Letters to the Editor -- December 24, 2010


Gregory reflects on tenure in town
Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to the Ocean View Town Council and was forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication:

For personal and professional reasons, I am not interested in extending my contractual agreement with the Town of Ocean View beyond its current expiration date of March 2, 2011.

I require a personal challenge in my work. Since becoming town manager on Feb. 12, 2001, I have dealt with and overcome many difficult challenges facing Ocean View. March 2, 2011, will be an appropriate time for me to seek new challenges.

I am very proud of my many accomplishments as town manager, which contributed to an improved quality of life for the residents of Ocean View. A few of these accomplishments include:

• Placing the Town on a sound financial course for eliminating deficit spending by forcing the Town government to eventually live within its means. Ocean View will be fiscally solvent if it continues on the prudent course of action I have laid out for the Town;

• Completion of necessary drainage projects, such as the Hudson Avenue Drainage Project, and especially the West View Drainage Project;

• Relocation of the town staff to the Wallace A. Melson Municipal Building, for providing our citizens with convenient, one-stop access to all Town departments and services;

• Oversight of the completion of the Town’s municipal water distribution system and ensuring that it operates on a self-sustaining basis;

• Numerous improvements in the John West Park, which expanded its role as a facility not only for children but for all age groups. My diligent and successful efforts in obtaining grants have kept the improvement costs in the park to a minimum for Ocean View taxpayers;

• Acquisition of over $1.5 million dollars in public and private grants for drainage improvements, park improvements, energy improvements, and a variety of other projects which helped keep real estate property tax increases to a minimum for our citizens;

• Supervision of the updated Comprehensive Land Use Plan and the Land Use Code;

• Work with the Board of Elections to ensure that our election ordinances and requirements meet state regulations;

• Assistance with promoting a statewide municipal government insurance program that cut insurance premium costs for municipal government insurance program that cut insurance premium costs for municipal governments and led to my appointment to the Board of Directors for the Delaware Founders Insurance Trust; and

• Participation as an active member and current vice president in the City Managers Association of Delaware.

During the remaining time on my contract, I plan to work diligently to complete the following:

• Installation of photovoltaic panels on the roof of the Wallace A. Melson Building to reduce energy costs in that building by as much as 50 percent and provide long-term cash savings for our taxpayers. As you know, the Town received two grants totaling $488,000 and neither grant required a Town cash match.

• Completion of contract renewal negotiations with Mediacom. At my suggestion, Bethany Beach, South Bethany and Millville have joined with Ocean View in a consortium to jointly negotiate with Mediacom before 2012 for improved services. This consortium has allowed these Towns to employ a legal specialist to assist us in our negotiations with Mediacom. Such a legal specialist would have been more expensive for each town on an individual basis. Completion of this project will insure that our property owners will have the improved media and internet coverage at a fair price. They deserve no less.

• Continued work on the Assawoman Canal Trail Project. In 2007, I brought the Towns of Bethany Beach, South Bethany and the Sea Colony Community together with representatives from DNREC to begin working together to establish a recreational pathway along the Assawoman Canal. Since then, other communities have joined in this project. When finished, this canal pathway will allow our citizens to access Bethany Beach and South Bethany, while enjoying the beauty of this splendid canal.

• Completion of a pathway network throughout the John West Park for connecting passive and active recreational areas in a seamless trail design.

• Completion of the Woodland Avenue Pedestrian Pathway Project for allowing pedestrians to safely use this street from Atlantic Avenue to West Avenue.

• Active participation in the Sussex County Association of Towns and the Delaware League of Local Governments for promoting the Town’s interests and Sussex County issues before the Delaware General Assembly; and

• To facilitate a smooth transition by helping to orient my replacement.

I intend to provide the local newspapers with a copy of this memorandum for publication after the council meeting on Dec. 14. I also plan to enter this memorandum into the public record of the council proceedings for Dec. 14, 2010.

Conway Gregory, Town Manager
Town of Ocean View

Many thanks for help with year’s efforts
Editor:

As 2010 comes to a close, I want to thank one and all for their generous contributions and support in making this past year a truly historic benchmark year for Contractors for a Cause.

Contractors for a Cause, partnering with the Justin Jennings Foundation and buoyed up by the overwhelming generosity and support of our great community, saw the completion of Justin’s Beach House (a local respite home for cancer victims and their families).

