REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) - Voters in the city of Rehoboth Beach have elected in a referendum to support restrictions on housing development imposed earlier this year.

The city said that Saturday's balloting concluded with 785 votes, or 53 percent, in favor of the restrictions, compared to 697 votes, or 47 percent, opposed.

Rehoboth's board of commissioners passed an ordinance in July making it harder to build large homes and requiring more green space on front yards.

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Voters will be going to the polls in the Milford School District tomorrow.

If a referendum is approved the school district says it will help deal with a current budget deficit of $1.2 million.

School superintendent Phyllis Kohel told WBOC that this would allow the district to restore cuts in the curriculum and support student safety efforts.

She said over the last three years the school system has drawn around $1.2 million per year from the require reserve fund.

And it has slashed 30 percent across the board affecting construction, operations and athletics.

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There’s a rebellion brewing in Rehoboth Beach.

Hundreds are angered by a law that will make it harder for them to build large houses.

And they have handed in a petition to force the town commissioners to take another vote.

They must have gathered 40 percent of the electorate in order to force the vote.

That will force suspension of the ordinance until its reconsideration.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that if there is not a reversal residents vow to force a referendum.

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A lawsuit in Rehoboth Beach gives new meaning to the phrase, “Vote early and vote often.”

Resident Jackie Nichols has filed a federal lawsuit that says the ability of corporation owners to cast multiple votes in a referendum violates the Delaware and U.S. constitutions.

The multiple voting provision only applies to referenda not general municipal elections.

Wilmington News Journal reports that city staff also said that residents who own Rehoboth based businesses can also cast multiple votes.

creative commons

The possibility of voter fraud in this week’s referendum that would increase property taxes for the Red Clay School District has been raised by state Senator Karen Peterson.

And the Stanton Democrat says she is asking the Delaware Attorney General to investigate.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Peterson says she received a report that a group of parents who had voted at one polling place saying they were going to vote at a second polling place.

The paper notes that referendums unlike general election are not given specific polling places.

There’s legislation in the Delaware General Assembly that could allow school boards to raise taxes incrementally without first going to the voters.

The House Education Committee Chair Darryl Scott plans to introduce the measure next week.

Scott told the Wilmington News Journal that he believes this would give the school boards a need tool to manage the district’s money.

The legislation would still force school boards to go to the voters for any tax increase over 3% and for capital projects such as a new school.

Don Rush

Local residents are unhappy with the state of affairs at the old Milford Middle School a month after a referendum failed to pass in the town leaving the fate of the facility uncertain.

The historic structure was built in 1929 but is now boarded up with large pieces of plywood covering the windows.

Local residents told WMDT that they fear the impact on the local property values with such an eyesore.

In order to renovate the facility local residents would have to get a tax increase which would require a referendum.


A referendum to raise property taxes to build a new school in the Cape Henlopen District was approved by a thousand vote margin out of 6-thousand cast yesterday.

In addition to building a fifth elementary school that will hold 720-students that money will also pay for additional classrooms at Beacon Middle School and Mariner Middle School.

The referendum means that the average property tax will go up by $22 in the next fiscal year and $37 in the following year.

In the Cape Henlopen School District voters will be casting their ballots for a referendum today.

The measure calls for a hike in the property tax which would cost the average property owner an extra $59 a year.

It would take effect over the next three years.

The measure would help pay for the construction of a new elementary school with enrollment having grown by nearly 1-thousand students over the last 12 years.

The new elementary school would be located in Rehoboth Beach along Route 24.

Don Rush

Milford residents turned down two school referendums yesterday with votes of over a thousand against the measures while around 800 supported them.

One called for nearly $13 million in tax increases to replace the Milford Middle School  which was shut down last year while another wanted $2.1 million to cover operational costs such staff and program.

Superintendent Phyllis Kohel told WBOC that passage of the building funds for a new school would ease overcrowding.

Don Rush

The Milford School District is seeking to explain to the public a referendum they want that would increase property taxes to fund the demolition and rebuilding Milford Middle School.

The facility was closed last year because of infrastructure problems and the students were moved to Milford Central Academy.

In the first year .property taxes would only be increased by $3.65.

But that would then shoot up to $33.20 the next year and to $35.68 in the third year.

Another $2.1 million in additional revenue would increase property taxes by $94.20 a year.

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - Colonial School District voters are set to weigh in on a measure that aims to raise $9.6 million for the district.

Voters will decide Tuesday whether to raise property taxes after the district's first attempt at a tax increase failed in February. The measure is meant to fill in for declines in federal and state funding.

Colonial School District Superintendent Dorothy Linn says this time administrators have made an effort to explain the district's position.


DOVER, Del. (AP) - Parents of children killed in the December mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut are urging Delaware lawmakers to pass new gun control measures.

Parents of three children killed at Sandy Hook planned to meet with Gov. Jack Markell on Tuesday in Dover.

Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit organization created by Newtown, Conn., residents after the shootings, also is coordinating meetings with legislators.

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - Colonial School District officials are alerting staffers who could be laid off if voters reject a proposed tax increase in June.

The administration handed out letters Wednesday to 72 staffers - including 58 teachers - who might be affected if voters don't approve a June 4 referendum. Officials say athletics and extracurricular activities would also have to be scaled back.

There will be another referendum in the Colonial School district.

This time it's June 4th.

Superintendent Dr. Dorothy Linn says the district will be asking for an increase of 35 cents per 100 of assessed property value.

Thirty cents will go to operations while 4 cents will go to technology and another penny for curriculum.

She said that the bottom line for operations was 32 cents just to maintain the status quo, so she expects some cuts including teachers and administrators.

Voters turned down a request yesterday for a hike in their property taxes by the Appoquinimink and Colonial school districts.

The Colonial referendum fell short with only around 25 percent of voters saying that they would agree to a tax increase.

The Appoquinimink district vote was closer with just more than half of voters saying no to a property tax increase.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that both districts said they needed the money to make up for a loss of state funding for costs such as transportation.

Tom Bremer, president of the Antrim Maintenance Corporation in Bear says next week’s referendum in the Colonial School district to hike the property tax is too much.

The district says it needs a hike of 47 cents per $100 of assessed property value…to pay for updating its technology and the curriculum as well as expanding the pre-K program.

Bremer told WDEL radio that he would support a much lower increase.

For the public to get more information on the referendum there will be a meeting tonight at George Read Middle School at 7 pm.

There will be a second public hearing tonight on an upcoming referendum in the Colonial School District.

It is asking for an increase of 47 cents on $100 of assessed property values to upgrade technology, update the curriculum and expand the district’s pre-K program.

The meeting will be held at 7 pm at the Gunning Beford Middle School.

There will be a final third public meeting before district residents vote on the issue February 28th.

Delmar Police,

The town of Delmar in Delaware has set the date of September 27th for a vote on a referendum as to whether the city should borrow up to $400-thousand to convert the former town hall into a public safety building.

The vote will take place between 2pm and 7pm.

The Maryland Delmar commissioners voted unanimously to borrow up to $600-thousand to help with the renovation.

Delmar Mayor Carl Anderton in Maryland said that having a new facility would benefit both the department and the community.