Each year, the Rehoboth Beach Homeowners’ Association hosts or participates in several key events, all aimed at fostering the spirit of community. Bi-annual meetings — held each year in April and October — give members an opportunity to hear a noted speaker discuss topics of current concern to homeowners, get an update on RBHA happenings, and air concerns about community issues. In July, we co-host with Camp Rehoboth the annual “Meet the Candidates” forum where residents can question candidates for the position of Mayor or City Commissioner. We host a group for the annual Coastal Clean-Up, organized by The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). We host a picnic for members in September, and an Employee Appreciation Breakfast for city employees in October. We also host or co-host special one-time events. See below for details on each of these events:
Ed McMahon Lecture
City Employee Breakfast
For more than 15 years, RBHA has hosted an Employee Appreciation Breakfast for City employees. The 2016 Breakfast was held October 19 on the second floor of the Fire Hall as the Convention Center is undergoing renovation. Board members who were in town arrived at "o' dark thirty" to decorate the tables with festive fall colors and set up a breakfast buffet for all City employees. Mark Saunders repeated his gracious donations of last year by bringing eight beautiful floral arrangements he took the time to make himself. Jon Worthington surprised the buffet line by bringing 30 McDonald's "hot off the grill" breakfast sandwiches, and Carol Popham brought scrumptious apple turnovers. Their additions completed the buffet that included fresh fruit, yogurts, bagels, pastries, cheese spreads, juices, milk and coffee.
Trickling into the convention center in shifts, the employees were able to take a much-deserved break and enjoy conversations and laughs with fellow employees while dining at the breakfast. Commissioner Toni Sharp arrived to assist RBHA set up for the breakfast and was later joined by Commissioners Stan Mills and Kathy McGuiness who were able to stop by and chat with the employees. For City employees who could not attend, a “Breakfast on Wheels” was carried to the various City Buildings following the convention center event.
This year, each employee received an envelope that either contained a $20 bill or $1 or $2 "scratch ticket" which brought a new level of anticipation and laughter to the breakfast. In addition, eight employees went home with the floral centerpieces and eight others with centerpiece cermaics overflowing with sweets.
The Employee Breakfast is a highlight of the year for RBHA, a time for us to thank city employees for ALL they do for us all year long!
On Saturday, November 5, 2016, Ed McMahon, noted urban planner, addressed a packed house at the Fire Hall. He spoke about a "sense of place": those elements that make one city or town different from another, and also make our physical surroundings worth caring about. People want to spend time in a special place like Rehoboth Beach, not one that looks and feels like every other city. In his talk, McMahon set forth compelling arguments for the economic, psychological, and social value of uniqueness.
Sussex County provides a clear example of the difference uniqueness makes. Driving down Route One, you could be in any city in America. But once you cross the canal into our city, you know you are in a place unlike any other, with a special character we all love.
Mr. McMahon, who holds the Charles E. Fraser Chair on Sustainable Development at the Urban Land Institute, has become well known across the country for his TED Talk and many writings on the important subjects related to building and preserving unique communities.
What a thought-provoking presentation of the special nature of Rehoboth Beach! RBHA was proud to have been one of the organizations sponsoring Mr. McMahon's visit here, and will be participating in the discussions that will follow addressing some of the key issues he talked about, both with community development and with tourism. Click here to see videos of highlights from the presentation.
Fall Membership Meeting
Spring Membership Meeting
Our Annual Spring meeting was held on April 9, 2016. Featured speaker was Matt Heim, Outreach Coordinator, Assateague Coastal Trust. Matt was the lead organizer of the campaign to stop offshore oil and gas development in the Atlantic. The highly successful campaign led to resolutions from Delmarva’s coastal communities, and generated a large grass-roots effort. It reached an important milestone on March 15, when the Federal Government announced that the Atlantic region has been removed from offshore drilling. Seismic testing, however, had already been approved in the Atlantic. Matt talked to us about how our efforts made the critical difference in the timely decision on oil drilling, what lies ahead, and the steps citizens can take to voice their opinions and assure that these threats to our local environment remain “off the table."
City Manager Sharon Lynn gave us an update on the new City Hall construction. The new parking building will be the first part of the complex to be completed, and should be open the third week of May this year. The City of Rehoboth’s website now has a live webcam for anyone wanting to see the construction progress.
Commissioner Stan Mills talked about repairs to the dunes and boardwalk, following the damage from winter storms. A special tribute was given to retiring RBHA board member, Marcia Maldeis to thank her for 9 years of dedicated service to the association. A tree was planted in the City in her honor on Arbor Day this year, April 29.
RBHA held its Annual Fall Meeting on Saturday, October 15, 2016, at the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center. The program began with a welcome by Steve Elkins, our host, executive director of CAMP Rehoboth. President Charlie Browne introduced the RBHA board and thanked Steve and CAMP Rehoboth for the use of its facilities over the past year.
