From The Desk of the Mayor

Dear Citizens,

Local government is perhaps the most important form of government for Americans. Think about the issues that are most important to us:  our homes, our neighborhoods, the parks and schools in our communities, where we work and where we shop. A majority of the policies that affect each of these issues are made at a local level. At our workshop meeting and special budget meeting on Monday, January 8, we discussed our responsibility for overseeing the quantity and quality of local programs and services available. A pilot program for live-streaming the commissioner meetings was discussed and will be implemented soon. This process will enable the public to view the meetings on the city’s website from the comfort of your own home and at your convenience. Rehoboth Beach Patrol Captain Kent Buckson gave an informative report from the 2017 summer season. The beach patrol performed 494 rescues and assists and responded to 561 medical emergencies. The beach patrol is organized by men and women dedicated to ocean rescue and beach safety along our shoreline. The 2018 summer season is already gearing up recruiting the most highly qualified candidates, and training personnel with the most current information, technology, and equipment. To learn more about the Rehoboth Beach Patrol, please visit rehobothbeachpatrol.com.

Commissioner Gossett discussed goals to establish roles and expectations for city committees PDF icon Memorandum Regarding Roles & Responsibilities of Boards, Commissions & Committees - 08 Jan 2018. There was a consensus among commissioners that for the committees to be productive, these documents are a good starting point. Commissioners will be reviewing these documents and making suggestions. A draft document will then be developed and presented at a future meeting. A policy for replacement of empty commissioner seats PDF icon Draft Charter Amendment for Vacant Seat Replacement Process was discussed by Commissioner Mills. Several options were discussed including leaving the charter as it is or amending the charter to allow the seat to be filled by a special election if the vacancy is under a year. Much of our discussion revolved around the term of the vacant seat. This item will be kept on the agenda for future discussion. A recommendation was presented by Commissioner Schlosser PDF icon Discussion Paper - Charter Amendment Regarding Voting for a charter amendment regarding voting. The commissioners were all in agreement that a one person one vote is necessary and to adhere to this consistently in all special and regular elections. I continue to work with our city solicitor in clarifying voting eligibility. We are moving forward with this discussion and considering a charter change that supports one person one vote regardless of what type of election it is.

A fresh perspective on government and voter demand, mandating turnover and bringing new faces into office, is term limits. The topic of term limits has come up over the years and is worth considering. This conversation is important to determine the best path forward for our city to take meaningful action on any number of issues and encourage active representation and promote innovative ideas. I welcome your input on this topic as well as all items discussed at our meetings.

The first of six scheduled budget meetings were held following the workshop meeting. Commissioner Schlosser provided a framework for discussion of Rehoboth Beach visions, goals and priorities,PDF icon Background Discussion on Vision to inform the 2018/2019 budget process. City Manager Sharon Lynn presented the 2018/019 budget to the commissioners for review. The priorities of our city are numerous, and the city is responsible for addressing many of these priorities through services provided. The struggle to meet these priorities is balanced with economic realities; there are not sufficient financial resources to fully fund every need. The budget process is one of the most important activities undertaken by governments. A well prepared municipal budget provides a plan for providing services to citizens. This is reflected in a budget document that presents the convergence of public policy, financial oversight, and operational accountability. The commissioners focused on priority areas – community safety, cleanliness, environment, economic opportunity and maintaining the city’s character. Efficient, effective, and transparent government garnered the greatest level of support from the commissioners and public. Each priority is important and will be tabulated to determine commissioner priorities and guide how the city’s budget is established.

We look forward to seeing you at the next special budget meeting at 1 pm and commissioners meeting at 7 pm on Friday, January 19. For the meeting agendas, please visit cityofrehoboth.civicweb.net/portal. If you are unable to attend the meeting, please contact the Communications Department to share your feedback at 302-227-6181 ext. 522 or [email protected]. On behalf of city officials, administration and staff, I thank you for your continued support as we strive to provide services that will carry us into the future. As always, my door remains open, and I welcome you to share your ideas and concerns with me.

Mayor Paul Kuhns

[email protected]
229 Rehoboth Avenue
P.O. Box 1163
Rehoboth Beach, DE  19971
302-227-6181