South Bethany News
Town of South Bethany, Delaware
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South Bethany will welcome two new employees to Town Hall, announcing a new town manager and town clerk.
Town Manager Maureen Hartman will arrive on May 8. She’ll oversee all daily operations and report directly to town council.
May 27 election will see some familiar faces
It’s a race! Six candidates have registered for the town of South Bethany’s municipal election, scheduled for May 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Three challengers and three incumbents are on the slate.
Joseph Mormando, Sharon Polansky and Timothy Saxton are running for Town Council seats currently held by Wayne Schrader, Carol Stevenson and Frank Weisgerber Jr.
Once, a Missouri man walked into South Bethany Town Hall, utterly lost. He had driven around for two hours, looking for the ocean. The staff were politely baffled. Finally, they asked if he had driven over the Indian River Inlet Bridge.
“Yes,” he said.
“Well, that was the ocean,” Town Clerk Dee Burbage replied.
For 33 years, Burbage has been the welcoming face at South Bethany Town Hall. On April 4, Deloris “Dee” Burbage retired from her position as town clerk.
Regardless of silly questions and sometimes cranky residents, Burbage has served the public for the past 33 years.
“You just learn to laugh with them or say, ‘OK — let me figure that out,’” Burbage said. “For the most part, people are nice.”
The draft of South Bethany’s proposed new law on feral cats begins where the complaints began: by prohibiting people from feeding wild mammals, abandoned cats or stray cats. Thus, people may continue feeding their own house pets or wild birds but may not leave food in such a way that wild or stray animals are likely to consume it.
A local drumming group is hoping to expand its circle on Sunday, April 2, when Made By Hand International Co-op in South Bethany will host the group, inviting anyone who wants to come and see what drumming circles are all about.
South Bethany Treasurer Don Boteler on March 10 presented the draft budget for the 2018 fiscal year, which the town council will continue discussing over the next few months, ahead of the start of the new fiscal year on May 1.
In the draft, the Town’s operating budget is about $2.4 million, which doesn’t include their reserve and savings accounts.
If you’ve waited till the last minute to register for this year’s beach-grass planting, your options are quickly disappearing.
Three South Bethany Town Council seats will be up for election in this spring. Candidates may now submit applications to run for the office. The election will be Saturday, May 27. Candidates must register by Wednesday, April 12, at 4:30 p.m. Each seat carries a two-year term. The seats are currently held by Wayne Schrader, Carol Stevenson and Frank Weisgerber.
South Bethany photographers can now submit art for the Town’s “Art in the Hall” exhibit, a coastal-themed show.
The photography show is open to any professional, amateur or “avid weekend” photographer. Entrants should be residents, property owners, relatives or somehow closely connected to the Town of South Bethany.
In South Bethany, Bill Murphy was horrified to discover a colony of feral cats had broken into his house in the winter of 2013-2014.
“The house was winterized,” Murphy said at a Feb. 10 council meeting. “When we returned in the spring, they had lived in the whole house. They had defecated, they had vomited…”
The Town of South Bethany is looking for a new leader for Town Hall.
After an executive-session meeting on Jan. 9, the town council voted to terminate the contract of Mel Cusick, ending his tenure with the Town of more than decade. He left that day, officials said.
Mayor Pat Voveris did not give further details into the departure, citing it as a personnel issue.
Numbers are settling into place as South Bethany plans its police station expansion, which has a tentative price tag of $232,450 (including an $18,000 contingency fund). The money is available, spread over the next two budget cycles, said Mayor Pat Voveris on Dec. 9.
The South Bethany Police Department doesn’t have room to properly do its job. It’s not because the SBPD suddenly grew in staff. (It hasn’t.) In reality, the police department wasn’t built for all of today’s needs.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and the dark streets get the light.
After the 2015 South Bethany Community Survey revealed that more people want streetlights, the Town Council has begun researching locations.
Canal Drive had the most requests for service, so that’s being addressed first. Lights will be installed based on public response.
After one year of discussion and research, South Bethany will allow floating boat ramps and docks. They unanimously voted Oct. 14 to amend the Town Code (Chapter 50, Bulkheads) to permit the installation of “Modular Floating Docking Systems,” such as floating boat ramps, floating docks and inflatable lifting docks.
