Bidding adieu to council members

The Ocean View Town Council election came and went on Saturday, and Michelle Steffens and Geoff Christ will now be sworn in next week to serve the people of Ocean View.

We certainly congratulate the two of them on their succesful campaigns, and share many residents’ hopes that the new council will be able to work together, argue amicably when appropriate and enhance and improve the quality of life for the town’s residents and businesses.

However, we also want to take this time to thank Richard Nippes and Bill Wichmann for their service to the town.

Both men have found themselves in the middle of some of the town’s firestorms, often from different sides of the fence, and both worked tirelessly to advance their personal visions for what the town must be, and how it must get there. Though both have been targeted for their opinions or views, you rarely saw either man put the target on anybody else.

Agree with their politics or not, both men served the town admirably and had the best interests of Ocean View’s residents at heart. We have gotten to know each of these men individually over the years, and firmly believe they are people who truly care about the town and, frankly, are nice men.

Their efforts in the town should not be minimalized. Wichmann worked tirelessly on behalf of the Ocean View Police Department, and Nippes worked equally as hard on preserving the history of the town and putting together the nearing Homecoming event. Here’s hoping they continue these efforts in their new positions as regular citizens.

Thank you for your service and commitment to the town.

Meanwhile, South Bethany Town Council voted last Friday to accept the town’s budget for the 2011 fiscal year.

Revenues in the budget are expected to be $1.89 million, expenses at $1.76 million and about $133,000 for reserves. There will be no property tax increase, no rental tax increase and there will be funds for IT upgrades, two new police cars, $6,000 for beautification projects, and money for water quality and street drainage. On the flip side, town employees will not receive a raise.

We are impressed by the town’s budget. Though we share Mayor Gary Jane’s disappointment that the employees won’t be receiving raises, we’re happy that no employees will be cut. That’s saying a lot these days.