The recent swearing-in of Robert “Bob” Lawless to the Ocean View Town Council opens a new chapter to the leadership annals of the town, and hopefully leaves behind a period of conflict and contention that has garnered the town all-too-much negative attention.
This is in no way a sleight to former council member Roy Thomas, who decided not to seek re-election this year and was often the focal point of many people’s ire in the community. Thomas is outspoken and controversial, and often found himself to be the lightning rod of controversy in the town, but the problems the council found themselves in were not all via Thomas, as many would have you believe.
No, this was pretty much a team effort.
But this is a new Ocean View Town Council. Though four of the five members carry over from the last group, this is a new one — and we’re more than willing to offer them a clean slate as they set forth on giving vision and leadership to the residents of the town while facing tough economic realities. There are challenges ahead, and some bruised feelings and egos left from the past group that will need to be mended. But this group, as currently constituted, is new.
With all that being said, we hold optimism and high hopes for the new Ocean View Town Council, and hope that the citizens of the town give them the same benefit of the doubt.
Meanwhile, members of the South Bethany Town Council have been dodging some heat lately regarding a proposed 154-percent property tax hike. The sagging economy, particularly in the real estate market, has hurt the town’s transfer tax revenues, and officials are looking for ways to make the town’s operating budget a little bit more manageable.
Obviously, that option has not been received warmly by many residents, and they showed up to the town’s council meeting last Thursday night to make their objections known. The council, who was without Mayor Gary Jayne for the meeting, decided to table the proposal until it could be examined again.
Stay tuned. This could get interesting.