The Town of Ocean View had received a letter of resignation from Board of Adjustment Member James LeGates, who stated that he and his wife are planning to return to Pennsylvania.
“With happy memories of Ocean View, we look forward to return visits, along with other family members and friends,” he wrote.
“I want to thank him for his service on the commission,” said Mayor Walter Curran at the town’s May 9 council meeting.
The council had also received a letter from resident Greg Neuner, who stated his interest in applying for the vacancy. He was unanimously appointed to LeGate’s seat by the council.
Country Village resident Steve Micciche was in attendance at the May 9 meeting and spoke to the council about his upset in not being appointed to the Planning & Zoning Commission following the resignation of P&Z chairman Gary Meredith.
“Several weeks ago, I received a call from a good friend and neighbor, Gary Meredith… He talked to me at considerable length and asked if I would be interested in serving. So I sent letter in to the town manager.”
Micciche said that his letter was discussed, as was Meredith’s resignation, at the council’s April 11 meeting; however, at the April 25 reorganizational meeting, Curran recommended Meredith be replaced by Kent Liddle, who once served on the commission but had resigned to run for town council, and who had also sent in a letter of interest. At that meeting, Liddle was appointed unanimously.
“I guess my question is, was my name ever brought up to be voted on, or was he just put in there?” asked Micciche. “I never had a chance to address the council.”
Curran personally apologized to Micciche for not contacting him about the appointment and noted that it is the duty of the mayor to make an offer or recommendation as to who should be appointed.
“It is wholly on me,” he said, noting that he believed Liddle had a better background for the position.
Micciche said he was dissatisfied with how the situation was handled and now has no interest in serving the Town. Twardzik asked that, if he should change his mind, Micciche reach out to him.
Cottages resident Baptist Damiano said he also didn’t believe the appointment was fair to Micciche.
Public Works Director Charles McMullen said he recalled both Micciche and Liddle’s names were mentioned at the April 25 meeting, prior to Liddle’s nomination.
“Something else people should remember also is that the purpose of these boards is to make them representative of each of the voting districts… When Gary resigned for health reasons, the appropriate thing to do would be to look in District 3 and District 4.”
Also on May 9, town Finance Director Sandra Peck said property reassessments have been completed, with notices sent out on Friday. She said most residents have received them, and that a handful of people have already filed for appeals.
“Overall, the values and the total for the town went down under $2 million,” she said.
Peck also noted that at the end of the 2017 fiscal year, the Town was 115 percent, or $111,000, over budget.
Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin reported that, last month, the department turned over 295 pounds of unused, unwanted medications as part of the DEA’s semi-annual Drug Take-Back Day.
He also reported that the department will be using grant money to purchase two bicycles for the department.
“Officer AnnMarie Dalton is going to be heading up our bicycle patrol unit, which you may see her out and about, patrolling some of the neighborhoods. The goal is to get out and try to interact with the community a little more.”
Twardzik informed council that last week McLaughlin had spoke to the Sussex County Republican Women’s Club and had the audience “spellbound for about 25 minutes.”
“He is an extremely valuable asset,” Twardzik said of McLaughlin.
In other Town news:
• The Town proclaimed Monday, June 5, as Dunes Pink Classic Day, recognizing the Women’s Golf Association of Bear Trap Dunes for their work in raising funds for breast cancer treatment and research.
“In its first 10 years of operation, the Dunes Pink Classic has raised in excess of $300,000,” said Curran. “The efforts by those who plan and run the Dunes Pink Classic, as well as those who participate and donate to such a worthy cause, should be recognized and appreciated by the entire community.”
• The council adopted an ordinance to amend the Emergency Reserve Trust Fund, which currently has a funding level of $275,000 — less than one month of the operating budget for the fiscal year. The goal of the amendment is to grow the reserve to 20 percent of the annual operating budget by setting aside movies from transfer-tax revenue.
• Ocean View recognized Arbor Day on Friday, April 2, by planting a kousa dogwood in front of the Wallace A. Melson Municipal Building. The tree was donated by Delmarva Power to the Delaware Forest Service. It is the 10th year the Town has been named a Tree City USA.
• Concerts in John West Park will begin next month. Upcoming concerts will be held on Friday, June 9, and Friday, June 30, featuring the Glass Onion Band and the Delmarva Big Band, respectively.
• The council unanimously approved to add Councilman Tom Maly as a check-signer to the Town’s Fulton Bank account.