Sussex County Online User Forums: Fenwick Island Discussion Forum: CENSURE
By FI-Landshark on Saturday, January 25, 2003 - 09:53 pm:

If there is not a method of re-calling the votes or a way of a vote of no-confidence, has anyone thought of requesting that the Attorney General seek to censure the council members who are in violation of the law? Vickie Carmean--have you asked the town's lawyer or the Attorney General's office about this? Maybe your FOIA complaints should seek a specific sanction. Just a thought.

By cop friend of FI cops on Sunday, January 26, 2003 - 08:42 am:

Don't count on Fenwick's Attorney, Ms. Steen, to get anything done. She's been there for some time and look at the mess. Either A. she gave council advice that they didn't follow, or B. she's not too good of an attorney. The entire council and Ms. Steen (except Ms. carmean) should make the prudent decision to step down and let new members start to rebuild the town.

By Elsie Weistling on Sunday, January 26, 2003 - 01:42 pm:

To FI-Landshark (and others who have asked similar questions and given similar advice):
Follow the advice yourself about contacting the whomever's office and asking for "a specific sanction".
The offices you are referring to need to get letters from the public showing its pleasure or its discontent with how things are happening. Those offices don't need to react until they get some researchable complaints directly in their office for issues under their jurisdiction.
What happens in the long run will result from your action or inaction along with that of others with regards to how you feel about what you are hearing if what you are hearing is true.
It is not entirely up to Chief Dickerson, Major Manning, Councilperson Carmean and property owner Ginny Borodulia, the recently most vocal to date, to do all of the work. John Q Public needs to participate, no matter the position he takes, and not just stand by and watch or help the gossip fly. It is this Townspeople's longterm apathy with respect to what the various Councils were doing that landed us in this position that we miserably think we are in right now. Many a former Council Member over the last decade has tried to make the people aware that they have to pay attention. It went nowhere.
So, the piper is now looking for his pay. We don't like what we think we are seeing and wonder how it ever got to be this way.
Apathetic..root word ..pathetic.
Quit typing here until you've typed and sent elsewhere. I don't care whether you are in support of this Council's actions or against, but get involved in some manner other than chatrooming.
Ask for documentation from Town Hall of things that would verify your concern or prove there is no reason for concern. Having them provide you with hard evidence at 25 cents a page from your pocket lets them know you are serious about your interest to get to the truth.
"Don't tell me, show me!"
I can hear you say they aren't getting another penny of your money! Sometimes you need to put your money where your mouth is to get the results you think you seek.
That's another caveat... you better watch what you wish for. Even though what seems to be going on right now is seriously ugly, the Councils under this regime of Peg and Harry over this last decade have accomplished major wonderful things for this Town and its people. They could possibly have been the "among" the most accomplished Council leaders in the Town's history had they not seem to have let things get out of hand somehow. That's the really sad part. They and we all need to remember that it is not only what you do, but just as importantly how you do it.
Maybe a reorganization of the Council would be a more reasonable realistic temporary measure until election time. As far reaching as this tangle seems to go and keeps growing if the rumors are true, put the long term leaders and the financial powers in the Licensing, Environmental, Emergency Management and Life Guard arena so they can be available to be part of the cure, including background information, but not the lead.
All Council Members need to be aware and fully informed of any issues on a timely basis. For example, to announce that the y/e 1999 audit was complete as of the November 15, 2002 Council Meeting per their own Minutes and yet here in late January, some Council Members have still not seen a hint of it, even in a preliminary form, is totally unacceptable. I know, by referring to Ms. Carmean's FOIA complaint(s), the management letter that traditionally gets delivered with a final audit report was dated October 9, 2002.
So Council should at least regroup, let those the public would prefer be the key first recipients of information. They and those they appoint to oversee (who don't all have to be Councilpersons) will work with the rest of the Council to work in the open and best interest of Fenwick Island and its residents.
Coninuing the caveat, this Town has years and years of key Fenwick Island history and employee experience going out of the building en masse...from the front office with Barbara Hanrahan having retired and June Truitt ill, Police Department daily history and experience gone with the Chief's suspension, Major Manning's retirement and Sherry Jordan's dismissal and now it seems the rest of the longer term officers are leaving the force, as well.
Thank goodness, we still have some longtermers left in other departments. We need someone around able to point us in a direction for research of an issue.
The more recently hired are very capable, I have no doubt.
My point is that to start from the ground up from this apparent mess with total amnesia as to what, where, how and why of the daily, monthly, quarterly and annual requirements of all of the departments would be even scarier than living with the known and TRYING to redirect energies. And consider the clean-up of the bigger messes that appear to be on the horizon legally because of the apparent lack of good management habits, like documentation and recordkeeping. Someone is going to have to be available to recreate (as opposed to re-invent) what happened so the Town can defend itself in the lawsuit(s).These Councilpersons were there.
Even a better reason, who do you know that wants to get onto Council right now and is capable of going into this scene with the ability to remedy things? Now, think of four or five more. Probably can't, can you? Let's face it. There is no quick fix here.
We need to resolve to work together openly. I agree that it would be ideal if some of those in the lead would modify some of their thoughts and/or habits.
If there is criminal wrongdoing, which I really don't want to ever have to believe, there should be legal consequences. If they just somehow became incapable of financial gatekeeping as of 1998-1999, they should be reassigned to the non-financial duties. It is a violation of the public trust to do otherwise.
Suppose I should thank you for being the last straw to push me into writing some of my thoughts online for others in the public to consider.
Lash at me, John Q. Public for not chewing Council up and spitting them out, but until the reports from any of the audits and numerous agency investigations are in the open or until a Councilmember admits or someone is penalized for lawbreaking, I don't know the stories for sure. But, the rumors I am hearing along with the Spin we keep hearing is making me dizzy and sick. Spin just agitates unnecessarily. Council should talk openly and frankly, let us hear where the Town really is, let us vent (sounds like a commercial coming!) and we can all move on from this and work together for a better tomorrow in our one mile long, three block wide Quiet Resort. signed, Dreamer ("Pollyanna" was already taken!)

