Bill Sargent Statement/RBHOA/CAMP Rehoboth

Statement from Bill Sargent for RBHOA/CAMP Rehoboth Forum, July 27 2012

It is an honor and a pleasure to represent the citizens of a city that is nationally recognized for its beach, its boardwalk and its charm. Rehoboth is a great place to visit and a fantastic one in which to live. We have to work to keep it a first class city, and there are a number of things that we need to do in the next few years to keep it that way.

First, we need to get the ocean outfall and wastewater plant improvements completed. We face a December, 2014, deadline, and we need to be prepared to handle any construction or financing problems. Hopefully all will go smoothly.

Secondly, we need to implement a new property tax assessment system. Since the city was last reassessed over 40 years ago a multitude of inequities have crept into the current assessments. Reassessment is not designed to increase the total amount of property taxes collected, but to make the distribution of taxes collected more fair, particularly for those who live further from the beach.

Much of Rehoboth enjoys dense tree coverage, but other sections have relatively sparse coverage, and it is my hope that coverage is gradually extended to all areas of the city. Rehoboth has long been recognized as a "tree city", but the commissioners have approved an objective of raising the "canopy" coverage from 32 to 40% of the city. Closely related efforts include increasing the amount of flowers that appear on public and private areas and maintaining and improving the health of our lakes, particularly in areas where sediment from rain runoff needs to be removed.

Another very important task for the commissioners in the coming years will be to oversee the design and construction of new City Hall facilities. The current facilities, built almost 50 years ago, are barely adequate for both the administrative and police departments.

Commissioners have many other ongoing tasks such as working with the city manager to create effective operating budgets, taking advantage of technology to make parking as convenient as possible, and searching for roadway improvements that increase safety for pedestrians and bicycle riders, particularly for children, and for motorists.

I have enjoyed working with my fellow commissioners immensely. Each commissioner brings a different perspective to issues that arise, but I am pleased and amazed how often a reasonable consensus emerges. I look forward to three more years of serving the City and its citizens and would appreciate your support on August 11.