Letters - April 4, 2008

Esposito gets support for mayoral seat

We would like to endorse and throw our whole-hearted support behind the candidacy of Vinnie Esposito for mayor of Ocean View. Vinnie has years of experience as a legislator in New Jersey politics. He is an honest broker and a straight-shooter who can mediate and negotiate compromises with a sometimes-fractious town council.

Serving on the Board of Savannah’s Landing, he has had to find some practical solutions, trying to satisfy divergent viewpoints. Vinnie will be a practitioner of pragmatic politics and not be beholden to anyone’s special interest.

Bill Loschmann, Salt Pond
Dean Levy, Bethany Beach

Hayden throws support behind Esposito

Having attended the “Meet the Candidates” night recently, I was most impressed with all those running for office. I have given much thought as to whom I will vote for as mayor of Ocean View, and my vote will go to Vinnie Esposito.

Why? For several reasons. Vinnie has a heart for the people of Ocean View and has selflessly served the community on a variety of civic and charitable causes. Having been a councilman previously in Bloomfield, N.J., for nine years suggests that the people knew a good man and kept him in office because of his heartfelt commitment to them and their town of 49,000.

With all the unnecessary turmoil in Ocean View, Vinnie is the perfect choice to bring the Council and citizens together. He is a big man with a big heart. Vinnie is very practical and does not have a hidden agenda nor will, he assures me, allow factions to dictate the agenda for our town. Everything will be done in an orderly and financially sane manner.

Having known him for seven years, I can vouch for Vinnie Esposito as a man of integrity and a man of faith. Vinnie Esposito is the people’s choice for our next mayor.

Dennis Hayden
Ocean View

Another round of support for Esposito

I am writing to endorse Vinnie Esposito for mayor of Ocean View. After attending the recent “Meet the Candidates” program, I find Mr. Esposito to be a breath of fresh air in the race. The old hand of cronyism was very evident at the meeting. Some of the questions on typewritten strips of paper held by the moderator appeared from nowhere, while all the rest of the audience were given 4-by-6 index cards to handwrite their questions.

Vinnie Esposito is a person of great integrity and honesty. He served many years in his native New Jersey as a councilman of distinction. I have known Vinnie and his wife for the past seven years I have lived in Ocean View and I am confident that Vinnie is by far the best candidate to ease the tensions and heal the divisiveness in our community.

Please come out on April 12 and vote for Vinnie Esposito for mayor. He will not disappoint you.

Elaine Birkmeyer
Ocean View

Herbert endorses Wood, Mitchell in Ocean View

I’ve been following the Ocean View race for council and mayor with much interest. After attending the Candidates Night in Town Hall on March 19, I decided I had to write and share some of my notes and observations.

In a letter to the editor last week, Council Candidate Joe Martinez said, “Let’s encourage our elected officials to be respectful of one another.” But during Candidates Night he took us all by surprise with an abrupt and inappropriate personal attack on Council Candidate Perry Mitchell. His comments were not only out of line but in direct conflict with Mr. Martinez’s own statement about being respectful.

It appeared the overwhelming majority of residents in attendance were offended by his outburst. Mr. Martinez did not display the cooperative qualities needed to serve the community successfully as a positive member of Council.

Council Candidate Perry Mitchell, however, displayed strength of character not to rise to the bait and took the high road by stating he felt privileged to participate in the debate with his respected opponents. Refreshing and what we need more of.

The following week on March 27, we attended the Meet and Greet Coffee held for Mayoral Candidate Gordon Wood and Council Candidate Perry Mitchell.

During part of the informal Q & A, Council Candidate Susan White raised her hand to question Mr. Mitchell. The moderator, Mr. Thomas, politely said that it would not be fair to the candidates. This was their forum. This wasn’t a debate.

Ms. White appeared upset and left the room soon thereafter. Her husband remained present through the rest of the informal get-together, however.

