June 5, 2013 | by Peter Schott
Coluzzi steps down in Rehoboth
Rehoboth Beach, gay news, Washington Blade

(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. — Pat Coluzzi, the first and only open lesbian to serve on the Rehoboth Beach Board of Commissioners, indicated that she would not seek re-election in August, after serving two three-year terms. She said she made the decision to focus on other issues.

“I enjoyed my work on the Commission, but I wanted to focus attention on, among other things, getting a water taxi along the Canal in Rehoboth,” she said.

Coluzzi is credited by constituents, with “bringing the community and businesses together following the arrest of business owners for violating the City’s noise ordinance,” according to gay activist Tim Spies. The issue that arose in September 2010 was resolved the next year by allowing bars to serve in the patio area as late as they remained open. Many of the establishments effected were LGBT-identified businesses.

Steve Elkins, executive director of CAMP Rehoboth, said that Coluzzi “did a great job to improve the image of the city, by promoting civic activities and getting street banners on the business streets, among other things.”

Identifying herself as an environmentalist, Coluzzi also helped create a more pedestrian and bicycle friendly city, bringing a Greenhouse Gas grant to the city, and creating the Garden of Navigators, a park at the west end of Lake Gerar in downtown Rehoboth Beach. She also runs the popular Farmer’s Market in Grove Park and recently became a licensed Realtor.

With the departure of Coluzzi, there will be two openly gay members of the Board of Commissioners, Mark Hunker and Patrick Gossett, in a city that has had at least one identifiable member of the LGBT community on its Commission since 2002.

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