Resident puts support behind Sheeran
I find it quite ironic that, in running for re-election to the Ocean View town council this year, Perry Mitchell is quick to propose all kinds of ways to reduce spending and cut taxes but would like voters to forget that he has been a member of the council for the past three years where we have seen increased spending and continued tax increases of 8 percent.
Also, as a constituent of Mr. Mitchell in the 3rd District, I assume he abides by the Orwellian principle that everyone is equal, but some people are more equal than others.
For example, Mr. Mitchell issues a periodic newsletter, but it only is distributed to constituents who don’t disagree with his stand on issues. It has become somewhat of a joke among a number of constituents in the district, but is unfortunately not funny and certainly not the kind of leadership I want in my council representative.
I urge all voters to examine Mr. Mitchell’s record over the past three years, as opposed to his rhetoric during this year’s campaign. If you do, I hope you will agree with me that he needs to be replace and you will cast your vote for Tom Sheeran, a candidate I am confident will provide effective leadership for all of the citizens of Ocean View.
Councilman backs Wood, Sheeran
Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to the citizens of Ocean View and was forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.
Election time is upon us again. I hope that everyone gets involved in the election process. When I vote, I will be voting for Tom Sheeran and Mayor Gordon Wood. I urge you to do the same.
In my first year on the council, I have enjoyed working with Mayor Wood immensely. He truly puts the interests of the town and its citizens first and foremost. I have been impressed by the way he encourages every citizen to be informed and involved. More impressive is the way he is able to do this, and maintain a sense of decorum at every meeting.
The meetings in the last year have been productive and orderly. Mayor Wood is always well prepared and well versed on all of the issues. He tirelessly works behind the scenes, putting in many hours at the Melson Building. I would like to continue the positive momentum of the Council. I truly believe that Mayor Wood’s leadership is necessary to do this.
I have come to know Tom Sheeran well over the past year. He volunteers countless hours of his time to a number of community organizations. He is now ready to volunteer his time and experience for the benefit of Ocean View.
Tom is well informed about all issues facing the town. He regularly attends council meetings and always participates. He is getting involved because he truly cares about the future of Ocean View. He wants our town to continue to be a great place to live. I think he would be a tremendous asset to the council.
Geoffrey Christ, Councilman
Resident likes Pickrell for mayoral seat
Ocean View voters — please vote for George Pickrell for mayor Saturday, April 9. We need George’s strength and determination to lead us out of our financial distress. Current Mayor Gordon Wood wants you to think our finances are just fine. They are not fine!
At the March 8 town council meeting, after presentation of the latest financial plan, Mayor Wood said that Ocean View is getting well.
I responded at that meeting that we have a funny way of getting well. There will be five years of tax increases compounding to a 43 percent tax increase. In addition, we will be using up $1.5 million of cash reserves, and after five years we will still have $1 million worth of drainage projects unfunded.
Nobody at the meeting disagreed with my analysis!
Mayor Wood has had his shot. Three years ago, he campaigned for fiscal responsibility. See what his leadership has produced: huge tax increases, bleeding down our reserves, and kicking the drainage can five years down the road. This is not fiscal responsibility!
We need new leadership! Please vote for George Pickrell on April 9!
George’s platform was detailed in last week’s issue of the Coastal Point.
Reader chimes in on state GOP issues
I find it beyond pathetic when grown men act as though they haven’t reached puberty. Mr. Sams’ loyalty to Tom Ross is unquestionable. The power Mr. Sams has allowed Tom Ross to exercise over him makes one question exactly who’s been “dabbling in what.” Putting personalities above the morally right thing to do is never OK.
Mr. Sams decided to take a well-deserved vacation to Alabama. Was this the responsible thing to do, given we have a convention in just over a month’s time? Or was this just another pre-hatched plan that Ross/Sams initiated to further stall their impending resignations?
During the March 14 meeting, Mr. Sams stated he would be resigning, after the convention. However, he conveniently forgot to give the executive committee a date certain. Is this another tricky way for Ron to drag his knuckles thru May 31, or beyond? Please, Ron, tell us your “actual” date certain. There is much work to do, and we would appreciate an immediate response.
