Letters - April 1, 2005

Mayoral candidate answers critics in Ocean View

Editor’s Note: The following letter is from Ocean View mayoral candidate Wally Brown, in response to a few letters we ran in last week’s paper. The original discussion stems from a letter Brown sent to residents of the town.

Lately, I have come under attack from a small portion of residents who either like the “Status Quo” or are personal friends of the mayor and/or town council. Of the approximately 1,350 letters sent to Ocean View residents, I have seen only a handful of letters stating I am wrong. Here I will address those letters with facts.

Andy and Barney: What the reader apparently did not grasp was my remembering a time when our town had “old fashioned values,” which is something we should strive to keep. I did not state we should go back there. The point was simple. I pointed to a more pleasant time as something to cherish. Our police never took 40 minutes to respond. The state police only covered our area after midnight (obviously he means then). All police calls are handled in a “priority” order of life and death getting the number one spot, while complaining about loud noise may take longer.

The second letter states I have misrepresented the facts and myself. How can that be? I got the facts from our various town officials. Why would they deliberately mislead me? As to attending our meetings, I guess the writer doesn’t remember me from our last meeting, or the ones three and five months ago. Every other one is not bad considering that the monthly town meeting normally has less that 12 residents attending. Rest assured that I will attend every one as your mayor.

In my letter, I stated I was dissatisfied with the town and mentioned how and why. Basically, I stated that I wanted the town spending less of our money, especially as they continue to do so without our permission. Further, I quoted those letters sent to repudiate my statements, using their own words as the proof of what I say. I also offered my opinions and asked why it might be necessary to do things without the residents’ votes.

I mentioned our founding document as it applies to government OF the people, as opposed to being dictated to. Was that what upset the naysayers? Most of you by now have a copy of the letter. As you read it, where does it say that anyone is a crook? I stated (and I believe rightly so) that the town is being mismanaged. Name calling? Hate mail? Mentioning common and often-used sayings in speaking of what some people think is cause for others to think I mean them? Speaking my opinions freely causes them distress? Could it be I am right? You have the letter. Read it, and decide for yourself. I even said they are nice people; it is the job that is being done that is causing us harm.

What would I accomplish? When I asked the town authorities about several things, I received answers I was not happy with (unless I was mislead again). The town does not have a code of conduct. The town has not recognized the Constitution as the over-riding document to be used in all governing decisions (for example, my favorite is the Bill of Rights number 9). To paraphrase it, it states that ALL of the rights enjoyed by our founding fathers shall not be diminished. The town’s employees do not have rules and regulations. The town desperately needs ONE spokesperson for the town, so I would arrange for one. A newsletter informing ALL the residents of what is being considered and asking what they want to see happen. The town would NOT spend anything over $50,000 without the resident’s permission (salaries aside). Unnecessary expenditures would have to follow guidelines. For example: The town wants to spend $250,000 for a garage. That is excessive. They never heard of General Steel ($45,000 for a 60 x 100 ft. building)? Or $3.8 million for a new police station on land we do not own (Fact! we can only use)? Proper division of effort. These are for starters.

I am asking for your vote. Inform the town you are also not happy. April 9 is your chance to rubber stamp the current administration or stand up to it.

Wally Brown
Ocean View

School board should not be held hostage by ACLU

There seem to be two major issues regarding the school board starting their meetings with a brief prayer. One is ignorance of the First Amendment and the other is an out-of-control legal system.

First, the policy of the framer’s of the First Amendment was “Complete federal non-intervention in religious issues.” To summarize the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” which was intended to preserve religious freedom in some states while guaranteeing that religious establishments that existed in other states, like Massachusetts, would be safe from outside interference.

Nowhere in the First Amendment, nor anywhere in the Constitution is the phrase, “Separation of Church and State.” Thomas Jefferson made that statement in a letter to a Baptist organization in 1802 (15 years after Delaware signed the Constitution) to dispel a rumor that another denomination was to become the national religion.

Also, one of the first items of business of the first Congress was to select a chaplain to open each session with prayer. A statute providing payment of these chaplains was enacted into law in September 1789.

So Congress can begin each session with a prayer, but the Indian River School Board can’t.

The second major issue regarding school board prayer is an out-of-control legal system. The ACLU is taking this case on behalf of, (in my opinion) a ‘useful idiot.’ A “loser pay” legal system would put a halt to many of these frivolous lawsuits. Instead, if the ACLU wins, they will be entitled to receive compensation for their ‘civil-rights’ legal fees, but if the school board wins, they will not receive the same compensation.

There are many who feel this fight isn’t worth the money spent defending it. I completely disagree. We must support the school board’s right to open their legislative sessions with a prayer, and not let them be held hostage to an un-American ACLU on behalf of an individual (useful idiot) who feels “offended.”

Tim Doyle

Reader throws her support behind Brown

I want to acknowledge a true American hero. This person survived Vietnam with 13 Marine Corps commendations, including one for saving a Vietnamese woman’s life after she was shot in the head.

This same man, several years ago, saved three people from drowning in the Indian River Inlet when their boat capsized. He routinely teaches over 1,000 children annually about the dangers of the oceans, bays and waterways.

The reason I know all this is I have had the privilege of having an in-depth conversation with him. He attends church in Seaford, coaches soccer and is running for mayor of Ocean View. His name is Wally Brown. I believe he is more concerned, qualified and enthusiastic about the future of Ocean View than the incumbent. It is time for positive change with someone who will move forward representing Ocean View with vision, care and forethought.

Elizabeth Evans
Ocean View

Council member offers his support for mayor

I am writing to express my support for the re-election of Gary Meredith as mayor of the town of Ocean View in the town’s election on Saturday, April 9, 2005.

Because a mayor is the town’s most visible representative, not only within the town, but also with the other municipal, county, state and federal officials we work with, a mayor must understand the issues and present our concerns on those issues in a coherent manner.

In addition, a mayor must conduct himself professionally and honestly, respect the character and history of the town and display a sense of fairness in his dealings with the public and fellow council members.

I believe Mayor Meredith possesses the above traits — even when we have disagreed, I’ve felt he has given my concerns a fair hearing — and is deserving of another three-year term.

I urge all registered voters in Ocean View to turn out on Saturday, April 9, at the town hall from noon to 5 pm.

Eric Magill
Ocean View Town Council

Readers believe bill is a political lightning rod

For years we have been trying to appeal to our state legislators’ sense of fairness and common decency to support civil rights bill H.B. 99. We have reminded them that one religious view of an issue should not be preferred in a democracy. We have also reminded them that gay people, although hated, are human beings entitled to equal treatment just as are women, African-Americans and others. We frankly do not know how else to appeal to our lawmakers’ better nature.

Now we would point out — especially to the state senate Democratic leadership — that it will continue to hurt Democrats if H.B. 36 is not allowed a full-chamber up-or-down vote. In the last general election many Democratic challengers, adhering to the national and state Democratic platforms by supporting H.B. 99, were defeated. Bottling up H.B. 36 in a senate committee is not only undemocratic, it is politically unsavvy, since it only strengthens this as a perpetual wedge issue and hurts Democratic challengers.

As with all hatred, anti-gay animus is cherished to one’s own detriment.

Toward equality,
Douglas and Corey Marshall-Steele