Letters to the Editor -- May 1, 2009

Keeley gives his side on annexation issue

A headline on the front page of the April 24 Coastal Point suggests that Ocean View looks to “annexation” to fix financial issues. After reading the article, I raise the following question: Considering the current atmosphere and outstanding perception of Ocean View created by Ocean View’s illustrious town council – are they serious?

I would like to address a number of points in the article that support annexation but ignore other facts.

The first of these concerns Ocean View’s Charter that apparently requires that 100 percent of the residents of a development/community approve its annexation into Ocean View. A previous attempt to change this apparently resulted in an even split for and against removing the 100 percent requirement.

However, should Ocean View revise the Charter they will have addressed only half of the issue. That is because most developments have written into their Covenants that a similar 100 percent vote would be required. Because of this, I do not ever see annexation into Ocean View happening where I live, in Southampton.

Second is that, while the Ocean View Council lusts after the tax revenue that annexation would generate, they, like most politicians, overlook or downplay the additional operational expense needed for services to the annexed areas. As an example of this I point out the paltry figure used to modify the public service building while virtually ignoring the cost expected to restore that facility to its original intent.

Third, and last, concerns the claim that the Ocean View Police Department spends considerable resources and revenue servicing its unincorporated neighbors. I do not dispute this claim; however, it fails to mention that state funds are allocated to cover these activities. There is, of course, a question concerning if these allocated funds are sufficient; but to intimate that Ocean View is saddled with these expenses is misleading, to say the least.

In closing, I would suggest that the new Ocean View Town Council not expend too much valuable energy and resources exploring the annexation question because it is obvious that most neighboring developments are not interested nor are half of the residents of the town.

Thomas M. Keeley III
Ocean View

OV Historical Society offers thanks for help

The Ocean View Historical Society would like to thank the Bethany Blues restaurant for the opportunity of providing a fundraising event on Thursday, April 23.

The complete staff at Bethany Blues was pleasant, efficient and accommodating. We also would like to thank all of the participants that evening for their support in making our event a success.

Felice Arnold
Ocean View Historical Society

Bireley addresses voters before election
Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to the 4th District residents of the Indian River School District and was forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication:

It has been an honor and a privilege to represent you for the past 32 years as a member of the Board of Education for the Indian River School District. I have decided to seek another three-year term and, with your help, we can make this possible.

We are finishing our major renovation projects. We will be renovating the John M. Clayton Building starting July 1, 2009. The building should be ready for students in September 2010.

We have an excellent school district. We have won many state and national awards. Nine Indian River schools have been rated as superior by the State of Delaware. Our teachers are the reason for our success. We have a very dedicated staff.

I am the current board president. This honor is bestowed on a board member by his peers. During my tenure on the board, I have been the president for 10 years and the vice president for six years.

I was selected as the School Board Member of the Year for the State of Delaware in 2004.

I have been involved with sports for many years as scorekeeper for football, basketball and softball at Indian River High School. I also was involved with Little League baseball as a coach and player agent for 20 years.

I supported and will continue to support the board’s right to open its monthly meeting with a prayer given by board members.

I have dedicated a major part of my life to public education. I am willing to continue to work very hard to keep the district among the best in the state.

The election will take place on Tuesday, May 12. The polling places will be Lord Baltimore Elementary School in Ocean View and Indian River High School in Dagsboro. The polls will be open from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. I would appreciate your support. If you have any questions or would be willing to help in any way, please call me at 539-9043. Thank you very much for your consideration.

Charlie Bireley

Bireley gets support in campaign effort

At a time when it seems it’s more and more difficult to find qualified people willing to go through an election, serve the public and open themselves up to media scrutiny and all the potential negativity that comes with not being able to please everyone, I could not help but immediately think of how fortunate we are to have in our community a man like Charlie Bireley, who has served 32 years on the IRSD School Board. Charlie is seeking re-election on May 12.

My first thought, when I heard he was running again, was “Why would you put yourself through another three years of thankless service?” But then I thought of the reasons Mr. Bireley has earned my respect and I knew exactly why he would do it.

From Little League to school board, Charlie has been a tireless dedicated servant for 43 years to children in our area. Dedicated, selfless, honest, incorruptible and just plain tireless when it comes to serving kids – these are all attributes that can be easily agreed upon regarding Charlie. Call Mr. Bireley with a school district question or problem and you can be sure he will follow through and get you an answer.

So, after all these years, why don’t we just honor him and let someone else take his position? Because as long as he’s willing, we should not give up the experience and knowledge that he brings to the table for our kids. He’s too valuable and our kids are even more valuable.

Part of what drives Charlie is his persistence to “see things through.” I know he would like the opportunity to bring completion to a long run of building construction and renovation. Even though I’m sure he, like the rest of us, would have liked less bumps in the road, he is not one to walk away from a job yet to be completed. And better yet, why not continue a long line of successes under his watch with our district’s wide array of national and state academic awards and recognitions.