To further compound problems, upon his return, Mr. Sams cancels the most important meeting of the year. The meeting scheduled for April 11. He claims this is too close to the convention. Isn’t this exactly the time you call a meeting and perhaps an additional meeting, if necessary, to sure up plans for the convention? And who voted in favor of this?
Republicans missed valuable teachable moments. Tom Ross’ disrespect of Christine O’Donnell was a definable moment. The time Republicans had a chance to step up, call for and demand an apology and/or immediate resignation. Instead, they celebrated Ross’s defamation, of the “People’s Choice,” which further divided the party. With blood now on their hands, having broken Ronald Reagan’s “11th commandment,” they decided if they couldn’t win it, they would make damned sure she wouldn’t. And so they went out in droves and deliberately voted against a member of their own party, for spite. Was their hunger to win, at all costs, worth the price? I believe not, and the results continue to befall the Republican Party today.
I’ve lost a lot of respect for some of my Republican brothers and sisters, especially those who professed to be men and woman of God. Many put personalities above principles. However, I am thankful He has given me the ability to discern good from evil.
“We all know what our enemies will do. It’s our friends we have to watch.”
Nancy L. Colella
Costello offers advise to Bethany council
Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to Bethany Beach Town Council members and was forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication:
I’ve read the two proposed elections-related actions (one a charter amendment and the other a code amendment) and offer the following observations and suggestions.
Respecting the proposed ordinance to amend the Town Code’s elections and voting provisions, I hope it will be amended to clarify that the present practice of permitting qualified voters to self-administer the oath associated with an affidavit one submits to request an absentee ballot.
I urge council members to delete Section 2 of the measure to be sent to the General Assembly to amend the Bethany Beach Town Charter. Section 2 proposes to reduce the number of individuals who may vote by virtue of being freeholders (property owners) of the same parcel from eight people to two people.
This provision will disenfranchise approximately 435 otherwise fully-qualified municipal elections voters in Bethany Beach. I’ve searched in vain for a justification of this action and can find none. You may recall that when Councilman McClenny was chairman of the Charter and Orinance Committee, he proposed a substantial reduction in the number of Bethany’s qualified voters, but the Council, at that time, amended the McClenny measure to set the qualified voter number from each parcel to the present eight persons.
Nothing in the Delaware Attorney General’s municipal elections letter to Bethany Beach dated Aug. 2, 2010, requires Bethany to adopt Section 2. The Attorney General suggests that towns that permit multiple freeholders of individual parcels to vote consult with their town solicitors regarding compliance of their elections provisions with federal and state law.
Bethany received from its solicitor an extensive report regarding compliance dated Dec. 23, 2010. In that report, the solicitor states clearly that Bethany’s existing provision dealing with multiple qualified voters of single parcels need not be changed. I quote from the report, “The Bethany Charter is in good shape because it (Bethany) is a resort town and because it does create an eight-person limit on who can vote based on ownership of a specific parcel.”
There is no requirement that Bethany must follow to arbitrarily reduce the number of people who are qualified to vote in its municipal elections. In the clear absence of a requirement, some other reason for this change should be advanced. Absent the advancement of a reason for the change, the change should not be made.
Whatever consideration you can give these views is greatly appreciated, by me and perhaps by the 435 presently qualified voters Section 2 proposes to eliminate.
Resident addresses Bethany crosswalks
Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to Bethany Beach Town Manager Cliff Graviet and was forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.
I am following up on the meeting that I attended about the parking on Garfield Parkway.
The engineer stated to me when I made the suggestion of single lane in the town of Bethany that DelDOT would not approve this when it was proposed to them in the year, he thought, 2007.
He also stated to me when I suggested that crosswalks be put on the road in town that DelDOT would not allow this because they were not at an intersection. I have driven around, and I have found that there are crosswalks presently being used in Bethany. Even on Route 1, where there is not an intersection.
There is a crosswalk going across Route 1 at Wellington [Parkway], no intersection. One going across the road at the South end of Pennsylvania Avenue, entering the fenced in area of Sea Colony, no intersection. One going across the road on Route 26 at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, no intersection.
