Dear Mr. Mayor and Commissioners of Dewey Beach:
Attached please find the Petition singed by 135 residents of Dewey Beach, requesting: "Town Council provide the locations of all the equipment obtained from the
Military Surplus program and an accounting of the funds obtained from the sale of the equipment along with bank accounts where the funds were kept.”
Each approval to sign the Petition came in an individual submission, which had the exact wording as stated on the petition. No approvals of the letter were obtained over the telephone or verbally.
Our group, an independent non-political, non-business allied, non-special interest organization will continue to work with Council in all ways possible to bring upon the accountability and transparency that we were founded for. While we do not maintain a formal membership structure, as we are issue based, the residents signing the petition, are united on this issue of needed disclosure of the Military Surplus equipment. The 135 residents signing are in agreement that the acquisition, use and disposal or sale of the Military Surplus equipment (over $2.85 million at the equipment’s original listed acquisition cost) by Dewey Beach Police Department is a matter that must be taken seriously, with monies of the sale of the equipment, and their bank accounts, be accounted for without exception. We also asked for similar disclosure on October 6, 2017, signed by an initial 31 residents.
The residents who are aware of it, have also expressed concern over Monday’s scheduled closed Council meeting with TGM, a vendor for the town, in private session, outside of disclosure. All related to the still mysterious Military Surplus program in Dewey. The Council’s executive session with a private contractor, without the Audit Committee’s involvement, may give rise to interference with the work product of TGM and the Audit Committee. We have documented such interference prior (December 6, 2017 and also with the resignation and reversal of the resignation earlier this month), and we see no need for a closed Town meeting. We encourage Council to open all sections of the TGM meeting up and let in the sunshine of public disclosure given the enormity of the issues.
Thank you for your consideration of the views of the 135 residents on the attached signed Petition. We will continue to update the list of signers and residents return to Dewey and become aware of the program. As you know, basic details on Dewey's participation in the military surplus program only only was released in a limited fashion by the Walton Report, issued after Labor Day 2017, at which point I found out about it, but many other residents remain in the dark about the program six months later. We hope to work with Council to inform the residents with accuracy and accountability.
Jeffrey C. Smith
Volunteer Organizer, Dewey Citizens for Accountablity