Letters: April 8, 2005

Editor’s Note: As is our policy, we are only running letters from the candidates this week. Also our policy, the incumbent goes first

Meredith explains why he should stay in office

When I was informed that Mr. Wally Brown would oppose me in my desire for a second term as mayor of Ocean View, I decided that I would not get involved in a negative letter writing campaign.

I will not say anything against Mr. Brown and his qualifications for mayor. However, Mr. Brown has been stating, “the town’s employees do not have rules and regulations.” Please be advised that the town has, and follows, a Personnel Policy Manual For The Town of Ocean View. This manual covers personnel procedures, benefits, employee work practices and conditions of employment and disciplinary action, grievances and separation. The town manager and the town council worked several months in public meetings to develop this manual, which was formally adopted on March 22, 2004.

If anyone has any questions or concerns about the town and its procedures, please call me at the Town Office at 539-9797, or my home at 539-0532.

Please vote on April 9, noon to 5 p.m. at the remodeled Town Hall.

Mayor Gary L. Meredith
Ocean View

Brown states his case to be Ocean View mayor

Tomorrow is Election Day for the town of Ocean View. Over the last month I believe I have made my position clear. No taxation without the accompanying right to vote. The Constitution of the United States is to be the supreme document by which all governmental decisions are to be made. A code of ethics is to be adopted. All employees, appointees, elected officials and volunteers are to take an oath of office in which they accept the Constitution, just as the President of the United States does.

Fiscal responsibility is of equal importance. It all too often seems that may not be the case. The residents always have the right to vote on expenditures over $50,000. All of the town’s administration works for us, the taxpayer, not the other way around. Growth must be paced by the infrastructure. If the roads, etc. are inadequate, then no building until they are. A quarterly newsletter is a must. Many people do not attend the meetings (which I can understand, having attended them). This is OUR town. If we do not participate, we get what we deserve. VOTE!

(Another weekly paper) reported I would vote for Mr. Meredith. I AM voting for myself. Previously I voted for him.

Rephrase — I voted for Mr. Meredith previously, but I am voting for myself this time.

If you want the town to be responsive to you, the taxpayer, vote for Wally Brown. If you want the status quo, vote for Mr. Meredith. I have never said he was not a nice guy, just not doing the job to my satisfaction.

Thank you all for informing me of your complaints and desires.

Wally Brown
Ocean View

Reader asks Fenwick to consider whole town

Editor’s Note: The following letter is addressed specifically to members of the Fenwick Island Town Council.

Dear Council Members:
It is our understanding that at its March council meeting, a motion was made and approval voted to expend $5,000-plus for a study as to the feasibility and cost of dredging the canals within the town limits, as well as other areas.

A rationale for considering this action was that property values would be increased. We are sure that you realize that there are many property owners in Fenwick Island whose property does not border on these canals, and doubt very seriously if this action would increase their values.

Another factor here is that all but one of the current council members own property that borders on the canals or the bay. It is very possible that should this project be approved and public monies used to accomplish it, that there could be implications of a conflict of interest.

We would strongly suggest that before any public monies be spent on dredging the canals in our town that a referendum be held so that all property owners can feel that their interests are properly considered.

Jeanette Magee Griffin
Richard L. Griffin
Fenwick Island

Reader wants entire tax system under review

President Bush has opened the dialogue about tax simplification. I am not a supporter of the president’s agenda, but who can be against tax simplification?

Here is some advice to the administration and Congress. Taxes should be used to raise revenue for the federal government, not for social planning or economic advantage. Therefore, I would get rid of corporate income taxes. Corporations are paying a smaller and smaller percentage of the federal tax pie. The elimination of the corporate income tax would have three principal benefits: 1. It would free up the creative minds of tens of thousands of our brightest minds that spend all of their time pondering the reduction of corporate tax payments. 2. It would remove the blackmail that exists between individual companies or trade groups and Congressional tax policy. Payment of campaign contributions is closely associated with either gaining or preserving tax preference. 3. It will eliminate the excuse that US companies cannot compete in the global markets.

The federal income tax form would be less than one page and contain the following entries: Line 1. Add up income from all sources (wages, Social Security, pensions, interest, dividends, etc.); Line 2. Add incomes from capital gains; Line 3. Add lines 1 & 2 and multiply by the universal income tax percentage; Line 4. Enter the amount of withholding or payment to the IRS; Line 5. You owe/you pay (+/-).

There would be three variables that need to be considered. Capital gains should be spread over 5 years. Congress every year would need to vote on the precise value of the universal income tax percentage (17.5 percent). Congress would need to vote every year on the threshold value that exempts individuals from payments ($28,000).

We have all voiced the phrase “well, I pay my fair share of taxes.” Now it will be universally true. All income would be taxed the same and you can throw away your shoebox, there will be no deductions.

I urge you to call or write Senators Carper and Biden and Rep. Castle and ask for real personal income tax simplification, and not some corrupt conservative consumption tax as proposed by the Club for Growth.

Dennis Cleary
Bethany Beach

HB 36 poses risks to girls through omission

Several amendments were proposed for the HB 36 legislation that was recently passed by the Delaware House of Representatives. Some were passed. Others were not. An amendment excluding the Boy Scouts from HB 36 passed while a similar amendment excluding the Girl Scouts did not.