Most importantly, at a time when our district and all our state’s public schools will be facing serious budget cuts, Mr. Bireley, with his financial accounting business experience and knowledge of district budgeting, gives us the best chance to survive the tough choices. And, you can be guaranteed, if Mr. Bireley has to make the tough choice, he will do it even in the face of adversity. Please join me in voting to re-elect Charlie Bireley in District 4.

Mark Browne

Reader impressed by DCHS students

I write to you today to bring recognition to a wonderful group of young people from the Delmarva Christian High School. The school holds an in-service day each year to help people in the community.

Pastor Kay Lanasa and I were lucky recipients of this labor of love this year! Teams led by parents, Jennifer and Kevin Matthews, recently came to our homes to help with chores we couldn’t do. It was down and dirty work.

The girls and boys were outstanding! I can’t remember all of their names but I will not forget their labor of love.

The work done by them under the supervision of their teacher, Joe Scott of Ocean View, touches my heart. After recovering from the big “C” for the second time, I am limited in what I can do for awhile. I can tell you that young people like this need to know how much they are appreciated. They exemplify Christian love by what they do. Please acknowledge them and this wonderful school and staff.God bless them all for their unselfishness and time given.

Also, please support the American Cancer Society’s “East Sussex” Relay for Life on May 8 and 9 at the VFW on Route 24, Millsboro, Del. “Cancer doesn’t take a vacation!”

Joan Kehoe
Ocean View

Chamber event a big hit, thanks to many

On behalf of the staff and board of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, I want to congratulate and thank all those who made last Saturday’s Ocean to Bay Bike Tour a huge success. The Bike Tour is an important early-season event, bringing out-of-town visitors and revenue into our local community at a time when our business people need it most.

Once again, the Bike Tour attracted a record turnout of 742 registered participants. Using the Travel Institute of America formula, we can estimate that the event injected approximately $200,000 into our local economy. Beginning and ending the routes in downtown Bethany Beach ensured that many of those dollars were spent here in The Quiet Resorts.

I want to thank our supporting sponsors – Coastal Point, Holiday Inn Express, Millville by the Sea and PNC Bank – as well as our sag wagon sponsors, Delmarva Two-Way Radio and A.J. Future Financial Planners.

Thanks also to the food and drink donors, volunteers at registration and the rest stops, the police departments of all the towns we rode through, and all of you who welcomed our cyclists and were careful and courteous of them on the roads. Your support enabled us to promote the Quiet Resorts as a bicycling destination, and to stimulate the local economy and bring new revenue to our area businesses.

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

CHEER director sounds off on budget issues

On behalf of CHEER and the several thousand senior citizens we represent in Sussex County, let me tell you how absolutely outraged I am with suggestions to balance a ridiculously out of control state budget on the backs of our senior citizens and those agencies that have faithfully served them for many years.

Last week, I read at least six articles from legislators that want to cut Grant-In-Aid funding to senior centers and senior programs by as much as 15 to 35 percent while state government has been allowed to grow at an astronomical rate.

Our budgets have been frozen for the last five years while state government has increased to an all-time high. When I say frozen, I mean not one cent in additional funding for meals, transportation trips or in-home services. That, in my opinion, is disgraceful that we tell the fastest growing segment of our population that they no longer matter, while state bureaucracy has grown at a rate far faster than any other segment of our society.

I say enough is enough! CHEER and agencies such as ours are saving the state millions of dollars, as 50 percent of those we serve are isolated elderly who are well below the poverty level. Who do you think is going to pay for the institution to warehouse our seniors when the state fails to provide the most basic life sustaining services?

CHEER and our partners have been doing more with less for many years and the state is just now realizing they need to tighten their over-inflated belt. We have balanced our budget with donations, volunteers and hard work. We have eliminated staff and we continue to serve our seniors. How does the State of Delaware show their appreciation? They recommend a huge cut in funding. Do our elected officials care about its elderly? I guess we will know soon enough.

Arlene S. Littleton
Executive Director, CHEER

Reader grateful for support with fundraiser

I would like to extend my sincere thank you and appreciation to the members of this community for your help in the success of this year’s first Cottage Café Guest Bartender Night to benefit the Fund for Pulmonary Fibrosis for Johns Hopkins Medicine in memory of Harry J. Walls.

Friends and family, friends of friends, schools, local businesses, sororities, acquaintances and people who just happened to stumble upon us all contributed to raise over $1,400 for the fund. I hope you all had a good time, as well.

To those who helped plan the event, to those who helped during the fundraiser, to the guest bartenders, to the wonderfully amazing staff at Cottage Café: I thank you and look forward to working with you again.

I continue to be humbled and so very grateful to be associated with such a caring group of people who have been so supportive to my children and me.

Mark your calendars for the 2nd Annual Tour de Har bicycle ride for pulmonary fibrosis on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2009. Registration details are available at bogrid@mchsi.com.

Doreen Walls
Ocean View