People in Ocean View just don’t trust each other very much.
Now, we don’t mean that neighbors are hanging outside their windows with binoculars at night to spy on what the people next door are up to, though we have heard of a few similar circumstances. No, we mean “Ocean View” in terms of the leadership and government of the town.
People at the top just don’t offer each other the benefit of the doubt. If Group A says the sky is blue, Group B counters that Group A is manipulating people into thinking that the sky is blue, when in reality, it is orange. There are constantly whispers of conspiracies or malfeasance, and that comes from all directions in the town.
With that in mind, we are impressed that the town procured a study of Ocean View’s management structure by the University of Delaware Institute of Public Affairs (IPA). It was smart, in that a town in budgetary and other constraints sought help in improving the way the town is managed, as well as the fact that it showed the people of the town that leadership was willing to seek independent advice on how to make Ocean View run more efficiently.
And here’s what makes even more sense: The town will be holding a public meeting and workshop on Tuesday, Oct. 25, to fully inform the public of the contents of the report, as well as to receive input from the residents.
We know that the study pushes for a “council-manager” form of government, and that the town has a need for both a town manager and a finance director. We also know that the IPA recommends that the police chief, as well as all other department heads, reports to the town manager. Currently, Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin reports directly to the mayor, as stipulated in his contract.
This is not going to be a smooth road for Ocean View officials, with a few predictable dust-ups on the horizon. But they are taking the most fair steps they can with this process.