I wondered why Ms. White would feel it was okay to inject herself into an opposing candidates’ reception like that. It was no more appropriate than if Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Wood had shown up at her “Women Only Coffee” meeting this past week. Has raw ambition won over all sense of propriety?

So many people have said they are confused about the candidates and the issues. Issues seem easy from where I stand. We have a severe financial problem caused by overspending and declining transfer taxes. It’s crucial that the next mayor and council carefully and painstakingly evaluate expenses across the board and look at where we stand. We must get control of expenses, personnel, equipment and proper utilization of our facilities. It’s that simple. It’s important. It’s serious.

So on April 12 my votes will be cast for the mayor candidate and council candidate who have consistently addressed these issues. No personal attacks, no tricks, all business, informed and ready to work for us and address our serious problems.

Perry Mitchell for Council — he’s already proven himself as an effective professional on the Planning and Zoning Commission, treating all who come before the Commission and all fellow Commissioners with respect. He chaired the Commission twice and was complimented for his neutral and professional manner. He will bring the experience and positive approach we need to Council.

Gordon Wood for Mayor — Gordon is a uniquely qualified individual. With a family history in our area that spans 300 years, he knows where we’ve been, how we got to today, and what we need to succeed tomorrow. He grew up here, went away to school and on to a successful law and business career, to return home to his roots.

His obvious intelligence, his ability to listen, hear and understand, his impressive leadership qualities and an exceptional ability to keep a group discussion on point are qualities we desperately need in a mayor in Ocean View — now.

I urge all registered voters of Ocean View who are concerned about the serious issues we are — and will be — facing, to vote on April 12 for Perry Mitchell for council and Gordon Wood for mayor.

Elaine Herbert
Ocean View

Resident not entirely happy with Bethany

I would like to take a moment to commend our town officials. I’ve been watching the growing trend of bans on our beach, and throughout the public areas of town with growing anticipation. Each week I anxiously scan the pages of our local papers looking for which trend will be getting the metaphorical axe.

Mayor Olmstead, I applaud you for this war on terror! For far too long this town has been plagued with miscreants and degenerates, spreading their malcontent among the masses, and it is good to see that somebody finally has the fortitude to tackle these catastrophes.

First you confronted the disgusting issue of the horrific view. No longer will we have to worry about the distracting view of the waves drawing people out of our stores. I was getting tired of seeing the ocean anyway. I mean, really, who goes to the sea to see the shore? Plus, it’s good to know that I will get some exercise scaling our new mountain of sand before I assume couch potato status in my strategically placed lawn chair.

Next, you took on the monster known as smoking. This topic seemed to go back and forth a bit more than the issue of the dune, however even the complaints that it’s the public’s right to use public spaces as they see fit were not enough to dissuade you.

This is America, baby; you have to take what you want no matter how many people you have to walk all over in the process. Finally, someone is prepared to guard us from all that is unclean and icky. Additionally, it’s good to see the town taking a strong anti-smoking stance! It’s about time somebody stepped up and started telling me how to take care of myself; ever since my mother stopped, I’ve been feeling a little lost.

Now I see that you will be keeping us safe from children on bicycles — yet another escaped fiend from Pandora’s Box. I do believe, however, that you have fallen a bit short in this effort thus far. You see, the problem isn’t the bicycles. After all, one hardly has to worry about a lone bike rampaging through the streets. In truth, a bicycle without its rider is quite like an AK-47 without its psychopath.

The issue, you see is with these cyclists and to that end I offer a slight modification to your logic. I propose that instead of merely banning all of these things that make us sad, we go straight to the source. That’s right, Bethany, I propose that we ban children from our town!

You see, children often exhibit all of the annoyances that we’ve been trying to destroy. They are destructive to the town, they detract from my ability to enjoy the beach, they are invasive, and often times they run into things causing potential harm to others!

