Ocean View resident Walter Curran will take the seat as the town’s mayor in April.
“He will do a good job as mayor of Ocean View,” said Ocean View Mayor Gordon Wood of Curran.
The deadline to file to run for the soon-to-be-vacant mayoral seat was Feb. 25, and Curran was the only resident to file for the position.
“I am quite pleased,” said Curran. “I take that as a left-handed praise for the current administration. I think they’ve done an excellent job. The fact that there has been no controversy, that things are running smoothly, shows things are moving in the right direction.”
Curran said he believes the town’s current council has done a good job, and is excited to work with them.
“I think they’ve done an excellent job as council members and I think we’ll be a good team, as they’ve been a good team in the past.”
Curran said he looks forward to working with the Town Manager Dianne Vogel and Finance Director Lee Brubaker, and the rest of the town’s staff.
“I am looking forward to it, I really am,” he said. “We have an excellent town manager in Dianne Vogel. We have a great staff up there. I see it as a fairly easy transition. I’m still in the process of learning and look to meet with Dianne and Lee, to understand the inner workings. Not to interfere — I don’t do that. Just to understand.”
As mayor, Curran said he hopes to work diligently on the town’s ditch and drainage issues.
“I’ve been involved already with that behind the scenes,” he said. “I will continue to push that along. It has been a political football, can kicked down the road for five years now and it needs to happen. It’s inevitable. It won’t necessarily be easy but it needs to be done.”
Curran also hopes to look into providing a better environment that would entice natural gas companies to come into the area.
“Propane is very expensive,” he said. “Natural gas isn’t. While it has to come here I don’t know there’s necessarily a lot to induce gas to come here. I think it’s more incumbent upon us as a town to make sure there are no roadblocks for them coming in.”
He also said that he hopes to have a good working relationship with the businesses within Ocean View.
“I am a businessman. I will look favorably at improving the atmosphere for businesses to thrive in this town.”
The town is currently working on the fiscal year 2015 budget, and Curran said he is happy with the council and staff’s work thus far.
“I think, as Lee Brubaker did an excellent job. I’ve listened to many budget presentations for 30 years and that was one of the best in terms of being clear and precise,” he said. “The single biggest thing in that budget that I’m happy to see was their starting to back away from the reliance on transfer taxes for the day-to-day operational money.”
Curran, who is originally from Boston, Mass., graduated from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 1966 and worked in the maritime field for more than 40 years. Curran said he and his wife, Marie, along with their children, Christopher and Amy, have been coming to Bethany Beach for more than 30 years, having first rented in Sea Colony, and eventually having purchased a home there. Seven years ago, they moved to Ocean View.
“I think this town is very unique,” he said. “This town is just the right size with a lot of diversity. It is fiscally conservative, which is my nature. I don’t like to spend other people’s money. I think it’s the perfect spot for my wife and me. We deliberately retired here.”
Prior to filing to run for mayor, Curran served as chairman of the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission. He is currently serving as the president on the Board of the Bear Trap Dunes Homeowners Association, but plans to resign prior to becoming mayor, to focus on the town.
“I think it’s the proper thing to do so there’s no appearance of any conflict of interest,” he added.
Wood said he is confident in Curran’s ability to continue to steer the town in a positive direction for his upcoming three-year term.
“Ocean View will be in good hands with Walt Curran as Mayor. His service at head of the Bear Trap Homeowners Association brought stability to the Association, not always an easy job. Upon my appointment of Walt to our Planning and Zoning Commission with Council Approval, and election as Chair of the Commission by his fellow members, he has been an excellent leader and has served our Town well. My confidence in appointing Walt was most justified. ”
Curran said during his minimal campaign he was fortunate to speak to many town residents who gave him their support, and looks forward to meeting more and representing them.
“I just see it as a next evolutionary step,” he said. “Protecting my interest as a homeowner and that of my friends and neighbors.”
Curran will be sworn in at the town’s April 22 workshop at 5 p.m.