Letters to the Editor -- August 1, 2008

Bethany resident supports Dorfman

I am writing to ask the residents of Bethany Beach to re-elect Jerry Dorfman to another term on the town council in the scheduled election on Sept. 6. Jerry has served on the town council for three-and-one-half years. He currently serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the council. He is Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee. He has worked to maintain financial stability with tight budget controls. Each town department and town building is in very good condition and has long range funding in place to maintain and replace them. The town is in good financial condition.

Jerry and his wife, Cherie, moved to Bethany Beach nine years ago and almost immediately immersed themselves in community work. Seven years ago, Jerry joined and is still serving on the town’s Charter and Ordnance Review Committee, and has since served on numerous other committees of the town. He has a long record of service to the town.

As a friend and neighbor of Jerry’s, I have personally observed his concern about the well-being of the community, and have witnessed the many hours that he puts into his job as councilman. It seems that he is constantly studying and going to committee meetings, workshops, seminars and he does not miss any council meeting if physically possible. He is always well prepared for the meetings. He is sensitive to the constituents’ needs and goes the extra mile to solve the problems they present.

He is a good councilman. Re-elect Jerry Dorfman.

Dowell Anders
Bethany Beach

Reader responds to Keeley letter

In his screed condemning liberals, Thomas M. Keeley states that “we have the best heathcare system in the world. The whole world!” But he offers nothing to back it up.

My information paints a different picture. According to the current issue of AARP THE MAGAZINE, “By every conceivable measure, the health of American lags behind the health of citizens in other developed countries. Our life expectancy is shorter than that in Canada, Japan, and all but one Western European country. We rank 43rd in the world in infant-mortality rates, behind Cuba, the Czech Republic, and the United Kingdom....our medical care is, with few exceptions, no better [than most nations] at helping us survive specific diseases.”

Imagine that, we’re behind communist Cuba in life expectancy! Doesn’t sound like the best healthcare system in the world to me.

Albert Diaz
Bethany Beach

Resident throws support behind Markell

I support Jack Markell for governor. It is not that John Carney is a bad guy. I like John, too. If Jack were not running I would be actively supporting John. But Jack is running, and here is the difference between Jack and John: Jack is the better person for this time.

Why do I believe this to be true? Because what is happening now is not slow change. The changes we face today as Delawareans are profound, fundamental and dynamic. We have done too little in the past to address the health care needs of Delawareans. We have done too little in the past to respond to the changing dimensions of our economy. We have done too little in the past to improve student achievement in our schools. We have done too little in the past to protect citizens from dirty, toxic, expensive energy-generating plants.

Having done too little, we now a face a reality in which slow, incremental solutions to problems are simply not going to be good enough. We need a person in the governor’s chair who is capable of formulating dynamic solutions to the problems we face as Delawareans. Having listened to both John and Jack, I have decided that Jack is the person we need now. I stake my future on it. I am willing to stake my family’s future on it.

I support Jack Markell and I urge all of you to back Jack now.

Paul Hayes

Residents take Mitchell to task in letter

Once again, Ocean View Councilman Perry Mitchell is engaged in the same type of behavior that had him removed as president of the Savannahs Landing Homeowners Association. His letter to the State Public Integrity Commission, published in the Coastal Point, was directly in violation of what the town council had formally approved.

Since we are constituents of Mr. Mitchell, we submitted our own letter to the Integrity Commission pointing out several integrity issues regarding Mr. Mitchell. These included:

1) A controversial issue regarding the possible inclusion of gas pumps in Ocean View was recently brought before the town council. Mr. Mitchell had to recuse himself from discussion of this issue since he had previously voted on the issue as a member of the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission. However, during this period, Mr. Mitchell not only discussed the issue in both the print and electronic media, he spoke at the annual meeting of our homeowners’ association and indicated he didn’t feel the issue would be approved and that he was “working behind the scenes” on the issue. This represents integrity?

2) Mr. Mitchell has communicated in writing to the community that he publishes a newsletter and citizens should contact him if they would like to be put on the mailing list. In a face-to-face meeting with Mr. Mitchell, my wife asked to be put on the list to receive the newsletter and Mr. Mitchell told her no. He indicated he spent a great deal of time creating the list and he was not going to include people that may “verbally attack me.” My wife was dumbfounded and so was I. This represents integrity?

