LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Glass thanks voters and wants to hear from them

Gary Glass

August 24, 2018

I want to congratulate Dick Byrne and Pat Coluzzi on their election as commissioners in Rehoboth Beach, and to thank all of the voters who took their time to vote in the election. Every vote is important to our future in Rehoboth Beach.

I am especially thankful for the 51 percent of voters who put my name down on their ballots. This was a great result, because I did not have the name recognition of the other candidates. My campaign took clear positions, and a majority of voters supported me and these stands on the issues most important to our future. Let me highlight three:

 

1. The commercialization of our neighborhoods prompts strong opinions on both sides, and the city appears to be closely divided on the issue. But it is significant that more than half of the voters supported my calls for stronger steps to protect the residential neighborhoods from investor-owned properties that are rented by-the-night or just for the weekend, all year long, just like our hotels. Investors who do not spend even one night sleeping in these Rehoboth houses are operating commercial businesses. They are taking housing away from people who want to rent fulltime, or for the whole summer, or for a week in the summer to have a true beach experience. If this trend continues, then the mayor and commissioners might as well rezone the entire city as commercial, because the residential zoning is not enforced. No, they must act to prevent commercial investors from crowding out the full-time and part-time residents who want to live in a community of friends.

 

2. The voters also spoke clearly against LLC voting. This was a core plank of my campaign, and in the candidate forum at CAMP Rehoboth, Dick and Pat joined me in standing against LLC voting. Now, we all need to be vigilant and hold them to their campaign promises, because, at any moment, the mayor can put this proposal back on the agenda for a quick vote.

 

3. The voters also supported fairness in our taxes, fees and ordinances. When the mayor and commissioners are passing increases in parking fees and raising the taxes on homeowners, it is not fair that hotel guests pay nothing to support all the city services they enjoy on their visit. Same for the commercial landlords, who pay zero rental tax. It's not fair and it's not what other towns like Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island are doing.

 

The mayor and commissioners have talked for an entire year about the need for Rehoboth to broaden its revenue base, but they have not done anything but tax the homeowners and raise the parking fees - ironically hurting the small business people downtown who have supported them. It is past time to start the process of going to the state Legislature for the broader taxing authority that Bethany, Fenwick, Dover and other municipalities have.

 

Lastly, there is that matter of the illegal, anonymous campaign advertisement supporting the other two candidates and spreading false statements about me. That's dirty politics in Delaware, even in a nonpartisan election in little Rehoboth. But I know the voters in Rehoboth will take time to learn about my positions on the issues and see who I really am, ignoring the dirty politics that others play.

 

I plan to run again next year, but I need to hear from you. Please email to let me know that I can count on your support at the next election, and so I can keep you informed and engaged during the year ahead.

 

Gary Glass
Rehoboth Beach
garyinrehoboth@gmail.com