Fenwick Island’s new town manager is bringing with her decades of experience. Teresa “Terry” Tieman will arrive at town hall on Jan. 23, having already won multiple awards in her five-plus years as Harrington’s city manager and 23 years as a senior city administrator in Dover.
“She’s got a really good background we’re excited about,” said Fenwick Mayor Gene Langan. “She has about 28 years of municipal government experience.”
Coming from the City of Harrington, Tieman (“TEE-man”) has a master’s degree in business administration. In Harrington, she said, her biggest impact was capital improvements to infrastructure and improved billing. Tieman won the 2015 City Manager of the Year award from the Delaware League of Local Governments.
In Dover, she did billing, collections, budgeting and new-project planning. She has also worked alongside, but not necessarily above, Harrington’s police chief.
Good news, Fenwick Freeze fans! This year’s freeze — technically a dip in ocean waters whose temperatures are hovering in the mid-40s — will be 90 minutes later.
That means New Year’s revelers will have a bit longer to drink some coffee and pull their swimsuits out of the bottom of their dressers. This year’s swim will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 1. Swimmers will gather on the beach at Bayard Street, according to Rebecca McWilliams, chairman of the town’s Beach Committee.
McWilliams, who has organized the swim since its inception 13 years ago, said although Fenwick’s winter swim might not be as big as those in neighboring beach towns, its charm lies in its simplicity “It’s kind of a local thing,”she said. “It’s the same people that do it every year.” McWilliams said many of the 150 or so swimmers have participated with their families since the very first one.
After hours of discussion, the Fenwick Island Town Council this week elected to make no changes to voter qualifications. At a special meeting on Dec. 8, they finally agreed with Town Solicitor Mary Schrider-Fox that the current system is the simplest they can manage at this time.
Who is qualified to vote in Fenwick Island elections? The discussion continues this week, as the Fenwick Island Town Council has scheduled a special meeting for Thursday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m. to discuss a proposed amendment to the town charter that would expand voter and candidate qualifications.
They’ll once again have legal guidance from Town Solicitor Mary Schrider-Fox.
How about a little sand with your Santa Claus?
Fenwick Island will welcome the Christmas season with a “Sea the Holidays” community event.
Residents and neighbors are being invited to a holiday gathering on Friday, Dec. 2. People can enjoy caroling, the tree-lighting and shared treats from 6 to 9 p.m.
Handicapped parking is minimal near the Fenwick Island’s Town beaches. So on Oct. 28, Town Councilmember Gardner Bunting proposed that they add one handicapped-accessible spot on each street end.
Police Chief Bill Boyden said the town has had several threats from lawyers because of the limited parking, despite this being a federally-funded beach.
Fenwick Island Town Councilwoman Julie Lee is beginning a series of informal Town Talks, starting Friday, Sept. 23, at 5 p.m., after the next town council meeting.
“It’s all for the positive; it’s open to the public,” Lee announced at the August council meeting.
Operation SEAs the Day’s Warrior Week 2016 is well under way, but there is still time for community members to get involved.
Trusts will be addressed
After facing confusion in back-to-back elections, the Fenwick Island Town Council sat down recently to discuss their intentions for voter and candidate eligibility.
After their biggest turnout to date last year, Brooksfest is back for its fifth year in a row, aiming to send the summer out in style. The family-friendly event will feature food, skimboarding, giveaways and more, set for this Saturday, Sept. 10, on the beach in Fenwick Island.
As July came to a close, three people approached retirement from their duties at Fenwick Island Town Hall.
After 10 years of service apiece, outgoing Town Council Members Diane Tingle and Bill Weistling Jr. opted not to run for reelection this year. Meanwhile, Merritt Burke IV served his final days as town manager before becoming CEO of Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR).
With one hand on the Bible, three Fenwick Islanders swore to this week serve as town council members in accordance with the Town Code, state and U.S. constitutions.
Vicky Carmean, Bernie Merritt Jr. and Gardner Bunting officially began their two-year terms at a Aug. 16 reorganization meeting.
On Aug. 5, representatives of the Sierra Club met with members of the Board of Directors of the Inland Bays Foundation to dedicate a memorial bench in honor of the late Harry Haon, a past IBF member.
The memorial bench, made of 100 percent recycled material and inscribed with a brass appreciation plate, was placed in front of the Fenwick Island Town Hall. The bench was donated by the Sierra Club based in Wilmington.
Haon was known as a champion of environmental causes in Delaware. In addition to supporting the activities of the Sierra Club, Haon was a member of the Fenwick Island Town Council, and participated as a board member at both the Center for Inland Bays (CIB) and the Inland Bays Foundation(IBF). The IBF is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to returning Delaware’s waters to their original fishable and swimmable state.
The ballots have been counted, and the Fenwick Island Town Council has a new lineup after the Aug. 6 election.