Treasurer Steve Curson, presented the treasurer's report, which was approved by members in attendance. Charlie Browne recapped the many activities of RBHA, including Coastal Clean-Up and the annual picnic. Susan Gay announced that Ed McMahon will give a presentation at the Fire Hall on November 5 on the distinctiveness of communities. RBHA is one of ten sponsoring organizations for the event. Jennifer Duncan reported on plans for the annual Employee Breakfast.
The highlights of the meeting were featured speakers the "Rehoboth Foodie," Bob Yesbek;Liz Lingo, City Arborist; and Sharon Lynn, City Manager. Bob Yesbek has been writing the Rehoboth Foodie column for the Cape Gazette and the Beach Paper for the last 8 years. He also hosts the "Sip and Bite" program on Delaware Radio 105.9 and has a smartphone app called "Rehoboth in My Pocket" with over 30,000 subscribers. His talk was highly entertaining. He noted that there are 265 restaurants in the Cape region.
Liz Lingo has been the City's full-time arborist since April 2016. She grew up in Rehoboth Beach and previously worked as an arborist in New York City and in Maryland. She told us about a new city website on resources for trees and an interactive map. City Manager Sharon Lynn gave an update on the ocean outfall project, now in the permitting phase, and on upgrades at the sewage treatment plant. She also spoke about City Hall construction; move-in date is set for July 2017. Finally, Sharon updated us on Silver Lake dredging project, the Lake Avenue construction for new sidewalks and the trash ordinance which went into effect in June. Lots going on in the City!
Great news! Our beach was found to be quite clean! Some volunteers speculated that this is because the City does a great job raking our beach and visitors have become more environmentally aware of the importance of removing trash. This year's Coastal Clean-Up, sponsored by Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) as part of the annual International event, was held Saturday, September 17 from 9 AM - noon. Volunteers met at the gazebo on Wilmington Avenue and the Boardwalk, where the RBHA staff volunteers had folks sign in, handed out special RBHA T-shirts created just for the occasion, and provided everyone with trash bags, gloves and collection forms.
Our team covered the entire Rehoboth Beach area, from one of the boardwalk to the other. Because almost all volunteers this year were seasoned returnees, we sent them into the protected dunes as well as on the beach. While the beach yielded very little trash, the dunes and section of sand between boardwalk and dunes were a different story. In all, 1111 cigarette butts, 812 food wrappers, and 629 pieces of foam were found, mostly in that area. There were only two other triple-digit categories of items found: 282 straws/stirrers and 146 bottle caps. The most unusual item found was what looked like a tailpipe, probably washed in during Tropical Storm Hermine.
Coastal cleanup is a great way to "give back" for all of us. Please join us at Delaware's 31st annual Coastal Cleanup, scheduled for 9 am - noon on Saturday, September 16, 2016. Preregistration will open on the DNREC site in mid-July 2017.
Our fourth Annual Picnic was held on Sunday, September 23, 2016 at Grove Park. This year's picnic had several changes from previous ones. The day and time were changed from Saturday late afternoon-evening to Sunday lunchtime. We wanted to try this change so people didn't have to worry about trying to fit the picnic in before dinner and early enough for those who have to leave town on Sunday.
Instead of having our usual grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, we tried something different. We ordered Italian delights from Frank and Louie's, including 8 different types of sub sandwiches, a quiche, tomato pie, and other goodies. Based on what was left, we'd have to say that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the new menu! People brought their favorite side dishes and desserts to share too. Thanks for that, gang.
The picnic committee did a superb job, and we had great fun coming together and sharing our stories and food with some of the best neighbors ever.
Mark you calendars for the next Annual Picnic, scheduled for 12 noon on September 24, 2017 in Grove Park.
Meet The Candidates Forum
The Rehoboth Beach Homeowners' Association and CAMP Rehoboth jointly sponsor a Meet the Candidates Forum for candidates in the annual election to fill two seats for Commissioner of the City of Rehoboth Beach. This event is generally held on a Friday night in late July from 6:30 - 8:30 PM, a few weeks before the annual election. All citizens are invited to attend. RBHA asks the candidates to submit a statement telling voters about themselves and what they see as the 3 most important issues facing our City. Those statements are sent to members before the Forum and published on our website. On the night of the Forum, each candidate provides an introductory statement, followed by questions from the audience and closing statements by each candidate. Pictured above (L-R) are Steve Elkins, president of CAMP Rehoboth, the candidates in 2016 - Stan Mills, Richard Perry, and Toni Sharp - and Charlie Browne, RBHA president. Incumbent Commissioners Mills and Sharp won the election, which took place on August 13, 2016. Each will serve a three-year term. Photo above courtesy of Murray Archibald.
Each year, RBHA donates $1000 to Rehoboth Main Street for the fabulous July 4 fireworks. Your RBHA membership makes this and other donations possible.