Dear Friends and Neighbors:
As an independent accountability group we wish to bring to the attention a serious matter done by various political people in town without regards to the best interests of Dewey Beach residents, and conflicting with promises of transparency made by the Mayor and a one other members of Town Council.
Without prior notice or public input, documents appeared on The Town of Dewey Beach website which show signatures of the Police Chief and The Town Manager (but no others) documents dated August 30, 2018. The documents appeared Thursday afternoon Sept 13, (linked here) less than 36 hours in advance of the town council meeting of September 14.
Fact #1: There was total secrecy, without formal public input or disclosure prior to, during signature, or even two weeks after the new documents were signed on August 30, 2018. Withholding them until the day before the town meeting (and today being the day before the election), indicates a unacceptable level of non-disclosure and non-transparency. The Documents linked above were clearly NOT approved by the Town Commissioners, or even known to some of them. It is a serious matter that some Town officials signed these documents without Town Council or any public input. Since they would not send the links to you,we did, here.
Fact #2: The Dewey Town Commissioners still have not given formal authorization for Dewey to participate in the 1033 Military Surplus program. Since the Applebaum Letter HERE is known by the Mayor and the town Attorney to be false, based on Applebaum’s letter to them and other reasons, then there still needs to be approval for Dewey’s participation in the program.
Fact #3: the TGM “performance review” was inadequate in that it excluded all but 13 items out of the 2633 items received by the DBPD. We have proven that HERE, and further we have documented the values place on the equipment were wrong, based on actual sales of actual the equipment sold, the value of the equipment is more than double the amount the 20% across the Board value in fact it was 59.59%. To move forth now where 99% of the items listed by the Federal Govt as being received by the DBPD, is highly premature and indicates impropriety.
Fact #4: If there is need for equipment over $5,000 from the LESO program. The commissioners should have to approve it based on town Policy as defined in its recent review of procedures.
Fact #5: If there was fraud involved in obtaining the property and if the Federal or State 1033 program administrators demand Dewey return the funds, it will put the town in a serious situation.
P.S. Meanwhile here is an article that appeared in the Cape Gazette todayindicating how the issue is not settled yet, so the effort to bully citizens with this military surplus program to stop debate and block public access to the information, is not a healthy for Dewey’s future. Disclosure is the only means in a free society for citizens to made knowledge-based decisions, and in Dewey too!
Jeffrey C. Smith
Dewey Citizens for Accountability (DCA)
DCA is an independent group of residents, which does not endorse or support any political figure for office, nor are any of its leaders candidates for any elective office, and serve in an unpaid, unreimbursed non official role for the organization. Recently 130 residents signed the Petition to Town Council urging full disclosure of the money and vehicles. We also have published a study on the recent TGM “review” of the Military Surplus program.