Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Delaware DOJ weighs FOIA complaint against City of Rehoboth over hiring of its City Manager

The Rehoboth Beach Water Tower.
Delaware Public Media
The Rehoboth Beach Water Tower.

Delaware’s Department of Justice is determining if the City of Rehoboth Beach committed FOIA violations when hiring its new city manager.

The Rehoboth Beach Board of Commissioners recently voted to hire its new city manager, Taylour Tedder, with a total compensation package of over $1 million.

Tedder’s salary is $250,000 with a $50,000 relocation expense, and a $750,000 interest free loan that would be forgiven after seven years should Tedder stay on as City Manager. His predecessor’s salary was around $160,000 annually.

“What on earth, did the commissioners, running a 1,400 person town, with a $38 million budget, think that they were doing, by making him one of the highest paid public officials in the United States?" says Rehoboth property owner Tom Gaynor. "Shock and surprise.”

Gaynor says the compensation was decided in a non-public forum. The FOIA complaint to the DOJ also alleges Tedder fails to meet the job requirements outlined in the city charter – a degree in engineering and four years of experience.

“The whole decision process regarding this city manager was so dysfunctional and so careless and cavalier with the people’s money, that was what was most offensive to the people here," Gaynor says.

Gaynor notes Rehoboth just raised parking and rental fees to fill a $4.4 million budget hole in its FY2025 budget, and now calls the loan and salary to Tedder “an egregious abuse of the people’s money.”

In its response to DOJ, the city says it did not violate FOIA, having discussed and voted to appoint a new city manager in a public meeting, and because no records have been requested and subsequently withheld. They add a FOIA complaint is not the correct avenue to determine whether the town charter was violated.

Rachel Sawicki was born and raised in Camden, Delaware and attended the Caesar Rodney School District. They graduated from the University of Delaware in 2021 with a double degree in Communications and English and as a leader in the Student Television Network, WVUD and The Review.