By FI-Landshark on Sunday, January 26, 2003 - 08:50 pm:

Ms. Weistling--I totally agree with your "open and honest" policy. The problem is that the current Council is trying to cover up quicker than the bad news is hitting. How can they vote for $2,000 bonuses when the very individuals who are suggesting it (Mr. Frederick in the lead) KNOW that the tax bills have not been paid?!!!. That is not open or honest accounting. Letters are sent providing "feedback" about the proposed tax hikes and Council member Haon doesn't have the decency to read them. So, while I agree with you that a simple solution would be for everyone to play nice while we get through these tough times, these "old dogs" just aren't getting the new trick about the need for open and responsible government. Since they do not "get it", it is time that they go. Others will replace them. Maybe new blood will be forced to govern in the open. After all, new folks will have to ask for advice because they don't already know ALL there is to know (like the current Baunchaulk/Haon administration). Any information the new council will need to learn from the old council members can be done by working with the lawyers. I would assume that they will be cooperative since they were sued directly. Besides, Mr. Haon and Ms. Baunchaulk may give more meaningful answers anyway if they are under oath, as opposed to constantly running for re-election for offices--like "Mayor"-- that do not even exist under our charter.

By Realist on Monday, January 27, 2003 - 11:16 am:

To: Elsie Weistling

Strong ties to the "Show Me State",yes.
Your idea of proof is audit, investigation results and admissions of members of council. You don't know if the stories are true.

What about lying, foia comfirmed violations by the Attorney General's office.

Obiviously, you have been hoodwinked too! Think about it. Should government leaders conduct themselves the way the members of Fenwick Island Town Council have?

Harry Haon (aka Peg's mouthpiece) is a proven lier, by your own husband, and Mr. Clark, as I recall. When in a public meeting he said "No, that's not true", with regard to the Chief's personnel file not having one reprimand until the council was aware of the FOIA complanint filed by the Chief with the AG's office. The Mayor and Frederick also affirmed Harry's statement, a documented lie.

What about Petie Frederick and the many lies he was caught in with regard to the lies he told to Mr. Brans and Mrs. Carmean about the Delaware State with-holding taxes not being paid.