He also stated that DelDOT would not approve a single lane going into Garfield Parkway because of the intended back up on Route 1. There are backups on Route 1 and 26 under the stop light all the time. This is a concern because cars are stopped on Route 1 when the light turns green and cars are not able to go down 26, causing a delay at the stop light.
At the meeting in the fall, I asked if there were going to be any parking spaces that would be taken with the proposal, and it was stated to me that there would not.
I still believe the town or the engineer, that is being paid, should submit to DelDOT again about the crosswalks on Garfield Parkway in the section between Atlantic Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue. I realize there has already been a vote from the mayor and council but there always seems to be changes.
Kathy L. Dryden
Resident believes Pickrell should lead
At the March Ocean View Town Council meeting, Mayor Gordon Wood and the majority of Council voted 4 to 1 to approve a new budget calling for an 8 percent tax increase. That’s a 24 percent increase in our taxes during Mayor Wood’s three-year term in office. And Council has already said it will need another 8 percent tax increase for the following fiscal year.
This is part of what Mayor Wood and the Council majority call their “Get Well Program,” but I’m afraid it’s more likely to make us all sicker! They are spending more money than they are taking in, passing tax increases onto us and spending down our emergency savings reserves.
Is this a responsible way to address the structural deficit our town has been laboring under for the past several years? How well has it worked so far since they’ve started on this path of tax increases?
My wise mother taught me a valuable lesson when I was a child. I had my heart set on buying an item that I could ill-afford. I requested that she chip in and help me with my purchase. She could easily have pleased me, but here’s where her wisdom comes in.
She said I should not be buying what I didn’t have the money for and, further, I should not be expecting others to make up for the money I didn’t have. She explained that if I really, really had to have the item, I could save for it and purchase it at a later time. Meanwhile, I should be reconsidering how much I really needed it. You can’t spend what you don’t have. What a concept.
Some people are floating a rumor around town that the budget and all the big spending in Ocean View are the fault of the town manager. Au contraire. In fact, the town manager had set out a sound financial course for the Council outlining cost cuts to eliminate the deficit and operate within a balanced budget.
These are tough economic times and require strong leadership committed to making the necessary difficult financial decisions and cuts in spending. But the mayor and council majority failed to implement most of the cost reductions required and voted to increase taxes on us instead.
I can’t think of any other local government entity that is raising taxes during these times of economic hardship. Mayor Wood told me that the 8 percent tax increase was just “beer money.” Maybe for some of you, but I’d bet most of us would be thrilled if our Social Security checks had been increased by 8 percent each of the past two years.
Please understand I am not saying that Mayor Wood and his council majority are bad men/women. Not at all. I’m sure they’ve probably worked hard and have done their best. It’s just their decisions I take issue with.
It’s always hardest to fire the employees that are nice people but just can’t get the necessary job done. Maybe we are at fault. Maybe it’s time for Ocean View voters to wake up! It’s on us. It’s time for a change in leadership. This spending/ taxing cycle has to stop. We can no longer afford to live big. We need a strong qualified candidate committed to cut spending without reducing services and no tax increases during his term in office. My mom would vote for that.
Mayoral candidate George Pickrell is ready to rein in spending and restore fiscal responsibility to Ocean View. He presented a budget proposal to the Council that showed how this could be accomplished, but Mayor Wood and the council majority rejected it. They made a few of the suggested cost cuts but still raised our taxes by 8 percent. “Beer money.”
On April 9, I urge you to vote for George Pickrell for mayor. No tax increases.
BBLA makes their opinion heard
Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to members of the Bethany Beach Town Council and was forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.
On behalf of approximately 430 voters presently qualified to participate in Bethany Beach’s municipal elections who will be disenfranchised if the proposed changes to our election law are approved, Bethany Beach Landowners Association urges the Council to strike the disenfranchising language from the pending Charter amendments. Changes to the town charter contain a section that reduces from eight to two the number of parcel owners who are eligible to vote in Bethany municipal elections. We believe the section is unnecessary, unexplained and possibly unsupported by the voters.
Whatever the number of owners of a parcel or the time they may spend in Bethany, all pay property taxes and other fees to the Town at precisely the same rates and are subject to all other revenue raising efforts at the same rates as those who are full-time residents.
