Councilman says chaos on council must stop
Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to the citizens of Ocean View and forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.
On July 10, the town council held its monthly meeting. It was not one of Ocean View’s finest moments. It was a meeting where debate of an issue disintegrated into chaos. Rules of order were abandoned as two council members, Councilmen Amendt and Wichmann (to a lesser degree), lost all semblance of decorum. Their actions have brought this governing body into disrepute.
It is important for the citizens of Ocean View to know that the mayor, Councilman Nippes and [myself] were not a part of the chaos. Each continued to conduct the town’s business in a professional manner that followed the rules of order established by the town council.
Disagreement on issues, debate and even spirited debate are part of the American tradition. However, when the debate changes from focusing on the issues to personal attacks and name calling, a line has been crossed. The ability to govern is lost. Attempts to control the debate through threats and aggressive behavior bordering on intimidation is not acceptable and should not to be tolerated. This is the same type of behavior that street thugs use to rule the streets of many large cities.
Disregard and disrespect for the rules of order that govern town council meetings cannot be condoned. These are rules that enable opposing opinions to be heard and allow the free flow of ideas. These are rules that each councilman voted to approve.
Councilmen Amendt and Wichmann violated these rules numerous times on July 10. A sampling of the rules violated is as follows: Rule 12.2 — Conduct During Meetings from the Rules of Procedure of the Ocean View Town. From Mason’s Legislative Manual: Sec. 123.1 Use of Disorderly Words in Debate and Sec. 124.1 & .3 Personalities Not Permitted in Debate.
A review of the audio recording of the July 10 meeting was conducted. Time after time, Councilmen Amendt and Wichmann were out of order; making remarks that were meant to disparage fellow councilmen; interrupting others while they were speaking; yelling; borderline swearing; harassing the mayor in an attempt to intimidate him into voting their way and inciting the audience. This type of behavior must be condemned.
I request Councilmen Amendt and Wichmann to publicly apologize to the citizens of Ocean View, the Mayor, council members and all employees of the town of Ocean View. I also request that Councilmen Amendt and Wichmann make a public commitment that they will adhere to the rules of order in the future. If Councilmen Amendt and Wichmann fail to publicly apologize for their behavior, it will leave a wound on town council that will not heal easily. It will also tell the citizens of Ocean View that they believe their conduct is acceptable. You be the judge.
Whatever action Councilmen Amendt and Wichmann choose will not affect my efforts to ensure that town council continues to strive for “open and honest government that represents the citizens of Ocean View.” That has always been my agenda, and I see no reason to alter this quest. It is best that town council puts this ugly episode behind us and moves forward. It is important that we get on with the business of the town of Ocean View.
Councilman Roy Thomas
Ocean View Town Council
FOSCL campaign gets boost from restaurants
On behalf of the Friends of the South Coastal Library (FOSCL) Capital Campaign, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jerry Richard of Steakhouse 26; Jim Weisberger of Bethany Blues; and John Wingert of Magnolia’s for their generous support.
Each of these restaurants has recently held a “10 percent night” at their locations, giving FOSCL the opportunity to raise money and win new support from area residents for the enlargement of the South Coastal Library in Bethany Beach. Not only were these evenings a great and fun way for FOSCL to garner financial support, but they provided a venue for getting the word out to restaurant patrons about the campaign, and how it will provide a new and enriched facility for our community.
Additional revenue was generated at two of these events through a raffle, for which ticket purchasers could win a quilt generously provided to us by The CottonPatchers.
The Capital Campaign was kicked off in the fall of 2006 at the Harvest Ball, and since that time FOSCL has raised upwards of $1.3 million toward our final goal of $2.6 million. This type of progress has only been possible through the generosity of area residents, foundations, and businesses such as the restaurants mentioned above.
With their support and that of the entire community, FOSCL is confident that we will reach our ultimate goal: a new and beautiful facility that will bring so many new educational and programmatic opportunities to South Coastal residents of all ages.
So, once more, we say thanks to these area restaurants. We appreciate your commitment to our campaign.
Mary Lou Tietz, Development Director
FOSCL Capital Campaign
Frederick good for Fenwick Island
I got a kick out of a Coastal Point article a few weeks back which quoted a current Fenwick town council member as being disappointed that Peter Frederick (mayor of Fenwick Island from 2002 until 2006) was getting back into the race for a seat on the new council. He stated that the council was getting along so well and working harmoniously together. Whenever a council or government group says that, watch out.
Doris Kearns Goodwin, in her recent non-fiction best seller “Team of Rivals,” tells how Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet of brilliant leaders having differing views led to lively cabinet meetings and thorough discussions of different approaches to the tough issues of that day.
Today, Fenwick Island needs proven leadership. We need innovative approaches. We need to hear and discuss alternatives. Fenwick Island needs Pete on our town council.
If you look at what he has done, you know what more he can do for Fenwick. We have the best beach in Delaware and Pete’s leadership enabled it. He worked with the congressional delegation, the Corps of Engineers and DNREC early and often to provide us with beach replenishment well ahead of Katrina and our neighbors to the north, and without a tax increase.
He personally negotiated with the Army Corps of Engineers to get the fence off the top of the dunes and onto the sides. The crossings (one handicapped), the benches and the $50,000 annual grant from the state for our beach patrol were principally due to Pete.
His experience in negotiating with federal, state and county agencies is needed. His success in managing this town for four years without a law suit and with compliant audits is needed.
What might the future of Fenwick hold with Pete back on our council?
• Relocate our recycling bins and town trash trucks outside the Fenwick Island town limits.
• Negotiate with county and state agencies to keep the growing number of shuttle buses from the many new developments along Route 54 off our streets and out of incorporated Fenwick.
• Add and expand the park and recreation facilities along the beach and a small boat ramp along the bay for use by town residents.
• Restore open dialogue between the Town Council and all residents.
• Carefully manage change so that aspects of the comprehensive plan can be implemented with minimal disruption.
• Limit the growth of outdoor dinning at our wonderful local restaurants to keep Fenwick a quiet and clean town.
The Fenwick town council needs Pete’s leadership, ideas, negotiating skills, experience and energy. For Pete’s sake, get out and vote on Aug. 4, and for Fenwick’s sake, vote for Frederick.
John L Rymer
Hocker’s Memory Walk team asks for support
Hocker Organized Proud Employees (HOPE) for Alzheimers asks for community support in helping our new Memory Walk ’07 team raise donations to benefit many local programs for Alzheimer patients and caregivers.
Hocker’s Super Center and G&E employees are rallying together to support this cause as we all know someone touched by this terrible disease. We will be participating in this year’s Memory Walk ’07 (5K walk) being held in Rehoboth Beach on Sept. 29 and are planning many fundraisers to increase our donation and awareness to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Please support the Hocker/G&E team by purchasing “Forget-Me-Nots” at any register for just $1 each. We hope that you also support our hot dog sales, yard sale and bake sales planned for the next few months.
Team HOPE wants to show our community what can be accomplished when we work together.
Kim Blake and Ruth Ann Marvel
Team HOPE co-captains