Small Town News
Three candidates file for Rehoboth's Aug. 13 election
Perry takes on incumbents Mills, Sharp
Three candidates will contest two available seats for Rehoboth Beach commissioner in this year's municipal election, set for Saturday, Aug. 13.
Seeking to retain their seats are incumbents Stan Mills and Toni Sharp, while attorney Richard Perry hopes to unseat one of them.
Mills is seeking his fourth term as commissioner, first elected in 2007 and unopposed in 2010 and 2013. Mills said he decided to run again to complete projects the city began during his prior terms such as the new City Hall and the upcoming Lake Avenue streetscape project, which will repave Lake and install new sidewalks that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
"There is more to be done," Mills said. He said he plans to continue enhancing citizen access to government; Mills was a big supporter of making city documents available at meetings and online.
A graduate of Bucknell University, Mills, 61, is running as a resident.
Sharp, 65, is running for her second term. Like Mills, Sharp said her primary reason for running is unfinished business.
"There are things I want to accomplish that if I am fortunate enough to have another three years, that are absolutely worth it," Sharp said.
She said she wanted to continue the vision she ran on, which Sharp calls "Rehoboth 2020," which entails planning toward where the city wants to be by the year 2020. Sharp said she wanted to start by creating a five-year capital improvement plan, which Mills has also suggested, and updating it throughout the year. She also wants to continue work on revising the city's tree ordinance.
Sharp said one of her proudest accomplishments was securing funding to hire a communications specialist, and she'd like the city to conduct public opinion research.
Perry, 67, is also running as a resident. He said he decided to run again because of what he calls inefficiencies in the way the commissioners conduct business. Perry said he has been frustrated at city meetings with a lack of commonsense approaches to new ordinances regulating rental properties, trash and restaurants.
Perry said these ordinances are nonsensical solutions for problems that do not exist. A former corporate attorney and lobbyist in Washington, D.C., Perry said the commissioners have made these issues bigger than they are and are passing regulations based on anecdotal evidence.
"That's not the proper way to govern," he said.
Perry said he would like to get residents, and particularly business owners, more involved with the political process. Perry finished with 407 votes in last year's election in a four-way race for two seats won by Paul Kuhns and Patrick Gossett, who finished with 545 and 521 votes, respectively. Then-incumbent Commissioner Bill Sargent finished third with 465 votes.
Absentee ballots will become available Wednesday, June 29. Polls will be open at the Rehoboth fire hall from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 13.
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