Ocean View officials praise workers’ efforts during blizzard

Date Published: 
Jan. 12, 2018

The Ocean View Town Council met earlier this week, with the recent snowstorm being the main topic of discussion. Town Administrative Official and Public Works Director Charles McMullen thanked Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin and his officers for their assistance in dealing with last Thursday’s snowfall.

“He had to reassign people, because we always use one of the Ocean View police personnel to help us plow during serious events, such as the one that occurred,” McMullen said.

McMullen also took the time to recognize and thank the three public works employees, as well as the officer, who plowed the Town’s streets.

“I think that they deserve recognition,” he said.

“Yes, I think they did a great job,” said Mayor Walter Curran.

“This was a major incident we had with this snowstorm,” added Councilman Frank Twardzik, who recommended that perhaps the two departments could do an after-action report. “Not to find fault, but I’m sure on the fly we came up with unique solutions for different situations… I think there are a lot of heroes out there on both sides, and I’d like to thank both of you guys for your work and your staff.”

McMullen said that, after each event, each employee is asked to provide comments — positive or negative — about what was done, what could be improved and so on.

“So we can incorporate them into the next event, so whatever is needed to accomplish the task are done.”

McLaughlin added that such an event shows that Ocean View is unique in terms of its response, compared to many neighboring towns.

“Every time we have one of these events, it really sheds light on this — that we are alone to some degree as a local form of government… We heard this a lot — especially when we started getting in depth with some of our planning efforts for storms,” he said, noting that people had questioned what the Town was doing with all of its planning, since the state and federal governments would be on-scene to respond.

“They’re not. And we’ve seen that on at least two different occasions in storm scenarios, and we see it on a regular basis with snow. In fact — it’s the opposite. Charlie’s guys are out taking care of State roads, because the State’s not capable of doing it. Your limitations and vulnerabilities get exposed. The guys did a good job for the amount of work they had.”

Resident Steve Cobb also commended the staff for how they handled the storm and subsequent plowing.

“I, as a citizen, want to congratulate Charlie, the chief and their staff,” he said. “Years ago, we as a town, struggled with council members who … left us out to struggle. It is just amazing now, under council’s leadership, these gentlemen and the other department heads, how unified we feel as citizens. We see it…

“I’m just proud to be a resident and proud to have you gentlemen work for the Town.”

Ocean View approves election calendar

The council on Jan. 9 also voted unanimously to approve its 2018 election calendar. Prior to the vote, Town Solicitor Dennis Schrader cautioned the council against making any changes to the schedule as proposed.

“The State election law for municipalities is very complicated. It requires that certain things take place so many weeks, so many days before, during or after some other event. It’s all full of moving parts,” explained Schrader. “If you were to change one item on here, we would have to go back and recalculate the dates for everything else because of how the State election law reads.”

The council approved the schedule, which includes the candidate filing deadline of March 7 and the election on April 14. The only seat up for election this year is in District 4, which is currently held by Councilwoman Carol Bodine.