The opening of this beautiful place of peace, after a seven-year heartfelt joint endeavor, is truly a testament to the true spirit of the Christmas season. Justin’s Beach House is the physical proof that such spirit remains alive and well year-round in our fair community, despite a blustery economic climate.

My dad once said, “Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” So, thank you, one and all – no matter what the effort, big or small.

As we approach the New Year, Contractors for a Cause is optimistic about our future. We shall continue to support the JWJ house. Our Legacy Scholarship program will not build the future for our youth but will assist our young people in building their own future.

CFAC’s continued commitment to give back to the community is supported by fellow contractors, suppliers, business and community members alike, who all keep Christmas in their hearts.

On behalf of the CFAC Board of Directors – Mike Cummings, Jim Kyger, Andy Lyons, Nick Kypreos and myself – I wish you and your family a happy New Year and thank you for your continued support in 2011.

Merry Christmas!
Mark Hardt
Contractors for a Cause

Vick’s issue not a concern for reader
Editor:

I recently read that Michael Vick wishes his family could have a dog. The article stated: “Michael Vick says he has a hard time explaining to his little girls why they can’t have a dog.”

Why does he have a hard time explaining it? It’s very simple, really: “Daddy used dogs to fight other dogs until one of the dogs was badly injured or dead. And then daddy electrocuted, drowned, hung, shot or slammed dogs into the ground until they were dead. Daddy is a brutal monster, and that, my sweet girl, is why we can’t have a dog.” See, that really wasn’t that hard, was it?

In my opinion, giving Vick another dog would be like letting a pedophile loose on a playground. We all know what the outcome will be.

Kate Hungerford
Ocean View

Residents reject playground/pavilion
Editor:

The results of the survey regarding the Richard Hall Park are in. Over 80 percent of property owners in South Bethany are against developing a recreational area in the park.

In voting to preserve the park in its current state, property owners sent a strong message to their elected officials that residents want the Town to concentrate on the important priorities facing the town. These priorities include maintaining our beach walkways, improving the water quality in our canals and preserving our natural resources for future generations. They don’t include developing a recreational area with a playground.

As chairman of the South Bethany Park Conservation Committee, which led the opposition to this development project, I want to thank the many property owners who supported this cause. By working together, attending meetings, making signs, collecting signatures, posting facts and opinions on the Web site (www.sbparkcc.org), the community has pulled together and let their voice be heard.

I also want to thank the members of the South Bethany Town Council for allowing me to represent the opposition to the playground/pavilion at their workshop committee meetings. It was refreshing to work with those individuals that put the Town’s long-term interests first. I look forward to continuing to help the Town with establishing best management practices (BMPs) for the environment regarding stormwater, bio-retention, tree preservation and canal water quality.

Now that the survey results are in and the property owners have spoken, my hope is that we will all work together with our elected officials to vigilantly protect our valuable natural resources to ensure that South Bethany remains the best little beach in Delaware.

Andrew Ross, Chairman
South Bethany Park Conservation Committee

Steele takes isses with unions’ power
Editor:

It appears that we, our country, are in for problems that are being caused by state governments, controlled by Democrats, because of their love for unions. Now, are all unions bad? No! Was there a need for unions in the past? Yes! Are unions looking out for their members? Yes! Was I a member of a union? Yes!

Are they doing what they can to help this country? No! Their main interest is making sure that they, the leadership, stays in control. In New Jersey, the state teachers’ union was asked to forgo the scheduled pay raise so that there would be no layoffs for last year. They refused, and guess what happened: new teachers were released. To quote the governor of New Jersey, “They ate their young!”

The following Web sites are more easily accessed from the Coastal Point’s Web site when you go to Letters to the Editor than it is typing in the following links:

www.theblaze.com/stories/day-of-reckoning-chris-christie-tackle-massive-...

www.online.wsj.com/video/opinion-journal-california-pension-disaster/0BC...

Also, in Montgomery County, Md., they are facing a $300 million deficit, mainly for their increases to their teachers and county pension funds. You can Google that yourself. Nothing more rewarding that having success in your own work.

Concerning an unrelated issue, Google “Dover Sun Park” and see where that leads you. Just a few points for a teaser:

• Costs: $50 million dollars on 103 acres; a loss of $191,000 dollars a year in property tax and it will generate 2 percent of Dover electricity!

By the way, you will be paying for it.

Just a few thoughts.

Harry Steele
Bethany Beach