BBLA does not understand why the proposed change is necessary or justified. It is clear the effect will take away a vote of many property owners. The proposed change will have the effect of discriminating against a significant number of tax-paying seasonal owners and others who have chosen to invest in Bethany residential properties based upon an arbitrary limitation of eligible voters.
Town government over the years has encouraged all its qualified voters to participate and has improved election procedures, especially for owners who elect to vote absentee. BBLA has consistently encouraged and applauded these progressive steps and views the pending disenfranchisement change as a giant step backwards.
On behalf of BBLA members, please delete the disenfranchisement language from the bill you are about to consider. Alternatively, we ask the Council to conduct a referendum on this proposal.
John Himmelberg, President
Bethany Beach Landowners Association
Wood, Sheeran get support from reader
On April 9, 2011, the town of Ocean View will have a very important election. We will elect a town councilman and a mayor for a three-year term.
When I moved here over five years ago, I looked forward to enjoying my retirement years, because we felt this was a great place to live. I started attending Town Council meeting regularly and saw that three people on the council seemed to thrive on keeping the flames of anger fanned.
With the replacement of Mr. Thomas and then Mr. Nippes, the council improved and actually become more productive. Now Mr. Mitchell is seeking re-election. I guess he needs more time to work on that “to-do list” of his, but he has had enough time and now he needs to make room for someone else.
I ask your support in electing Tom Sheeran to the council to replace Perry Mitchell. Perry has had his chance and has not performed what he said he would do.
Tom has been a productive volunteer in his community since he moved here, first as the leader of the CAP unit in Ocean View and now as a trainer for the Millville Volunteers. He is a leader in his community with the Neighbor Watch. He always attends the Town Council meetings and has been very informative. Tom has a background in government employment and feels he can put his knowledge to work to help the citizens of Ocean View.
The second part of this letter is let you know I am also supporting Gordon Wood for mayor. He has come a long way in his first three years, and I believe he can do the job we need done in Ocean View in the next three years. He has the experience and knowledge for the job.
Please join me on April 9 in electing Tom Sheeran and re-electing Gordon Wood to our Town Council.
Reader opts for people over environment
Bethany Beach: The emperor’s new clothes – this is how I feel our town council behaves. We’ve gone from being convinced that the sand dunes must be ridiculously high to the windmills out in our ocean – all to save the town and for the environment, or so they say. What beach community have you been to where you walk along the boardwalk and see a mountain of sand?
But Mother Nature recently took care of Bethany’s sand problem. A more realistic sand dune has been structured in its place. Who convinced the town council that this sand mountain was good for us?
I went to Rehoboth right after their beach was restructured by the Army Corps of Engineers and their beach was beautiful. You could see the ocean and the bathers. Perhaps our town council listens too much to what others say we should do.
Now the town council is considering windmills. Who is talking us into this? Are we being convince that this is good for the environment and Bethany Beach? I don’t see Rehoboth volunteering their coast line, or any other community doing so. But, hey, let Bethany Beach do it – the emperor’s new clothes.
From what I have read, it is the constant sound which the windmills make that is the problem. Additionally, the sun going down reflecting on the blades is a problem. People who have already made the mistake of having windmills in their coastline are regretting their decision. The noise will be day and night. How many members of the town council will be affected by this invasion of peace?
I think the town council should start thinking of all the citizens in this community and the effect, not only of the mess of construction, but the noise this will create. Don’t tell me that these companies are saying there will be no noise which will be bothersome. All you have to do is read what these people are going through.
Some are being paid not to complain. These companies selling us on windmills are doing it for profit and will say anything. They know that once they have been erected, it’s over. Except for future costly maintenance.
So I guess the question is “what is good for the people in our community?” Are the profits of some company who will never be around once the windmills are up the greater good? I believe that the town council should take the approach, “Would I like to live near the sound of the windmill?”
I love to go shopping in Rehoboth and I love the sights and lights of Ocean City, but what I love best is to come home to Bethany Beach – the quiet resort. Sometimes I wonder if the decisions are for all of Bethany or for the small retirement community, which the town council is so much a part of.
For instance the miniature golf park. How did that monstrosity get approved? I’m sure no one on the town council lives next to that eyesore. Wasn’t anyone thinking of the people who do live next to it?