I do suppose, upon second glance, that any problem a child has can be traced back to their parents, so it may be more prudent to simply ban people altogether. I will leave that decision, however, up to your infinite wisdom.

Kevin Roberts
South Bethany

McCourt offers his support to Mitchell

As reported in the March 28 Coastal Point, a few candidates referred to a divisive climate on the Ocean View Town Council. Joe Martinez repeated this notion at every opportunity during the evening. Yet, in his summary statement to the audience, he made derogatory remarks about one of his opposing candidates. This negative attitude suggests that, if elected, he will bring a discordant manner of dealing with other Council members.

The opponent he singled out for false disparagement was Perry Mitchell. I have worked with Perry while on the Board of Directors of our homeowners association and on community projects. He has always exhibited a cooperative and positive attitude, and taken a leadership position in public affairs effecting Ocean View.

Joseph C. McCourt
Ocean View

Chamber writes DelDOT regarding project

Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to Secretary Carolann Wicks of the Delaware Department of Transportation, with copies sent to the Town of Millville, state Sen. George H. Bunting Jr., state Rep. Gerald Hocker and DelDOT’s Tom Banez, and forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication:

I’m writing on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce in support of the Town of Millville’s request that your agency fund completion of the Route 26 project between Cedar Drive and Old Mill Road in your fiscal year 2009 budget.

This section of Route 26 has already been widened, and sewers are in place. We are respectfully asking that your planned completion of sidewalks, crosswalks, curbing and traffic signal arms take place in FY 2009, rather than at the end of the Route 26 Mainline project.

This small section of road is the commercial district and center of Millville. Many residents on foot and bicycle, and by car, use these intersections daily to access the growing number of businesses. Improving the safety and appearance of this area will help ensure this commercial area continues to thrive while we wait for the more extensive project to the east and west.

We are also respectfully asking DelDOT to find the means to improve safety at both Cedar and Old Mill before Memorial Day with a few simple, inexpensive improvements. At this time there is no crosswalk or traffic light cycle at Old Mill allowing people to safely cross Route 26. More than 50 young people cross that intersection daily in the summer to get to and from work. In addition “no left turn” signs are desperately needed at both Cedar and the east exit of the Food Lion center and Route 26. These signs would improve both safety and traffic flow.

Our Chamber fully understands DelDOT’s budget challenges now and in the near future. However, we feel these modest requests for the immediate concerns and the improvements over the next year are vital and necessary safety improvements that deserve support. Our businesses need for employees and customers to be able to safely and easily access their properties, and our citizens deserve to be able to do so.

Thank you for your consideration.

Karen L. McGrath, Executive Director
Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce

Mitchell responds to allegations

One of my opponents campaigning for the Town Council has been distributing a negative letter from Savanna’s Landing regarding my service on the homeowners association. It is regrettable that a candidate for office would resort to negative politics to discredit another candidate rather than talk about the relevant issues confronting the Town Council. Doesn’t he have anything to contribute that would solve our problems except his negative politics?

Smearing your opponent’s candidacy is not what this election is about. It is about what each one of us will do to improve Ocean View. It is about the harmony that we can bring to the table to solve what may be the greatest challenges of our history in Ocean View. My campaign slogan is, “Together we can make a difference,” and I want to join with you to make that difference.

I have a public record of four years of service on the town Planning and Zoning Commission. In two meetings, I was asked by the vice chair to chair that commission. Had there been a problem with my leadership in this public forum, it would have certainly been reported in the local newspapers and become public knowledge.

I ask that you consider this letter as you prepare to make your voting decision. I ask for your vote and promise to work tirelessly to establish a town council that is accountable to the citizens of Ocean View.

Perry J. Mitchell, Candidate for District 3
Ocean View

Resident asks Bethany to slow down a bit

Might we not step back from consideration of a boardwalk bicycle restriction ordinance and first accumulate some statistics on actual injuries? Perhaps first finish thoroughly examining the ordinance on smoking restrictions and implementation?