3) At the July 8 town council meeting, it was agreed that the town manager would prepare a draft letter to the Integrity Commission on the possible conflict of interest issue regarding the membership of two councilmen in outside community organizations. The draft was to be forwarded to each council member for comments and returned to the town manager for submitting to the commission. However, the very next day, Mr. Mitchell independently e-mailed a letter to the commission and submitted it to the Coastal Point, where it was published on July 11. Not only did this action violate the decision made by the town council where he serves as a member, the letter was incomplete, inaccurate, and replete with innuendos and purposely addressed only one of the two possible conflicts of interest agreed to by the council. This represents integrity?

We feel that alone, any one of the above incidents represents a true lack of ethical behavior on the part of Mr. Mitchell and, collectively, his actions demonstrate a very dangerous trend on the part of someone who is supposedly representing the citizens of Ocean View. We therefore urged the Public Integrity Commission to investigate this questionable behavior.

Richard and Elaine Birkmeyer
Ocean View

Oates clarifies his position on incident

As owner of Dublin Steakhouse in Selbyville, I feel it necessary to comment on a recent article detailing a fight outside my establishment. The Selbyville Police Dept does an outstanding job and I think of them as an ally and a friend. The tone of your recent article suggests otherwise.

The headline reads, “Hundreds spill out of Selbyville pub brawl.” The facts are the restaurant and pub are relatively small as reported in the article. I do not remove any tables or chairs to accomodate more people and 100 people is about the maximum it can physically hold and still allow room for people to move around. I’m sure that under the stress of an altercation occurring after 75-100 people have just exited does naturally make the numbers seem more daunting.

It was reported that, “We’re attempting to work with the business owner, but we’re not receiving much cooperation.” Followed by, “Officers had previously contacted the owner regarding issues with overcrowding.” While not an incorrect statement, my one and only contact with a Selbyville Police officer was 15 months ago. At that time I pleaded my case for not actually being overcrowded.

We have had Hip-hop DJs play here approximately 100 times during the last 2 years, with 95 percent of those times having no problems. I teach here locally at Indian River High School and know many of our clientele personally. They are respectful of the establishment and each other. None of our problems have happened inside the restaurant, and all have taken place outside after closing time.

The latest incident as well as two others are related to DJs from other areas bringing in a group that apparently had issues with our local Delaware clientele. This has already been corrected with certain DJs being excluded from the rotation.

I welcome anyone from the town of Selbyville, the police department, fire marshall, ABCC to visit anytime. We card everyone coming in and keep a count of those entering. Not a single drink crosses the bar after 1 a.m. I do not feel like I am responsible for the actions of a rare few people after they have left my establishment. I also do not feel like those few should ruin it for all of the others who have expressed to me the limited options as to where they are welcomed.

Sean L Oates
Dublin Steakhouse

Ryan urges voters to make up their own minds

Radio ads paid for by the State Democratic Party are now appearing supporting one of the candidates in the Democratic gubernatorial race. This expenditure of party funds came as a surprise and, as a person involved in the party’s organization, I strongly object to this action by the state party.

I have contributed to the party’s “Victory Fund” as recently as June. “Victory” to me means victory in November. While it is the responsibility of the party to do all that it can to elect Democrats this coming November, I do not believe contributors thought their contributions would be used this way. There are several local, county, state and national races that are at stake, which should be the party’s priority and to which funds should be allocated rather than to the gubernatorial primary race. Unfortunately, with these ads, the party is in fact pitting one Democrat against another. Doing so is contrary to the party’s mission in my view.

Let me say this to Democratic voters: It is up to you to decide in the Sept. 9 primary who should be the Democratic gubernatorial standard bearer. Listen and learn from the candidates as to where they wish to take Delaware in the future. Compare their platforms and vision. Make up your own mind. This is an important election and the choice is up to you. But most importantly, be sure to make your voice heard. VOTE on Sept. 9.

Mary K. (Kay) Ryan, Vice Chair
Sussex County Democratic Party