There there’s the trolley car – not one but two. How much money does it cost all the tax payers. At most I only see five or six people riding at any given time. Where do the riders originate and whose “want” was it designed to satisfy?
We used to have a great bandstand that could accommodate a large band or a large dance troop, but not now. We have a tiny half-moon-shaped platform – I guess it was done for more seating for those riding the trolley, so that they could have room to place their beach chairs.
One of my favorite additions are the recycling bins. I drive onto my street, which now looks like a Chicago alley. But, hey, I’m able to throw my bottles and cans away. I’m not left with an environmental mess of unsightly large trash bins along the street. Our regular trash bins must be placed in crates made for them. However, the recycling bins lay out by the street.
Every community I know of has to put their bins away and out of sight. I was told by the town that the problem is the renters. I’ve been in some of the rentals and all have do’s and don’ts listed. The town can state that the bins need to be placed next to the house or, in most cases, under the house.
I remember a town hall meeting where one of the town council members complained that the traffic was so bad in the summer that he couldn’t get out of his community. It was at a time when they and the county were thinking of widening Route 26. So too bad for the people on Route 26 who lost property or now can step out of their front door practically onto the street. This was all for 2 months out of the year.
One of the silliest ideas of all ideas of the town council – the yellow stripes in front of the beach houses to let all know where they can park or enter their homes. Not every house in what is called Bethany Beach has these yellow lines.
I could go on, but hopefully the town council will get the message. It’s not how responsible we are to our environment, but how responsible we are to all our neighbors when making decisions about our environment.
And that leads me into the battle which our next-door neighbors are having with AT&T. This letter is to the Sussex County zoning committee. Putting a 100-foot tower on property so close to a residence is unconscionable. Any article you read tells you that these towers emit a form of electromagnetic radiation for a distance of 2.5 miles. How is this tower even being considered being built in our community?
I’ve seen this zoning committee in action and, believe me, they don’t have the community at heart or those living near this danger. Again, these committee people don’t live next to it nor do their families. I hope the town council of Bethany Beach would back up those who will live next to this tower, including the houses that run along side of this tower site.
Do I now have to worry about the danger of my grandchildren being exposed to radiation? Have you ever seen one of these towers in a community? No. They are all by themselves or in an industrial area. When AT&T tells us that the FCC says the towers are safe, will we remember that the federal government also approved the use of asbestos, thalidomide, cigarettes, which as we now know are harmful.
So, in summary, why doesn’t the town council take the monies we are spending for the trolley, the beautification of Garfield street, construction of the electrical cables for windmills and put it toward the cure to flooding of Atlantic Avenue on both sides of Garfield street. But I guess not. That wouldn’t be free, and who cares, they don’t live near the flooding anyway.
Editor’s note: The planned BlueWater Wind offshore wind farm is set to be constructed off the coast of Rehoboth Beach. The related proposal under consideration in Bethany Beach is to bring the power line from the wind farm onshore at Bethany Beach, where it would connect to the substation on Kent Avenue. The AT&T tower application is before the Sussex County Board of Adjustments, not the Planning & Zoning Commission.
Writers’ Guild thankful for support
The Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild wishes to thank two local music groups – Charity Case (Amy Felker and Stuart Vining) and The Reminders (Ed Shockley, Kevin Short, John Thompson) – for donating their time and their enormous talent to the guild on March 1, when they performed for free in an effort to benefit the guild. We simply asked, and they were there for us.
The same can be said for Dogfish Brewing and Eats in Rehoboth, who hosted the event and donated 10 percent of the night’s proceeds to the guild. Sam Calagione, Mark Carter, who oversaw the benefit, and the staff at Dogfish Head went out of their way to make the packed event run as smoothly as possible.
And, of course, there are all those who came out to eat and drink and enjoy the music, adding their donations to the “orange bucket.” The guild raised $1,200 and was reminded again of what an honor – and a gift – it is to be a part of this community: one where people truly do work together to make things happen.
Board of Directors
Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild
Legislators offer reminder to residents
With spring just about here, many residents will be doing more and more yard work as the weeks go on. With that in mind, many of us will start to feel the full effects of the yard waste ban that went into effect on Jan. 1 in Kent and Sussex counties.
