Letters: June 15, 2007

Why I voted no on funding issue

On June 5, the Ocean View Town Council approved $50,000 additional funding, on top of the $2.422 million already authorized, to complete the new Police Station. Note: The $2.422 million included a $200,000 allowance for cost overruns. The $50,000 is in addition to the $200,000. I was the only councilman to vote against this funding. I feel it is important that the citizens of Ocean View know my reasons.

First, in all fairness to the citizens, I could not vote to spend an additional $50,000 on a police station when we have already burdened the taxpayers with a facility that cost $1 million more than was necessary. Oh, I know people will tell you it was for the future. I am not buying that argument.

We currently have eight officers. If you use the chief’s own figures for determining manpower you will find that we already have one officer too many. Based on the chief’s own calculations we only have to add an additional officer every five to seven years. In the next 20 years that only means three or four officers.

e new police station will be a “state of the art” facility — maybe the best in the state of Delaware. But at what cost? If you spend enough money, you can get whatever you want. But is it what you need?

Secondly, the committee did not manage the $2.422 million originally appropriated. What would the citizens think if they knew that not one person on the committee knew how much money had been spent to date until about one week before the building’s scheduled completion? Thanks to the new town manager, we now know. The fact that the building costs are where they are is “pure luck.”

In the April 18 Wave, Bill Wichmann, chairperson of the Police Station Committee, wrote: “I believe the citizens deserve the same sound fiscal responsibility that I employ in my own home.” I wonder if this is an example?

Thirdly, I was afraid that the money would be used to buy “luxury” items, such as the proposed $10,000 trophy display case or the new $20,000 proposed workout room. Where will it end?

Fourthly, Mr. Wichmann and Mr. Amendt voted against giving $3,000 for the new library. Data shows that Ocean View residents are the biggest users of the library. It is interesting to note that this money was already in the budget. This was not an increase in spending but rather a reallocation of spending already authorized. In other words, this was not a budget increase. Yet they voted to increase spending on the Public Safety building by $50,000 without any debate.

This is a budget increase. We must recognize that the new police station is not the only priority in the town of Ocean View.

Here is where Ocean View finds itself: Maintenance and utility costs for the new police station will increase dramatically, Ocean View continues to struggle to fund a new public works facility, and we have an administrative facility busting at the seams. Examples: The mayor no longer has an office, the director of finance works out of a closet, there are no conference rooms and storage is inadequate.

Bottom line: There is no justification for this additional spending. We need to make do with what has been authorized. I am not against a new police station. I am for matching our “needs” with our “means.”

Roy Thomas, Councilman – District 4
Ocean View

Chamber thankful for help with event

On behalf of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, I would like to thank the many restaurants, businesses, volunteers and “tasters” who turned out for the NVHomes & Ryan Homes Taste of Coastal Delaware on Sunday, June 3, at the Millville Town Center.

This was our eighth year for the event, and included a brand-new location for 2007. Over 400 people gathered in the festive, tented area to kick off the start of the summer season with great food and live music by the Pam Miller Group.

I would like to thank the title sponsors, NV Homes and Ryan Homes for generously underwriting this year’s event. I also wish to thank our supporting sponsors: The Bistro at Bear Trap Dunes, Coastal Point newspaper, Delaware Today, Great Scott Broadcasting and Super Giant, and ticket sponsor, Mercantile Peninsula Bank. Without the support of our sponsors, this event would not be the success that it continues to be.

A special thanks to Capano Management for allowing us to use The Millville Town Center for the event, and also to Millville Volunteer Fire Company for all of their assistance with the event.

Last but not least, I would like to thank the Chamber members who participated and generously donated their food and their time for this worthwhile event: Baja Beach House Grill, Bethany Blues, Catch 54, Chalkboard Tavern & Grill, Fat Tuna Grill, Fenwick Crabhouse, Harpoon Hanna’s, Magnolia’s Seafood Bar & Grill, Matteo’s Salsa Loco, Mickey’s Family Crabhouse, Patsy’s, Philly’s Finest Steaks & Hoagies, Sedona, Steakhouse 26, Surf’s Edge Deli & Pizzeria, The Blue Crab, The Cottage Café Restaurant & Pub, The Parkway, Touch Of Italy Bake Shop and Warren’s Station.

Thank you as well to Chamber members Banks Wines & Spirits, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and United Distributors of Delaware for providing the delicious wine and beer samples. Special thanks to our fantastic clean-up crew from the Indian River High School Business Club, led by Bennett Murray, and other volunteers who helped at the event.

Thank you again for your generous support, and we look forward to seeing you at next year’s Taste.

