Sussex County Online User Forums: Fenwick Island Discussion Forum: SPECIAL MEETINGS!!!
By FIFF on Wednesday, November 27, 2002 - 08:18 pm:

Fenwick town council has declared 2 special meetings for 12/2 and 12/5. Public hearing on Chief Dickerson is 12/4.
The 12/5 hearing will consider the "organization of the police department". The 12/2 meeting is without the 7 days required notice by the state FOIA requirments.

By justice for all on Friday, November 29, 2002 - 10:51 am:

Oh, I think it's reasonable to think the 12/2 Special Meeting could be legal under FOIA. Last minute legal strategies for the 12/4 employment public hearing required by law or consideration to legally "settle" this employment issue to avoid the hearing seem reasonable as long as it is in the public's interest to do so.

Therein lies the question!
Is it in the public's interest or is it moreso in the interest of some of the individual members of the Council?

Chief Dickerson's lawsuit could be a frivolous suit designed as a tactic to distract.
It certainly has me "distracted" and leaves me with loads of questions prior to the testimony I expect to very openmindedly witness on 12/4.

Guess the only way we will ever be able to gauge if it is possibly a legal meeting under FOIA is to watch what happens soon after.
If the Council's action to suspend the Chief with the intention to dismiss is based on good solid evidence that would hold up under the necessary scrutiny (in this case, the public hearing proceedings defined by law), then it is in the public interest and would be acceptable under FOIA, even if they "settled" for Chief's privacy and/or other legal reasons.
Pay to the Chief the mandatory accumulated vacation pay and sick leave, commend the Council for their efforts and close this issue of Chief's employment.

If the testimony at the hearing doesn't seem to justify Council's anticipated dismissal of the Chief, then file a complaint...
not only on the 12/2 meeting,
but also because of the fact that the Council, whole or in part, past and/or present, has spent who knows how much in legal expenses, a special audit, consultant fees (Mr. Hudson) and employee payroll plus benefits for document copying valued by Council itself to be 25 cents per copy and so on... of the public's money NOT for the benefit of the public. They may even have thought they were absolutely correct when they started the process. At some point though, they would have had to have realized they were not correct enough under applicable law and should have had the integrity to rescind the suspension and cut the losses to the public.

We, the public, have the right to know just how much it has cost either way. If Council's actions are justified as defined by the applicable law, then this is the cost of doing business under current law and thank you, Council. If not, then the public needs to know the costs and work together to get retribution for the inappropriate use of our money, if possible, or at a minimum, to stop the costs from continuing to soar at our expense.

I, for one, am willing to see what happens December 4 at the hearing before coming to any final conclusions. If there is no hearing and they have settled with the Chief, by settling beforehand with any payout to the Chief other than the mandatory accumulated vacation pay and sick leave, the Council would certainly put doubt in my mind as to the public interest over their own. FOIA allows the public to know the amounts of the payout and the cause of it because it is our money being spent. You know this public will ask.

By the way, for the regularly scheduled December Town Council Meeting, "lack of quorum" will not be acceptable.

By FIFF on Friday, November 29, 2002 - 06:19 pm:

Disagree with "Justice for ALL" on the 12/2 meeting. No reason at this stage to be held with less than 7 days notice. Go to the Town's website, www.fenwickisland.org. The 12/5 meeting at 10:00 a.m is listed, but NOT the 12/2 meeting at 10:00 a.m. WHY IS THAT?
Probably just a simple mistake. RIGHT!
Just like no police dept. report at the last meeting. With the pd administrative asst. terminated, I guess Henifin could not find the time to take over her job and give this information to the public.Too busy trying to figure out the staus of Mr. Hudson.
Just like Henifin clarifying the status of Mr.Hudson as officer in charge at the 11/22 meeting, 1 week after the regular council meeting.
Let's see: history:
Hudson hired as a consultant for a certain time frame.
This time frame later extended.
No,let's end this consultant role and hire him as officer in charge of the pd.
Henifin was placed in charge earlier at a secret session, but this won't work since he is not a police officer.
Hudson is hired for 6 mos. at the 11/15 meeting. OOPS, have to clarify this at the 11/22 special meeting. He is not officer in charge for 6 mos., because maybe the Chief might come back. RIGHT!!
How things can change in 1 week.
No disrespect to Mr. Hudson. You've only been here for a short time. Open your eyes wide, and you'll probably be leaving us soon.
Next week--2 special meetings, and the hearing on Chief Dickerson. Next council meeting on 12/15.
Don't bother to ask questions about the PD at this meeting. You'll get no answers. If by slight chance you do, don't believe. Another special meeting will occur to attempt to "clarify" the comments. Henifin has been running the pd for at least 3 months now, and HE is not sure of what's going on.
ATTEND these meetings and question Council when allowed. Form your opinions, but at least try to get some information from OUR elected officials.

By Sussex226 on Friday, November 29, 2002 - 10:29 pm:

"The 12/5 meeting at 10:00 a.m is listed, but NOT the 12/2 meeting at 10:00 a.m. WHY IS THAT? Probably just a simple mistake. RIGHT!" Right it is! Looks to me like the error was made by beach-net! when the information was posted to the town's website site... you will find the agenda for December 2, at 10:00am. Check it out! Click on the link that says November 2,2002.

You'll find this at the bottom of each page on the website~ Copyright 1999-2000 The Town of Fenwick Island, Delaware Web site designed and maintained by Beach-Net!

By Drivin By on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 12:12 pm:

WOW, it's no wonder that every time I drive by the FI Public Building the meetings have been cancelled or postponed. I would be afraid to face my constituents under these current circumstances. I am not a FI resident, and although I think it is a beatuiful town, I think I am grateful not to be. Good luck citizens of FI-don't be sheeps! You can (and should) fight City Hall!

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