Under the ban – the result of 2010 regulations approved by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) – Kent and Sussex county residents are no longer allowed to include their yard waste with their regular trash disposals. The ban was implemented as a way to save landfill space at the Sandtown landfill in Kent County and the Georgetown landfill in Sussex County. DNREC officials believe the new ban – similar to one implemented in New Castle County in 2008 – will help to divert nearly 30,000 tons of yard waste annually from both landfills.
Residents have several options for disposing of their yard waste, which typically includes all grass leaves, prunings, brushes and shrubs, garden materials, Christmas trees and tree limbs up to four inches in diameter.
The Department of Natural Resources suggests a few different alternatives for disposal:
• Residents can manage their own yard waste disposal by composting/mulching it on their own property.
• Residents can take their yard waste to a separate drop-off site that has been set up by the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA). They will be charged the standard DSWA tipping fee. For a complete list of the drop-off sites in Kent and Sussex Counties, please visit http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/yardwaste/Pages/Default.aspx and click on “Yard waste drop-off options.” You may also contact DNREC directly at (302) 739-9403.
• Residents may hire a landscaper or waste hauler to take their yard waste. For more information, visit www.dnrec.delaware.gov/yardwaste/Pages/Default.aspx and click on “Homeowner yard waste options.”
For those residents living within the limits of an incorporated area, we suggest that you contact your local town officials to find out how each incorporated area is handling yard waste removal for their customers.
The DSWA has stated that the different towns are working with either trash haulers or landscaping companies to provide yard waste service. Some towns, however, may be offering a type of yard waste removal service themselves. It is important that residents of an incorporated area take some time to find out from their local towns what the new arrangement for disposing of yard waste will be now that the ban has gone into effect.
While this new system will certainly take some getting used to, we continue to work together to make sure residential customers, as well as municipalities, are being served in the best way possible. That is why ongoing discussions between our offices and the Department of Natural Resources will continue in order to make sure any and all glitches are addressed in the most efficient manner.
We are hoping for a smooth transition to this new system, and if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (302) 744-4171 or DNREC at (302) 739-9403.
State Reps. Ruth Briggs King (37th), Gerald Hocker (38th), Daniel B. Short (39th), Biff Lee (40th), Harvey Kenton (36th) and David L. Wilson (35th)
More support for Sheeran in election
As neighbors of Tom Sheeran, we can enthusiastically support his candidacy for the Third District council seat in this April’s election in Ocean View.
We have known Tom and his wife for several years and know them both to be active members of our community. Almost from the time they established their retirement home here, they have participated in programs designed to improve our communities and help keep us safe as citizens.
We also know in talking to Tom how concerned he is about the future of Ocean View, especially during these tough economic times. When elected to the Ocean View Town Council, we are confident Tom will help to control unnecessary spending and make every effort to keep tax increases at an absolute minimum.
For these reasons, we strongly recommend a vote for Tom Sheeran on April 9.
Marilynn and Ken Sheetz
Reader throws support behind Mitchell
I believe Perry Mitchell would be the best councilman to represent us in the coming election in Ocean View. He has shown courage in taking on the mayor and members who seem to think that raising taxes and hiring is the only way to run a town.
I know there are some items of concern that have to be addressed, such as the drainage issues, however I do not think hiring more people and building new buildings is the way to address this.
Perry seems to be concerned about the same issues as many of people in Ocean View living on limited incomes. There are a lot of residents who live on Social Security who have not had a COLA for the last two years and, if I am not mistaken, will not receive on for the next three years. Also, many pensions have not increased, while the cost of everything else is going up, especially health care.
I feel that Perry is on top of this and is looking out for the people in Ocean View who are concerned about these problems and the higher-than-reasonable tax rates being imposed on its residents. Many of the residents moved here because of the lower taxes and are now trying very hard to live out their elder years with dignity while dealing with higher prices and stagnant incomes.
Reader wants change, Sheeran in town
Changing times calls for Ocean View council members to be willing, committed and resourceful to meet those challenges.
Tom Sheeran has the attributes needed to accomplish this with his knowledge and dedication to country, community and family.