Ocean View considers family ties in hiring


The Town of Ocean View, while also busying themselves with the little task of hiring a new town manager, also recently held a first reading on an ordinance amending the personnel policy relating to nepotism.

In the proposed ordinance, the sections on nepotism would only extend to parents, spouses and children, and would state that no candidate would be considered for a position within the same department where a member of that person’s immediate family worked.

“I thought the way it was worded, it was stretched out to nieces and nephews and cousins, etcetera,” explained Town Councilman Tom Sheeran. “And that dragged it out a little bit beyond what was necessary. Particularly in a small community, you might have trouble.”

This is a good point. And the point extends beyond just Ocean View’s hiring policies.

The Indian River School District School Board recently gave clear definition to its social media policy, particularly focusing on the interaction between faculty and students. There have been several cases of inappropriate relationships between students and faculty in the area over recent years, and the Board wanted to try to get a handle on it any way it could.

There were early conversations about completely eliminating contact via text message, Twitter, Facebook and other venues of communication between students and faculty, but that created its own little uproar.

Many people complained that this is a small community, and many faculty members in the district were actually related to students, or neighbors or family friends. The wording in their approved policy was much more favorable to that sentiment, and it should have been.

The Ocean View ordinance will be voted on at their September council meeting, and we’re sure it will provide clarity to the entire subject of nepotism, including what happens if two police officers who meet on the job get married, as was brought up by a resident at the meeting. The good part of this is they are considering the people and fiber of the community before making any final decisions.

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Our area was lessened a bit last week by the passing of Russell Banks.

Banks was a 1969 graduate of Indian River High School, a farmer and a business owner, including Banks Wines & Spirits in Millville. He had been a prominent figure in the community for decades, but continued to remain down-to-earth and grounded, and provided a helping hand to many in the area when one was needed.

Rest in peace, Russell. You will be sorely missed.