Amy Tingle, Events Manager
Bethany-Fenwick Area
Chamber of Commerce

Speed limit on bridge is far too low

I read with interest the Coastal Point article on the progress, or lack thereof, on the Indian River Inlet Bridge.

I have two points I hope the authorities can address quickly to help reduce the negative effects of the constructions delays.

First, I would like to see the speed limit raised. Before the construction began, the speed limit on the bridge was 55 mph. Currently, there are no construction activities of any significance at the bridge, and the bridge and its approaches are not very different than they were before the construction started. I suggest the speed limit be raised to at least 50 mph.

As you know, the speed limit through Dewey is 30 mph, with all of the pedestrian traffic and other congestion. I can not see why the bridge needs to be 35 mph since there is none of the congestion nor any construction at this time.

My second hope is to see the two camp sites, Old Camp and the overflow camping, reopened immediately. They are not being used for construction and there are only a few pieces of equipment that could be easily removed or moved to one side.

Reopening these camping sites would keep the state from having to pay for the loss of the sites as the article stated, but more importantly, it would make the sites available this season and until the construction begins.

Bernard McMahon
Ocean View

Is leading inherited, or acquired?

A childhood friend of mine has truly found his calling. Your readers should know how lucky they are to have him, if they don’t already know.

Rev. “Mike” Hurley, to those who know and love him, is a pulpit pilot in Millville. He rescued me the other day when I became lost in his water. Dazed, confused, disoriented and in need of assistance, I rebooted my CPU while contacting with my inner voice.

“Relax Robin, you have a friend here, call him.”

Enter Mike. It was his day off and, fortunately for me, he was home. He led me to my destination.

Mike and I go back nearly half a century. We both attended Rehoboth High School before it consolidated into Cape Henlopen in 1969. His father, Edward “Ed” Hurley, taught there, as did my father.

Ed taught me how to swim one summer when I was a small boy. Holiday Camp along the clear, clean Rehoboth-Lewes Canal was the site of my first encounter with swimming. As I have not experienced breathing water, I guess Ed taught me well. I recall following his lead as he bobbed up and down ahead of me to demonstrate the skill. His soles were visible one moment and disappeared the next.

If asked, I will gladly return to one of Mike’s youth group meetings with clay and a wheel and the spirit to utilize them. His landing strip I can find without difficulty.

Thanks Mike, keep leading.

“Mr. Robin” Reifsnyder

Reader is impressed with Markell

While I have not always been a Delaware resident, I have lived in this state for the past five years. Originally from Berlin, Germany, I have spent the past 13 years in the U.S.

Just last week I took an oath, pledged my allegiance to the United States and became an American citizen. My first order of business as a new citizen was to register to vote. I believe that voting is not a right but every citizen’s responsibility. It is a responsibility that I take very seriously.

Since moving to Delaware, I have been disappointed not only by Gov. Ruth Ann Miner’s invisibility and inactivity, but also by that of Lt. Gov. John C. Carney Jr. However, I had the pleasure to at least hear Gov. Minner speak in person on several occasions, whereas the lieutenant governor has remained invisible.

I do not believe that Minner and Carney are currently working in the best interest of Delawareans and strongly believe that the legacy these two leave behind will hurt the Delaware Democrats during the next elections. What a shame.

Lt. Gov. Carney, if you want my vote during the next election, just why should I vote for you?

Personally, I don’t care if it is a rite of passage for the lieutenant governor to run for governor or if you have experience in the second-highest statewide office. I care about actions and leadership.

You were quoted as saying that you believe “Jack and I can provide strong leadership for Delaware.” Then where was your “strong leadership” during the last four years? Shouldn’t this have been the time for you to show the people of Delaware that you are more than just words?

It isn’t important to me how many meetings you attend or how many committees you are a part of. What matters are the results of those meetings and their application in real-life (not only hypothetically or on paper).

I don’t vote for “nice people” but I vote for people that actively work towards goals that I support. While you do not hold the highest office in Delaware, you do hold a position that brings with it a certain degree of power. Have you used that power? If yes, then I did not see it and nor did other people that I have talked to.

As a matter of fact, I have never even seen or met anybody from your team (it was, however, nice to chat and shake hands with Jack Markell at his fundraiser in Milton).

Delaware State Treasurer Jack Markell has proven time and time again that he is willing and able to create positive changes for the people of the state of Delaware through innovative programs and education. Additionally, he has instituted changes that save Delaware tax payers approximately $6 million annually. This type of leadership is what is needed in Delaware’s highest statewide office.

I sincerely hope that I will have to chance to cast a vote for Jack Markell as governor of the state of Delaware when I cast my first vote as an American citizen.

Suzanne Schwarz