Search for Town Manager marches on
Dewey Beach is still feeling the effects of a controversy that lingered around former Town Manager Marc Appelbaum. At Friday night's commissioners meeting, officials talked about the ongoing litigation against the town and the process of hiring a new town manager.
However, Dewey Beach commissioners adjourned their meeting still in search of a new town manager.
A motion brought forth extended the commissioner liaison, a position held by former mayor and current commissioner Dale Cooke, currently acting as town manager, for another 90 days.
"We have commissioner Cooke, who hass been filling in in that position, so instead of hiring an interim person, we had somebody with a great deal of experience to get us through this tough spot," said Dewey commissioner Paul Bauer.
"Commissioner Cooke is knowledgeable in his experience, has been very helpful in getting us to where we are right now, so we are very fortunate here in Dewey Beach," said Mayor TJ Redefer.
The extension comes with a deadline to hire a new town manager by the end of those 90 days with a 10-business day window to train the new hire.
There are a variety of reasons Dewey Beach wants to get the position filled in a timely manner.
"We're getting ready for our busy season, so there's a lot of budgeting, there's a lot of head count issues that we're trying to get everything squared away for this year. So it's a very important time that we needed someone familiar with the town that could handle that," said Bauer.
"There is a sense of urgency to get the new town manager in place, but it's not so much about the season, it's just important that we have the leadership and the transparency and the accountability that we need for all of Dewey Beach," said Redefer.
And it sounds as though Dewey Beach might be closing in on their replacement for Appelbaum.
"I think we understand the framework of what the offer is going to be and we're almost at the final stage here. So hopefully we have something to report in the next week or so," says Bauer.
Also on the agenda Friday was a potential vote on current litigation against the town of Dewey Beach.
Hanewinckle v. Dewey Beach is still ongoing, originating from Appelbaum's days as the town's manager.
Commissioners pushed a vote to enter into settlement back to next month because the town is in the final details of the negotiations.
A possible vote to enter into a settlement of the lawsuit will be brought up in the March commissioners meeting.