Virginia Reiss Nee
Bethany Beach

Esposito receives personal endorsement

I am Dr. Peter Tom and I have been a life long resident of the Township of Bloomfield, N.J. I am proud to write this letter to provide the citizens of Ocean View an insight to the impeccable character and integrity of Vinnie Esposito.

I have known Vinnie for nearly 20 years, as he has been involved in politics in our community since his retirement as Postmaster in Sparta, N.J. The Township of Bloomfield, where Vinnie and his dear wife, Maureen, dedicated nearly their entire adult lives to, is organized as a partisan political system with our state.

I first met Vinnie when he was a county party committee member to the minority party. At that time I was working on a project to obtain a new heavy fire/rescue vehicle for our community, as I was a volunteer member of our fire department. We had just acquired a $50,000 state grant and we needed additional municipal funding.

Vinnie was directly responsible for providing me the conduit to the minority party’s leadership and then, through his work and respect in our community, provided me with his network to the opposition party. With Vinnie’s help, we received delivery of our first new dedicated heavy fire/rescue vehicle in 1990. It was the first new dedicated fire/rescue vehicle in 35 years and is still servicing our community today.

This story is important because at the time when I first met Vinnie, I was a registered voter of the opposition party, but he didn’t care because my cause was the right thing for our community. Since then, Vinnie Esposito worked with all citizens of Bloomfield, no matter what their political affiliations because, outside of his family, it was the good of Bloomfield that was Vinnie’s priority.

It was clear back nearly 20 years ago that Vinnie Esposito could work with anyone who had the good of their community in mind, regardless of their political affiliation. As a result, Vinnie was later elected to council-at-large, forcing him to work with the opposing party while still being respected by those same opposing-party members.

In the year 2000, Vinnie, being the only seated incumbent from his party, anchored a ticket that made his party the majority for the first time in the history of Bloomfield; unselfishly giving the position of mayor to another. Vinnie asked me to change my party affiliation to help his causes and I was only happy to do so.

However, being the independent Vinnie he is, he began to disagree with many of the policies surrounded using surplus to fill budget gaps, spending policies and community development policies. Vinnie was against waste such as paying employees (school crossing guards) unemployment in the summer months or paying employees to do nothing, as opposed to having them do alternate work in the summer, which had been customary in the history of Bloomfield.

This made Vinnie probably the most fiscally conservative on our Township Council and the only watchdog of our tax dollars.

When Vinnie’s efforts were going unheard by his own party members and the strength of the once-strong opposing party diminished, Vinnie again found himself in a minority position against his own party. His party mates were concentrating more on campaign contributions than on what Vinnie was trying to do for us: run our Township responsibly.

During the last year of his term as Councilman in 2004, Vinnie decided not run for another term and become a permanent resident of Ocean View, Del. Certainly, Ocean View’s gain is Bloomfield’s loss.

I have since left Vinnie’s old party to become a county committee member to the opposing minority party. Vinnie leaving Bloomfield has been ever-evident in the successive years, as the checks and balances he provided while he served on the Council has been loss to a current Township Council which is self serving and obsessed with power and influence. His humbleness, openness, honesty, integrity and concern for the citizens of Bloomfield are clearly missing from today’s Council.

I know I can’t legally vote in your upcoming election, but if Vinnie Esposito were still in Bloomfield, you can be assured I would be voting for him no matter what my party affiliation would be. So, since I can’t vote in your election in Ocean View, I can only do the next best thing and that is to strongly endorse Vinnie Esposito and urge the citizens of Ocean View to vote for Vinnie Esposito as your new mayor. He certainly has the experience to lead you through the next phase of your lives in Ocean View.

You can be assured that if elected, Vinnie Esposito will be a loyal, humble, open and hard-working mayor for your community of Ocean View.

Peter Tom
Bloomfield, N.J.