What about a history of a Mayor, who by charter is held responisibile for the daily administration of the Town's affairs. I'm sure a town employee will be held accountable for not sending in the with-holding taxes, because the council will never accept responsibility for their own actions. Since Mrs. Hanrahan has retired, that leaves Mrs. Truitt for them to point the finger to, but rest assured they had no knowledge of such a thing and are totally shocked. Perhaps if the annual audits were allowed to be done, and the CPA firm not sent away "his words not mine", the problem would have been discovered and corrected much earlier. Further, I'm sure some type of sanctions will or has been placed against Mrs. Truitt for this act. Who will place sanctions againt the Council?

What about how this Council treats it's employees, with threats of termination for no reason? How about the wishes of "Griffin" that he just wants to "fire" someone? I'm sure your aware of his statements, aren't you? What type of man finds joy from wanting to fire someone? Ask the town employee's they will tell you shortly after getting on council he made his wishes clear.

If you think these people will ever admit any wrong doing, to anything, I know of some swamp land some low life's are trying to get rid of, by lying and spinning the facts about the land.

Wake-Up. Look and the facts already known, with out any audit or investigation results. Are these the type of people you want to represent you? If you ask a simple question of your government, shouldn't you get an answer? Aren't answers supposed to be truthful? Why, are these persons who recieve no pay for their service, so intent on closed government? Could the answer be power and control, just that simple. If the answer to the last question is yes, and I think it is, this council will do anything to remain in power, lie, cheat, create false documents, keep the public in the dark, etc.

All the good, the memeber of this Council may have done in the past, except Mrs.Camean, means very little when they form a spin and lier's club.
This is not the way government should work.

I have had a FIPD officer tell me their social security with-holding for 1999 showed a zero with regard to that years earnings. Further, in checking with the social security administration that Fenwick only reported 7 or 8 employee's that year. They said the (social security administration) was turning the finding over to the Federal Office of the Inspector General for investigation and the Internal Revenue Service.

"There can never be a complete confidance in a power which is excessive".
Cornelius Tacitus

"The price good men pay for in difference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men".

"The appearence of right oft leads us to wrong".

"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations".
James Madison

By Mr Sunshine on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 11:42 am:

Maybe now is the time to think about disbanding the town of Fenwick Island and let Sussex County control our destiny. I have not figured out yet what benefits that we get from being an incorporated Town. However in talking to several of the County Commissions they donât want us and our problems
1. It would reduce taxes.
2. It would eliminate duplication of services.
3. It would eliminate the police force which cost the taxpayer
The unincorporated area of this town, on the east side of Highway One from the Maryland Line to Carolina Street seems to get along just fine operating under Susssex County Laws; maybe we could do the same and not have to tax the residents of Fenwick Island over a million dollars a year to have a local government that does nothing except enact new rules and regulations, and spend monies on wasteful projects that don't benefit {the town} the common good.
A Ploice Department, we donât need as we have never had 24/7 police protection that I can rembember and is the bigest item in the towns budget.

By Kurt C. Hoffman on Wednesday, January 29, 2003 - 01:21 pm:

Instead of simply complaining on here, write to the Attorney General's office, people, and tell them what you think about the lies, the deceit, the avoidance of mandatory audits, the failure to pay withholding taxes and efforts to keep that failure secret, the series of unlawful executive sessions, the actionable character assassinations of George Dickerson and Bill Manning, the browbeating of Vicki Carmean, the unilateral rule change to thwart a free and open discussion of current issues during the public participation segment of Council meetings, the lack of opportunity for public input on the budget, the micro-management and subsequent unraveling of the Police Department by an unqualified Council member, the dubious conduct and questionable advice of the town attorney....it's an impressive laundry list of misconduct.
Attorney General Jane Brady will only get involved in our dilemma if she hears from an overwhelming number of property owners. Contact her through her deputy, Michael Tupman, at the following address:

W. Michael Tupman, Esq.
Deputy Attorney General
Delaware Department of Justice
102 West Water Street
Dover, DE 19901
FAX: 302-739-7652

We have to get rid of most of these Council members before they drive the town into bankruptcy and cause us to lose our insurance. We already are vulnerable to civil penalites and a number of lawsuits because of their misbehavior. They have to go, people, and it's only going to happen if we make it happen.

One other thought: Your comments here on Sussex County Online will carry more weight if you sign your name.

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