The three winners were council newcomer Bernard “Bernie” H. Merritt Jr. (258 votes), incumbent Gardner Bunting (241) and former councilwoman Vicki Carmean (203).
They defeated candidate Kevin Carouge (154).
With a Fenwick Island Town Council election just days away, discussion of voter and candidate eligibility issues continued at the Town’s Tuesday, Aug. 2, Charter & Ordinance Committee meeting.
This year’s Fenwick Island Town Council election gives voters the choice of four candidates for three positions. Polls will open at Town Hall on Saturday, Aug. 6, from 1 to 5 p.m.
Voters can select three of the following candidates: Gardner Bunting (incumbent), Vicki L. Carmean, Kevin Carouge and Bernard “Bernie” H. Merritt Jr.
After two would-be Fenwick Island town council candidates were recently deemed ineligible due to confusion over the eligibility of trustees under the town charter, Councilwoman Julie Lee emphasized the importance of straightening out and clarifying the charter in the next year.
Disney World and McDonald’s aren’t the only places that have a brand.
Big and small towns take advantage of branding to create a central idea of what it’s like to visit them, and Fenwick Island officials are now deciding if that’s the right move for the town.
Fenwick Island’s town manager of four years will be leaving town hall to become CEO of the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR). Merritt Burke IV said he’s proud to have served Fenwick since March of 2012 but sad to leave a town that he likes.
Neighbors heard SOS calls for hours before calling 911
Alone in the dark water, a Maryland man was allegedly intoxicated this week when he capsized his boat in west Fenwick Island in the Big Assawoman Bay.
Last weekend, the Town of Fenwick Island held a public meeting regarding an update to its comprehensive plan — an official document intended to guide future development of a community in order to create and maintain a desirable environment and to promote health, safety and welfare.
Four candidates to vie for three seats in election
Fenwick Island had six candidates for its 2016 town council election — until the Town determined that two of those would-be candidates are ineligible because of property ownership technicalities.
In the Aug. 6 election, voters will select three candidates from among: Gardner Bunting (incumbent), Vicki L. Carmean, Kevin Carouge and Bernard “Bernie” H. Merritt Jr.
Sponsored by the Anne Powell Group, Fenwick Flicks will feature three movies this summer, along with pre-movie activities, on the beach at Bayard Street in Fenwick Island.
Once again, Fenwick Island has six candidates for its town council election, set this year for Aug. 6.
Voters can vote for up to three candidates from the following: Gardner Bunting (incumbent), Vicki L. Carmean, Kevin Carouge, Charles W. Hastings, Marc McFaul and Bernard “Bernie” H. Merritt Jr.
Council terms are two years.
Just weeks after Fenwick Island’s Ad-hoc Election Committee recommended two changes to the Town’s voting requirements, the mayor moved to disband the committee. He ultimately agreed to wait till a review of the issue by the town attorney.
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 12-01, will conduct Vessel Safety Checks on Saturday, June 25, at Island Watersports, 36084 Harpoon Road, Fenwick Island, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce is partnering with new presenting sponsor, Schell Brothers, for the 38th Annual Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Money talks, and the Fenwick Island Town Council talked money at their May 27 meeting.
The council approved the Fiscal Year 2017 Financial Plan, with a balanced budget of $2,026,775.
There have been no real estate property tax rate increases in more than a decade for Fenwick’s 817 properties, including Town properties
Route 54 isn’t very pedestrian-friendly. Near Fenwick Island, the two-lane road is narrow, with shoulders, but lacking sidewalks or a center turn lane. Joggers and cyclists must share the road shoulders with regular traffic travelling at least 35 mph.
In the back yard of an attractive beach house in Fenwick Island, Mary Ellen Langan opened a large hunting knife and began scraping at the solid branch of a pine tree.
She was looking for a blue stain among the light tan wood. That would be proof that the dead tree had suffered from an infection caused by an insect.
Some of Fenwick Island’s black pine trees have died quickly this winter, infected by a contagious microscopic nematode carried by beetles.
“These beetles and nematodes spread from tree to tree. So if you drive around town, you can see a lot of these dead and dying trees,” said Langan, head of the municipality’s Environmental Committee. “The only way to stop it is to take these trees down immediately. [Otherwise,] it’s going to spread.”
“There is no known treatment,” said Laura Yowell, a Sussex County forester for the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service.
“Pinewood nematode lives in the wood of the infected trees. It’s transmitted by a pine sawyer beetle. Both are native pests,” she noted, which can live in native trees without causing any trouble but can also be fatal for some non-native trees.
First, beetles find and feed on the weakened trees. They carry the nematode, which gets under tree. About 95 percent of the time, people can see the blue stains indicating a fungus the nematodes carry.
“You have to cut into a limb. If you see a blue stain under the bark, there’s evidence there’s a nematode,” Langan said.