Ocean View resident backs Esposito

I take great pleasure in endorsing Vinnie Esposito for mayor of Ocean View. He is a very capable and astute individual. His previous experience for nine years as a councilman in New Jersey provides excellent credentials for elected office.

From personal experience, I know that Vinnie is a “follow through” individual. Presented with a problem — large or small — he faces it head-on and comes through with a solution. We desperately need this kind of no-nonsense attitude in our current Town Council, which recently seems more interested in bickering and personal attacks than in trying to solve the important issues in Ocean View. And, to be sure, there are many more issues than the police department that need to be addressed!

For these reasons, Vinnie Esposito is my only choice to be the next mayor of Ocean View.

Valerie Reber
Ocean View

Silio plans to back Mitchell in election

I watched the debate last week and found it informative, except for Mr. Martinez’s attack of Mr. Mitchell at the end.

Mr. Martinez pictures himself as bringing decorum and respect to the town council. His negative attack against Mr. Mitchell says otherwise. When you disrespect another candidate like Martinez did, you cannot be trusted.

Mr. Mitchell took a positive approach by not replying to this Martinez’s attack and a positive approach what we need on the Town Council.

I have known Mr. Mitchell for seven years and he will give Ocean View the positive tone it needs. Look at Mitchell’s record on the Planning and Zoning Commission and you will see an outstanding record of achievement and contribution to his community. A vote for Mitchell on Election Day will be a vote for a positive tone for council affairs.

Raymond Silio
Ocean View

Councilman weighs in on town’s election

On April 12, the Town of Ocean View will elect a new mayor and a new council member. It is a very important election. Ocean View is approaching a crossroad and each citizen has an opportunity to determine which direction the town will go. Make no mistake. Your pocket book will be affected significantly by the outcome of this election.

In the one camp is Vinnie Esposito (candidate for mayor) and Joe Martinez and Susan White (candidates for council member). They believe that the Public Safety Department should continue to get the lion’s share of the money available and let the Public Works Department and the administrative function of the town survive on “table scraps.”

The result will be ever expanding Public Safety budgets, significantly higher taxes, flooding streets, roads that continue to deteriorate, declining town services and the raiding of the “rainy day” reserves that will leave Ocean View with no safety cushion to take care of an emergency.

In the other camp is Gordon Wood (candidate for mayor) and Perry Mitchell (candidate for council member). They believe that the available money and resources should be applied to the different departments on a “needs” basis. Careful analysis will be done to see where each of your tax dollars should be spent to get the most “return on investment.”

It is the same approach that you take in managing your home. With proper management and foresight, Ocean View can minimize future tax increases. There is enough money for a sensible drainage program, road maintenance program, continued and improved town services and expanding amenities. Accomplishing all of this without depleting the “rainy day” reserves that protect the town for future emergencies.

You control the future. Get out and vote for the type of government that you want.

Councilman Roy Thomas
Ocean View

Brown makes his pitch for council seat

By now it is no secret who stands where on the several issues, or who wants who to be elected. Tea and coffee have been served. Even the out-of-office prior elected are telling you whom they want.

So I have a question. Who do you want? Many people believe a vote for candidate “X,” as the current councilman requests, will solve the problems. Maybe one of the others is the person who will work for you. My whole philosophy is simply this… You are the boss. I know this to be true. As long as I am just a resident, as you are, I am one of those bosses. They work for us!

Therefore, as an elected councilman, I would be responsible to you, the boss. I also know it is far easier to just elect somebody — anybody — and then get on with life, allowing the elected to make your decisions for you. You do realize that is how we arrived with our problems? They did as they wished, then hung the bill on you to pay.

Who knows? You may actually like getting letters telling you what is happening, keeping you informed. You will be able to say what you want and expect it to be addressed. The choice is yours alone, or should be yours alone. You decide.

But please register and vote. I hope you agree with me. I hope I am agreeable with you. Thank you.

Wally Brown, Candidate for District 3
Ocean View