The South Bethany Police Department needs to up its pay scale if it wants to remain competitive with surrounding jurisdictions, said Police Chief Troy Crowson. So the town council approved a $13,031 budget amendment to increase all salaries.
Inviting residents to decorate public space has given South Bethany a series of miniature parks. With five miles of canals, the town has plenty of canal ends that people have decorated and planted for the 6th Annual Adopt-A-Canal/Road End Beauty Contest.
The Adopt-A-Canal program lets residents take ownership and beautify their community.
“It just truly makes a difference. We’re seeing — as the years pass — the growth of the canal ends,” said organizer Councilwoman Sue Callaway. “And it still gets the community involved in doing something for the town, and it [gets] people together to work on many of them.”
In a municipality where the primary Town revenue is realty-related taxes, South Bethany’s success depends partly on residents who maintain a pleasant living space.
This summer, South Bethany’s election cycle saw the retirement of two active town council members: George Junkin and Tim Saxton.
“We need to thank them for hard work,” Mayor Pat Voveris said in May. “This is no easy gig sitting here.”
Finally armed with official statistics, South Bethany has doubled the hours in which the Cat Hill traffic barricade is in place.
Effective immediately, all eastbound traffic is prohibited from entering Black Gum Drive from Kent Avenue, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 15 to Sept. 15.
South Bethany officials this week offered their thanks to the owners of the 17 boats that registered for the third annual South Bethany Boat Parade, as well as the additional boats and kayaks who joined in.
At 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 3, the canals were lined with residents and visitors prepared to watch the boats making their way along the waterways of South Bethany. Kent and Bobbe Stephan’s boat from S. Anchorage Avenue led the parade with their “Sharknado” theme. Aboard were their son, Jonathan Stephan and his wife, Sam, and Hugh and Ginny Meade.
The “Safety Boat,” captained by Joe Conway of Henlopen Drive, was positioned in the center of the parade. Aboard with Joe and Terry Conway were Mayor Pat Voveris, Police Chief Troy Crowson and Bethany Beach Fire Department representative Dan Cowell.
The Town thanked the parade judges for their unbiased voting. Stationed at the end of Rebecca Road, judges Dave Wilson, Martha Lowe and Anne Long had a bird’s-eye view of the boats coming and going.
South Bethany is prepared to block the road for longer than before, as Town Hall is likely to approve new and longer hours for the eastbound barricade at Black Gum Road.
The Ad-hoc Traffic Committee will recommend that the town council change the official barricade hours from the early morning to a more-useful time period of 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The council could approve that change at a July 8 meeting. It would be effective immediately but subject to ongoing traffic study. The barricade would match other traffic restrictions in town with an annual timeframe of May 15 to Sept. 15.
“It’s a good start,” said Council Member Carol Stevenson. “It’s a start.”
Just starting with mockups, the South Bethany Police Department staff imagines having enough room to grow. In June, Chief Troy Crowson presented a proposal to double the size of the existing police building.
It’s here! The unofficial start of the summer season at the Delaware shore has arrived with Memorial Day weekend, and it’s a time of transition for the area, as the relatively quiet second season of spring sprouts into the hustle and bustle that is the resort area’s high season.
The year is 1985. A young Rebecca Mais has just found out that she didn’t get the job after interviewing for a position at the University of Maryland. The next day, she’ll find out that she’s pregnant.
Mais and her husband, Richard, had already left their posts at the University of South Carolina and were set to relocate in Washington D.C. They were ready for something new. But little did they know then that they’d get more than they’d bargained for when things turned 1986.
Not only was that the year that their first-son, Brandt, was born, in January, but that spring, so was McCabe’s Gourmet Market.
“Rebecca and I laugh — Brandt was born in January, we built an ocean front townhouse that we moved into April 1st, we both left our jobs and then we started the business,” said Richard Mais. “Ten years later, we read a list of the Top 10 reasons people get a divorce, and we had done like seven of them in one year.”
Motorists shouldn’t panic when they see state officials monitoring South Bethany around Memorial Day weekend, said Town Councilman George Junkin at the May 13 council meeting.