In effect, if they so desire, passage of the amendment allows the Boy Scout organization of Delaware to refrain from hiring homosexuals as troop leaders, scout masters, etc, without fear of legal reprisal. On the other hand, defeat of their amendment means Delaware girl scouts have no assurances that the Girl Scout organization of Delaware, if they wanted to, could refrain from hiring lesbians as troop leaders, scout masters, etc. since that would subject the organization to potential legal reprisal under the hiring provisions of HB 36.

Apparently a letter from the National Organization of Girl Scouts to the Delaware Legislature, stating they did not want the Delaware organization to be excluded from the legal effects of the bill, help lead to the amendment’s defeat.

Consequently, if the Delaware Boy Scouts organization feels it is in the boys’ best interest not to place homosexuals in leadership positions within the Boy Scout organization they are free to do so. On the other hand, even if scout leaders within the Delaware Girl Scout organization felt it would not be in the best interest of their girls to have lesbians in leadership positions they would be at risk legally were they to try and implement that preference. Why the national organization chose to place Delaware girl scouts at such obvious risk, especially when it could have been avoided, is an intriguing question. One every girl scout parent and potential girl scout parent needs to ask?

Especially noteworthy is that the current Delaware Discrimination Code states there shall be no discrimination based on sex (gender). Yet it appears that there is most definitely discrimination on how boy scouts and girl scouts are treated under this bill. And as I read the code there is no indication that either sex has the option to waive their rights in any manner. Furthermore, it was a national, not a state organization that was attempting to waive away Delaware girl scouts’ rights and HB36 is a state bill voted on by Delaware State Representatives. What a national organization says it wants or doesn’t want is not really relevant. What matters is how Delaware state representatives voted.

On the one hand HB 36 certainly appears to discriminate by sex, in which case the bill would be illegal. On the other hand it subjects Delaware girl scouts to unnecessary risks.

Allen Ide

Pope should be thought of as beacon of hope

As people from around the world gather to pay tribute to the beloved Pope John Paul II, we are struck by his capacity to bring people together, even in his passing. Pope John Paul II was a remarkable leader who embodied grace, compassion, and a love for all humanity. He will be remembered as a tireless advocate of international justice and peace. As Muslims, we have been especially grateful for his commitment to unify and heal the peoples of the world. May he rest in eternal peace.

Our brothers and sisters in humanity, together, we have the opportunity to continue Pope John Paul II’s mission to build bridges of hope, understanding, and reconciliation. May we forever honor his legacy.

Mr. and Mrs. Mahmoud Abdelsalam and Dina Odetalla
Ocean View

Booth’s philosophies make us all look weak

I was hoping that someone else would write a response to Rep. Joe Booth’s “it’s-good-to-be-fleeced” letter on Maryland’s discriminatory tax-rate on non-resident, Delaware workers, but no one has, so I guess I must. I like Joe Booth. He is capable and I believe he had a good idea about introducing a bill to protect Delaware’s sunken history off our coast. Ironically, the debris that prompted him to think of such a bill was possibly deposited at a time when Delawareans were resisting Maryland’s encroachments on our western border. Back then, our agents not only protected our honor but also outsmarted our wolfish neighbors and doubled Sussex County’s size with the Trans-Peninsular boundary agreement. Unfortunately, for the good they have done, our representatives today might as well post a “kick-me” sign on the backs of our citizens who work in Maryland.

Instead of outrage over Maryland’s overt penalizing of Delawareans, Booth discounts the affront with two arguments. One argument is unconscionable and the other is voodoo economics. Booth first argues that those Delawareans who are liable for the extra tax do not really pay it because they get a credit on their Delaware taxes for any monies paid to Maryland. Not only are there several undiscussed qualifiers to his assertion (such as item #14 on page 4 of the Maryland Form 505 Non-Resident and the Line 10 Worksheet on page 7 of the Delaware Resident Form), but, as far as his assertion is true, the pride of every Delawarean should be stung because that credit is being funded by our treasury. Obviously, in 2005 we cannot call out the militia to protect us from Maryland predators, but some of our retired legislators — raised on stories of “no taxation without representation,” tea parties, and “millions for defense but not one cent for tribute” — would be damning them lustily. It seems, however, that today we will not hear any such spirited talk over coffee with Joe.

Booth next argues that, because 10,000 more Marylanders work here than Delawareans work there, we have more money flowing to “our merchants and retailers from the money spent by Marylanders working in the First State.” True, those 10,000 Marylanders will do some shopping here and will pay some Delaware taxes, but they are taking the bulk of their paychecks home to Maryland. The drain to our balance of payments with Maryland of these 10,000 salaries at average income levels certainly amounts to $200,000,000.00 per year. This is hardly, as Booth describes it, a “situation that currently favors us by a wide margin.” Instead, this situation demands the “tit-for-tat” that Booth refuses to consider. If there are indeed 10,000 more Maryland workers in Delaware than Delawareans working in Maryland, we should squeeze them enough to make their Gov. Ehrlich squeal.

Joe Booth, I call upon you, as you suggest, “to step back and take a look at the big picture.” Your passivity shames us and tempts Maryland to shake down our people even more. Delaware does not come off “looking pretty good.” Rather, we look weak and vulnerable.

Randall Cash