Patrick Gossett is Candidate for Rehoboth Beach Commissioner

Patrick Gossett files for re-election in Rehoboth

Candidate’s platform includes transportation, lakes, communication

By Ryan Mavity

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Cape Gazette, May 15, 2012

The first hat has been thrown into the ring in Rehoboth Beach.

Commissioner Patrick Gossett will seek re-election for a full three-year term in the Saturday, Aug. 11 election.

“I really enjoy what I do. It’s re­warding. It’s a place I love to be, and we’re trying to make it better for the next generation,” he said.

In a potential second term, Gossett, 58, said there were three areas he wanted to focus on: traf­fic and transportation, communi­cation and health of the city’s lakes.

On traffic, Gossett said, “There’s just so many parking places in town. We’re not going to build any new roads in Re­hoboth. Over the years, we know there is no support or money to build a parking garage in town. So you have to look at other al­ternatives.

“I think the whole key is, don’t let it manage us; let’s get ahead of it and say, ‘This is how we are go­ing to address this problem,’” he said.

Gossett said the work-in­progress bicy­cle/ pedestrian master plan is a step in the right direction, but the city needs to have a vision for how to man­age trans­portation.

He said there are many ways the city can better communicate and inform the public besides meetings and the city website.

“There are other sources out there. I think the city needs to look at how to do that better. There’s Facebook and Twitter and webpage and email and what have you. But that also needs management and staffing,” Gos­sett said.

He said he has been working with City Manager Greg Ferrese on an email blast to keep citizens up to date with what is happen­ing in the community.

Long term, Gossett said at the next budget cycle he would pro­pose a new staff position for a public information officer that would serve as an air traffic con­troller of city communication.

This person, he said, would work with city departments, Re­hoboth Beach Main Street and the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce to coordinate communication.

Finally, there are the city’s lakes, specifically Silver Lake. In response to the outcry over the house being built at Lot 6 Silver Lane, Gossett drafted the charge to the planning commission to draft ordinances regulating building around the lake, includ­ing looking at issues such as buffer zones, setback require­ments and stormwater manage­ment.

“The aesthetics of the lake and the health of the lake really have to be handled in concert with one another,” Gossett said. The planning commission, on which Gossett served two separate stints spanning 11 years, has a lot of institutional knowledge, he said.

“That’s really where the re­search and thought process can come forward back to the city commissioners and see what we can do with it,” he said.

Gossett was appointed by Mayor Sam Cooper in February to fill the remaining months of Kathy McGuiness's term after McGuiness resigned in January. He had previously served as commissioner from 2004 to 2007. In contrasting his two times on the commission, Gossett said in both cases the commissioners wanted to work together for a common goal, but this group communicates with each other as much as, if not more than, in his previous term.

From his time as planning commissioner, Gossett worked on three comprehensive devel­opment plans, which he called the guts of what the community could be.

“I get a sense of accomplish­ment and a sense of reward from the job – maintaining and grow­ing the community in a managed way. I think it’s a unique offering that I bring,” he said.

Gossett’s is running for one of two Rehoboth commissioner seats up this year, the other be­longing to Commissioner Bill Sargent, who has not yet filed. The deadline for candidates to file is at noon, Saturday, June 4. Voters must register by 4:30 p.m., Friday, June 10.