Dewey Beach Commissioner Candidates Debate Town Audit Report
DEWEY BEACH, Del. - Dewey Beach is days away from its municipal election. Four candidates are vying for three seats. Three incumbents, including the current mayor are on the ballot. A recent audit report is up for discussion at Wednesday night's Audit Committee meeting.
Mayor T.jJ. Redefer and Commissioners Paul Bauer and Dale Cooke are hoping to be re-elected on Saturday. Retired entrepreneur Phillip Rowe challenges them with what he calls a campaign for change. He says the town's draft audit report reads similarly to last year's.
"It just seems to be a just kind of go along with the flow," says Rowe. "Time isn't recorded correctly or monitored, vacation time isn't accrued."
Redefer, Bauer, and Cooke don't see any big issues. Redefer says that's the point of having a draft report. "Management still has to comment on the draft report so that we can see if there are any corrections or oversights," he says. "It refers to accounting not in the draft report so there are editing issues that have to happen."
Bauer acknowledges the accomplishments that have been made since he and Redefer were elected two years ago. He says the report reflects that the town actually made out better this year. It is possible money Dewey Beach saved money by replacing the financial director with an audit firm. "I look at a full accounting firm could probably do more than one person, that was the logic back then," he explains. "We had the staff of an accounting firm with the salary of what we were paying our director of finance."
Rowe is on board with the draft report recommending that a financial director be hired again. The incumbents consider this as a possibility.
Commissioner and former Mayor Dale Cooke has been elected twice for a total of ten years. He says the best decision won't be made in a hurry. "We need to look into the situation and make an informed decision," Cooke says. "Unfortunately sometimes commissioners get emotional and get pushed in one direction by one commissioner or the public."
The draft audit report will be discussed and possibly voted on during Wednesday's Audit Committee meeting at 6 p.m. at the Life Saving station on Dagsworthy Street. Voters who are already registered can cast their ballots from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Life Saving Station on Saturday.