centerpiece for the Town. Having a facility of this nature transcends the environs of Bethany Beach because I believe our public persona is extremely important not only to ourselves, but to the economic vitality of our entire region.

Jane North, Esquire
Please provide a short summary of your background and experience related to serving on Town Council.


I am a trial attorney who has handled complex construction litigation for 22 years. My husband and I purchased a residence in Bethany Beach last year and I have become educated on the proposed zoning changes, which I oppose.

?What are the three most important issues or goals facing the Town in the next five years, and how would you recommend they be addressed?


Balancing the rights of the residents to the quiet enjoyment of their property while maintaining a vibrant business community. Bethany Beach needs to explore thoughtful new business development, which is compatible with the overall goal of maintaining the quiet unspoiled beauty of this town. No variances in zoning should be permitted that do not support this goal. More detailed analysis should be undertaken before any zoning changes are made.

Maintaining the architectural integrity of buildings in the Town to maintain property values. Much of Bethany Beach’s charm is the beauty of its residences. As properties are sold and built, this goal needs to be kept in mind so properties maintain their value.

Looking for creative solutions to address the beach overcrowding issue. Beach overcrowding interferes with the quiet enjoyment of the beach. Beach widening projects should be considered with alternative funding being considered.

Please identify two or three council actions you consider to have been most beneficial to our community during the last two years. Are there any that you think should be reconsidered?

I have owned property for only one year; however, I think the council’s preliminary approval of rezoning to accommodate a hotel developer was very ill-advised.

Are you for or against the proposed Commercial Lodging (CL-1) rezoning? Please explain your position.

I am against the Commercial Lodging rezoning. The beach and parking at Hollywood Street is already extremely overcrowded. Rezoning will create a traffic safety hazard as hundreds more people attempt to cross streets on Hollywood to get to the beach. The resulting overcrowded beach will detract from what should be a wonderful beach experience and will actually deter visitors from returning to Bethany Beach for vacations. A mega hotel is not in keeping with the character of our town. I also believe that due process must be closely followed to protect the rights of residents and that hearings on important decisions like this should be scheduled at times the most property owners would be able to attend, rather than at a time when most prop- erty owners are not in town.

Charles (Chuck) Peterson

Please provide a short summary of your background and experience related to serving on Town Council.

Before retiring, I gained valuable experience managing governmental operations. As a federal executive for almost 20 years, I successfully managed National Compliance Programs for the Internal Revenue Service. These positions included responsibilities for strategic planning, budgeting and program delivery for large organizations employing thousands of people. My Town activities include membership on the Planning Commission, the Election Board, the Budget and Finance Committee, the Charter and Ordinance Committee (chair), the Audit Committee and the Fourth of July Parade Committee. I also manage the TaxAide program at St Ann's Church, where volunteers prepare and E-file almost 1,000 State and Federal tax returns for Bethany area residents. I believe that my job responsibilities and experiences, and my work in Town-related and other local activities, well qualifies me for Town Council.

What are the three most important issues or goals facing the Town in the next five years, and how would you recommend they be addressed?

Beyond maintaining the spirit of the Quiet Resort, here are three issues:

Flooding. Once the Army Corp of Engineers gives us a report, we need to see if there are steps we can take to mitigate flooding issues. The report should hopefully provide the Town options that exist and decisions will have to be made on whether there are any cost effective alternatives.

Beach Replenishment. The State and Federal governments have both threatened to stop funding replenishment efforts in the future. I think it is important for the Town to have a contingency plan in case this comes to fruition. We have to decide if we will fund replenishment on our own in the future or let nature take is course. If we are to fund it ourselves, we have to decide on a funding source. I think these are decisions the community should be addressing while there is time to take a measured approach and not when it becomes a crisis.

Church/Neff Property. A park will be developed on this property sometime in the future. The Town has committed to designing the park including public input. This will be a large and potentially expensive project. It is important to approach it balancing both wants and costs. This park is a very visible cornerstone of our community and should be developed with great care.

Please identify two or three council actions you consider to have been most beneficial to our community during the last two years. Are there any that you think should be reconsidered?

Budget. While this is not a high visibility issue, it is one that impacts all of us. Our Town budget is in excellent shape because of the actions taken by Town Council and Town management to hold down operating expenses in order to match income levels. Examples are finding ways to save hundreds of thousands of dollars on the water tower project; keeping yard waste and recycling under Town control because we could do it less expensively; or saving salary expenses by putting in new parking meters that require less maintenance and coin collection. There are many other examples but these are the types of efforts that keep our taxes down and the Town on solid financial footing.

Communication. Town Council has responded to requests that they do a better job of communicating by hiring a full-time staff person whose principle job is communication. There is a website with almost everything a person would want to know about the Town, including a schedule of all upcoming meetings and minutes of all completed meetings. Town Council and Planning Commission meetings are broadcast live. There are public meetings to gather input on major decisions. I would not change anything in these two areas.

Are you for or against the proposed Commercial Lodging (CL-1) rezoning? Please explain your position.

I am for rezoning. This is an opportunity to have some control over the outcome of developing the Bethany Arms property. I have talked to the owner of the Bethany Arms and he is committed to selling the property. Something will be built there. By zoning it Commercial Lodging ( CL-1), we require off-street parking for the guests, a relatively quiet neighbor, and a nice addition to the Town.

Robert Steiner
Please provide a short summary of your background and experience related to serving on Town Council.


My qualifications are I have enjoyed 30 plus-year career in the commercial real estate industry, working with such notable real estate development companies such as The Rouse Company, working on many high profile properties across the United States and Canada; the Mills Corporation in the United States and abroad; and Madison Marquette, also throughout the United States and internationally. Through this experience, I have worked with many municipalities seeking to improve their communities without losing their (as Jim Rouse would describe this), “sense of place." I am confident that if selected as your representative I would bring a perspective that would be accretive to homeowners values here in Bethany Beach.

What are the three most important issues or goals facing the Town in the next five years and how would you recommend that they be addressed?

As our nations recovers from the recession in 2008, real estate is and remains near the core of its "meltdown" and essential (values) to its recover. I would like to assist in making sure we
(as a community) find the best long range solutions to today’s challenges using ideas and technique's employed by other prestigious seaside communities and real estate investment trusts. I would employ the same skills that are used by Real Estate Investment Trusts as they solve complex redevelopment and development challenges. I will not ignore Bethany Beach’s rich personal and architectural history which has made our beach community known for what it is today.

Please identify two or three Council actions you consider to have been most beneficial to our community during the last two years. Are there any that you think should be reconsidered?

I am now a one-year homeowner and wish not to comment or express views prior to 2012; however, I am concerned with the rezoning efforts (Hollywood Street). I believe a solution could be found to alleviate most concerns.

Are you for or against the proposed Commercial Lodging (CL-1) rezoning? Please explain your position.

As presented, yes I am against the redevelopment plan, however, I believe a solution sensitive to the surrounding homeowners could be reached. I see the Bethany Arms as it is today, architecturally insignificant and certainly not inspirationally as a destination hotel. For this, I do wish to seek a solution that would create a destination hotel that would be accretive to community property values and the community as a whole.

— Information courtesy of DelmarvaNow and the Bethany Beach Landowners' Association.

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