Letters to the Editor -- September 25, 2009

Ocean View resident upset with vote
Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to the Ocean View mayor and councilmen regarding a vote taken at the Sept. 8 town council meeting and was forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.

Your indefinite tabling of the opportunity of hearing the voices of all the people of Ocean View on the issue of non-full-time resident voting speaks volumes. It’s a sad day when our council votes 3-2 not to solicit the will of all the people it represents by not allowing a non-binding referendum on the issue. I know some of you say, “That’s not what we voted on,” but it is the pure essence of your vote.

You voted to choke the so-frightening chance that your power might be diluted by including the voice of non-full-time resident property owners in the local voting process. You not only voted against a non-binding referendum, but you voted to table the topic indefinitely to kill any future discussion of the issue. As one councilman put it, “…to drive a stake in the heart of the issue.”

It has to be asked: Why you would not trust the full-time resident property owners of Ocean View with the opportunity to vote on a non-binding referendum asking if they were in favor of non-full-time resident property owners having the right to elect one representative to Ocean View Town Council?

You not only smothered the voice of non-full-time resident property owners but you pre-empted the voice of us full-time resident property owners, also. It would seem you’re not interested in hearing any voice but your own. By establishing one seat on Town Council for non-full-time resident property owners, you would not be endangering your power or control, just including another voice – a different perspective – that (Heaven forbid) might offer a valuable contribution to the Town of Ocean View.

Non-full-time resident property owners pay over 70 percent of the taxes collected in Ocean View. It seems only reasonable and just that if you pay your share of the dinner tab (in fact, the major portion of the check), you deserve a seat at the table.

Councilmen and Mayor, please review your thoughts, consciences and actions and look at our non-full-time resident property owners with the respect they deserve and have earned by including them in our town decisions.

They are our neighbors and friends, and their tax dollars make possible a lot of what the rest of us full-time residents get to enjoy year-round in our community. America’s greatness is the result of the inclusion of all of its people.

Elaine Herbert
Ocean View

Chamber grateful for support with event

On behalf of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, I want to thank all those who helped make possible the Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival on Saturday, Sept. 12.

Thanks go to our Street Festival Sponsor, ResortQuest, and Supporting Sponsors, the Coastal Point and Delaware Today magazine. The event could not be possible without the assistance of the Town of Bethany Beach and the Public Works Department, led by Director Brett Warner. Thanks also to Bethany Beach Police and Chief Mike Redmon, and Town Parking Supervisor Bill Dowdell. Their assistance and cooperation helped this complex community event run smoothly and enhanced the experience of thousands of visitors.

A special thanks to Wayne Fuller and the staff at the Christian Church Conference Center for providing vendor parking on their property, despite heavy rains for two days before the festival. The Sea Colony Recreational Association and the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company also offered assistance in case we needed to postpone the event to Sunday.

We are grateful to all the artists who participated in this year’s festival. We appreciate your participation, and the creativity, variety and energy you bring to our community. Many of the artists donated works for the silent auction, which raised $1,865 for art programs in our local elementary schools: Lord Baltimore, Phillip C. Showell, Frankford Elementary and Southern Delaware School for the Arts.

Thanks to all the volunteers who marked the booth spaces before dawn, parked cars, organized the silent auction to benefit school art programs, answered artists’ and visitors’ questions and did much more.

Finally, we are grateful to all who took the time to join us for this celebration of art and community. We appreciate your ongoing support and hope you enjoyed the Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival. We look forward to doing it again next September.

Andrew Cripps, Executive Director
Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce