Letters to the Editor -- March 13, 2009

Vengazo writes in to clarify previous letter
Editor’s note: The following letter was submitted as a clarification/refutation regarding letter from Nan Colella in our March 6 issue.


In her letter, Ms. Colella specifically takes issue with my (and Fred Nunley’s) use of the term “attrition” when we presented statements about Ocean View’s proposed budget at the town meeting on Feb. 28; and cites definitions for the word she found in her dictionary.

This is not a “new” word as Ms. Colella asserts. I don’t know what dictionary she used, but my Webster’s Dictionary gives as a definition for attrition: “a reduction in numbers as a result of resignation, retirement or death,” and the Oxford Dictionary cites: “the gradual reduction of a workforce by employees’ leaving and not being replaced rather than their being laid off.”

This is the use of the term commonly used in discussing budgets and staffing levels and is the connotation in which Mr. Nunley and I used this word; that is, if the number of police officers must be reduced after the next fiscal year, preferring that it be accomplished by not filling vacant positions as opposed to having to release employees.

Unfortunately, Ms. Colella chose to cite alternate meanings with negative implications for the word when used in a different connotation. She and I both attended and spoke at the meeting on Feb. 28. Had she simply behaved like a neighbor and asked Mr. Nunley or me what we meant by a term with which she is apparently unfamiliar, we could have clarified the issue for her and reduced the friction she has caused by her letter to the Coastal Point.

Secondly, Ms. Colella stated in her letter in regards to Mr. Nunley and me, “They were given their talking points early in the morning.” What is she alleging here? I prepared my own remarks and I know Mr. Nunley prepared his own remarks. She accuses that Roy Thomas has “schooled” us, and she needs to be careful about printing false information about other town residents. Mr. Thomas has not influenced my testimony in any way.

She insults Mr. Nunley’s intelligence with that remark, as he is a highly respected chief financial officer, who is an expert in financial matters. What she says is simply not true and her allegations charging me/us with, “harassment, abuse and attacks of Ocean View residents” constitutes slander.

Nan says it’s time for Ocean View to come together. It is OK for us to have different opinions about how the budget should be configured, but personal attacks on my and others’ character and integrity cross the line of civil behavior. Who is creating the divisive “friction” now? Is this how a good neighbor, one who claims to be a Christian woman, behaves – making false and slanderous accusations without any basis in fact?

Kathy Vengazo
Ocean View

Junior Achievement seeks help to help

There is no doubt that this year’s economy brings about a level of uncertainty, fear and general discomfort. Junior Achievement remains in the forefront of business and financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness education.

We have had an increase in requests for Junior Achievement programs from parents, teachers and local members of the community. Many of our area offices equate this economic crisis as “our hurricane.” Like the American Red Cross, when a hurricane hits, the Red Cross receives an increase in demand for services and consequently needs to raise a great amount of funds to provide services.

Many JA supporters have voiced their opinion that, if every citizen had financial literacy, we may have avoided the economic crises.

In an era when many businesses are worried about their own finances, we have continued to receive financial support from advocates of our mission who see the value in our programs. Some companies and individuals have increased their donations, knowing that their generosity may help make up any shortfall that results from some companies that can’t donate at this time. We greatly appreciate their generosity.

We need help now, more than ever before. Not only financial support, but volunteer support to help meet the increased requests from schools in the surrounding areas.

If you would like to help, but don’t know where to begin… call to speak to Jayme Weeg, president of Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore, or any staff member at (410) 742-8112, or you can e-mail us at any time juniorachievement@comcast.net. If you wish to make a donation, please mail to 200 W. Main Street, Salisbury, MD 21801.

Jayme Weeg, President
Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore

Brady offers a thought to scratch your head

Sport Illustrated reports that the NBA has borrowed $200 million dollars from banks to distribute to NBA franchises needing assistance during the economic crisis.

Was this money from our taxes and will it be distributed to overpaid NBA basketball players?

Leo Brady
Ocean View

Minyon issues election thank-you

I wish to extend my thanks to all the Millville residents who took the time to participate in Saturday’s town council election. I was overwhelmed and humbled by the support I received from you. The next two years will be challenging, given the state of the economy, but I can assure you that this council will be fiscally responsible and will always have the best interest of the citizens of Millville at heart.

I would also ask all of you to consider being involved with the town through our newly formed Millville Volunteer Group or joining the Millville Great Pumpkin Festival committee. More information can be obtained by calling Town Hall.

Again, my sincerest thanks to all who came out to vote; and congratulations to Dick Thomas and Mike Jeffers on their victories. I look forward to working with both of you. Also, thank you to Jay Calvarese for bringing your ideas to the voters.

Donald Minyon

Mulligan writes in to defend committee

As chair of the Communications Committee for the Town of Bethany Beach, I thought to offer perspective on the information appearing in the Coastal Point about the Town Council workshop topic related to communications and the Committee. It is quite positive.

I had requested council input at the November council meeting as the committee was operating under the last council direction provided in June 2007. The topic was placed on the council’s February workshop so council could give a considered response. The day after I attended that workshop, I updated the nine other committee members as follows.

“At the workshop, the council discussion was energetic and lasted over 30 minutes. There was a range of comments. These included: that the committee should push ideas to council rather than expecting specific ideas from council; that the committee should bring proposals to council for their advance input/ approval; that the council should make the committee inactive.”

I felt this effort was positive as:

(1) The Town Council was placing interest, energy and time on the topic of communications.

Generally discussion of possible significant change results in a greater understanding of what is currently done.

(2) The Coastal Point does excellent summaries. However the article could not and did not capture the full richness of the workshop discussion, nor all of at least three significant proposals regarding the committee.

In the committee, there is a tradition that anyone may put out a proposal in any manner and that it is discussed respectfully and seriously. Often, the initial thought, which appears unworkable or undesirable, provides a starting point for additions, deletions and modifications that results in something solid. I believe that is the process the council is now engaged in.

The committee is doing its role and part by providing recommendations on updating the purpose statement, as well as a description of planed-proposed work on updating the Communications Plan and of work on surveys. These were discussed at the committee’s March 7 meeting and will be an agenda item on the March 20 council meeting as recommendations for council decision.

One aspect may be obvious but is perhaps worth repeating. Organized discussion of possible improvements does not imply that current efforts are poorly done. Indeed, both the committee and the council are on record as feeling the town does many efforts in this area. Every committee in town does the same in seeking continued improvements in whatever area they are focused on by the direction received from council.

The committee is a very diverse resource for the town and for the council. It’s members are linked into the community in such organizations as the Woman’s Civic Club; as Webmasters and board members in homeowners associations; on Sea Colony committees, on the Parish Council and the Men’s Club; as officers on the BBLA Board, the Fire Department and formerly as chair of the Chamber of Commerce; and probably others I’m not even aware of.

Individual backgrounds are equally as diverse. There are persons who have served in public affairs, who have set up an ISP provider company at the start of the web era; have a PHD and a survey development background; currently work as a computer systems analyst and processed survey information; have served or do serve on Town Council; are career military; and other fascinating experiences too numerous to mention. Membership has changed over the seven years the committee has served the town but the diversity of backgrounds and thoughts have remained constant.

Tracy Mulligan
Bethany Beach

Sorority thankful for support of many

The members of the Alpha Alpha Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi would like to thank everyone for their support of our annual fundraising event. The dance was held on Feb. 6, 2009, at the Ocean View VFW Post 7234, with entertainment provided by Giant Steps. We would also like to thank Miller’s Creek for the beautiful decorations that provided the finishing touch and also Hocker’s Grocery Store and Deli for providing the wings that were enjoyed by all. The dance, along with the Chinese auction and 50-50 raffle, were all very successful.

We would like to give special thanks to the following individuals and businesses for their donations to the dance and Chinese auction: Alesi Custom Builder and Renovators Inc.; Atlee Burpee Seed Company; Bethany Cycle and Beach Goods; Cactus Café; Denise Beam State Farm Insurance; Eric Ralph – ASE Certified Master Technician; Georgia House Restaurant; Jack Powell – Certified Instructor, National Surf Schools and Instructors Association; Kristina Isom, Esthetician at Oceanova and All About You Aveda Spa; Lighthouse Liquors; Michael McCarthy Stones; Miller’s Creek; Oceanova Spa; Pam Morris of Silhouettes; Pam Webb, Longaberger Consultant; Patti’s Hallmark Shop; Paula’s Decorating Café; Rob Ward’s Professional Home Services; Sharon’s Resort Cleaning; and Warren’s Station Restaurant,

As always, the theme for the dance was “Help Us, Help Our Community.” Thanks again to all of you who helped us so that we may continue to give support to those in need.

Claudia Alesi, Corresponding Secretary
Alpha Alpha Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi

Mueller gets support in campaign

My friend and real estate agent Jerry Mueller is running as a candidate for the Ocean View Town Council. His platform is bringing business sense to the Ocean View Town Council. It is my understanding that sending a letter to the local newspapers might help his nomination and campaign process.

I would like to say that Jerry has done a good job as the real estate agent in charge of my rental property. He fully explained the process, and his awareness of the rental business and procedures can be of benefit to the Ocean View Town Council. He is very outgoing and is easy to talk to and understand. I feel Jerry would be a welcome addition to the Ocean View Town Council, and his experience as a local businessman would be of value.

Any support for Jerry and his campaign would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for taking time to read and consider this letter.

Steven D. Osucha
Ocean View

Mueller gets personal backing in effort

I am writing this letter on behalf of Jerry Mueller. I have been a friend and business associate of Mr. Mueller for more than five years. I have always found him to be professional, responsible and honest in his private and business life. He has had a longstanding good reputation in the community. I feel he would be a valuable resource on the Ocean View Town Council.

Michele Collier-Bannister

Town council election gets more input

Tough economic times have fallen upon all of us, regardless of what we own or how much money we make. While it is likely that it will take some time to strengthen our economy, beginning that process at the grassroots level should be beneficial for everyone. Ocean View residents have the opportunity to take an important step towards that end by voting in the town election.

While both candidates possess admirable traits and abilities, Jerry Mueller offers the better opportunity for a fresh beginning, devoid of political or personal pressures, which otherwise have consumed the council in the past.

Mr. Mueller has been a successful, experienced businessman for the past 35 years and is intimately familiar with the issues of Ocean View. He is genuinely appreciative of the concerns of the electorate and is extremely knowledgeable about budgetary planning and execution, which are paramount in attempts to resolve the budgetary problems of Ocean View.

What is especially impressive about Mr. Mueller is his resourcefulness and creativity in problem resolution situations. We do not need more of the same. We need fresh ideas, a commitment for transparency in the council’s efforts and a council that works as a team. Mr. Mueller would be a positive step in that direction.

Jay Corbino
Ocean View

Donovan puts his support behind Mueller

I write in support of Jerry Mueller for Ocean View Town Council. Across the country, we finally see the need for a return to more entrepreneurial, businesslike (not government-like) focus on fiscal planning, management and operations; a focus on efficiency through economies of scale and a return to good old-fashioned honesty and transparency.

Unfortunately, many that continue to run for office do so promoting prior experience in government (or quasi-government) and are precisely the ones we can no longer afford! I encourage those who recognize that far too many options exist before new taxes or fees are warranted – support Jerry. We should all question, where did the significant windfall from transfer tax revenues go during the recent boom years? We ought to have banked plenty of “rainy day” funds and acquired significant assets that can now be sold, leased or bartered.

During a recession of this magnitude, increasing taxes or fees isn’t just difficult for residents – especially those on fixed incomes – they’re impossible. They burden all residents and all owners at a time when most everyone is experiencing big losses in savings, income, retirement and investments. Did I forget to mention the de-valuation of our homes?

Ocean View needs a successful, local businessperson with a history of living, working and producing right here! Ocean View is an absolute gem and remains primarily a seasonal hospitality town in terms of revenues. It’s also the primary residence for many fixed income seniors and retirees, with more on the way. And Ocean View is also a place where significant “second” or “vacation” homeowners choose over many far better known towns to the north and south. We did so because of the relaxed, calming and superior quality of life we found, as well as the town’s focus on family, family values and community.

For these reasons, I support longtime local resident and businessman Jerry Mueller for town council. Vote local, vote successful and vote transparent, responsible government – Vote Jerry Mueller!

Steve Donovan
Ocean View

Drew shares personal views on Lawless

I support Bob Lawless for Ocean View Town Council. I have known and worked with Bob for the past three years. I believe he is a man of great integrity and leadership skills and will be a great asset to the Ocean View Town Council.

Bob has been the president of Rep. Gerald Hocker’s Republican Club for more than two years, and I have seen first-hand his skills at bringing people together. Bob has been interested and involved in the needs of a growing Ocean View. He is not hesitant to speak his mind and has been vocal at Ocean View Town Council meetings on various issues.

If I were a resident of Ocean View, I would most certainly vote for his election to the town council.

Philip M. Drew
Bethany Beach

Readers: Vote for Mueller in election

We have known Jerry Mueller for a number of years through business and friendship. He is a warm, personable and caring individual. He has a great sense of humor and tolerance for frustration. He is also an astute business person with outstanding leadership traits coupled with financial skills and ability. He is a storehouse of knowledge, including his understanding of the history of the Bethany and Ocean View areas.

We have found Jerry to be a friend of these communities, as well as an advocate for the families who live here and vacation here. He has a unique grasp of the current economic landscape and the needs of the community.

We are hopeful that you will vote for Jerry for a seat on the Ocean View Town Council. He is a man we trust and like very much and he should do a great job working together with people with diverse views and interests. We believe he has the best interests of Ocean View at heart.

Henry & Sue Gursky
Ocean View