For the last three years, Carol Bodine has served on the Ocean View Town Council, a civic duty she said she enjoys.
“Somebody has to step up and serve,” she said. “Before we go to a council meeting, there’s work where we read up on what’s going to be on the agenda, so we’re well-prepared. You think about it all the time, because if something is proposed… I want to do what’s right for the place I live.”
Bodine is running for re-election in the town’s District 4 election. She has been challenged by resident Berton Reynolds for the three-year position.
A resident of the town since 2004, having moved from the Washington, D.C., area, Bodine moved to Delaware with the idea to serve her community.
“I just got involved from then, and I’m still involved,” she said, noting that she’s now the State Secretary for Delaware Republican Party. “I started out helping and then gradually grew into that position. I attended the last convention in Cleveland as a delegate.”
Although Bodine is very active in her party, she emphasized that politics do not play a role on the Town’s dais.
“The council is non-partisan, and I do not bring my political connections to the council. I focus on what’s right. For example, this tax increase is totally against what a Republican would do, but it’s right for the Town. I leave that at the doorstep when I go into a council meeting.
“Sometimes you don’t know what’s going to come up,” she added. “You have to think of the town as a whole, not just the particular development you live in. For the last few years, things have been running smoothly… when I don’t see a large crowd, I know things have been running smoothly.”
Bodine is a retired registered nurse who received her degree from St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, Md. She has worked at the National Institutes of Health and Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Md., and ran a nursing agency with her sister.
“My parents didn’t think I should go into nursing,” she recalled. “I worked from the time was 14, saved all that money to pay for my schooling at St. Agnes. I was determined I was going to be a nurse. My daughter is now a nurse-practitioner… It’s in our blood.”
Now a fulltime resident of the Town, Bodine said she likes spending her time serving her town and is a very active member of Saint Ann’s Church, as a congregant and member of the vocal and bell choirs.
She discovered the area after her son — a “full-bird” colonel in the Army — returned from a deployment in Iraq and said she should get a house at the beach.
“He came home from Iraq and said, ‘Mom, I have a great idea! Let’s get a house near Bethany Beach.’ When he was a teenager and in college, I was living in Maryland, he used to come to Bethany Beach every year because his friend’s mother had a place down here, and they’re still here. He said he always loved Bethany Beach.
“I came down without him and picked out this development. I didn’t even know where I was going. I had not been to Bethany Beach; I had been to Ocean City… I’d never move again — I love it here.”
Bodine said she had moved around a great deal after her husband passed away in 1998 and had never wanted to settle down, until she came to Ocean View.
“I was just trying to find a place to call home. I moved around a lot, trying to find a place I feel comfortable. And I do down here.”
Since moving to the area, Bodine said she’s seen the town change, but pointed out it has also remained the same in terms of charm.
“I was a lot of residents of Ocean View — once I moved here I didn’t want anyone else to come,” she said with a laugh. “But you can’t do that. I’ve seen some development and a change in traffic, but relatively speaking, it’s a quiet little town.”
Bodine first ran for council in 2015, at the suggestion of former District 4 councilman Bob Lawson, who was term-limited at the time.
“I always wanted to, but prior to me coming in, we had good people on the council. Bob Lawless had termed out, and that was my opportunity to move into a spot.”
If re-elected, Bodine said she hopes to see some of the Town’s list of road and drainage projects completed.
“All these projects — we have to get the drainage projects taken care of. We have to get the roads taken care of, we have to be ADA-compliant on the sidewalks. We have to do all those things. That’s going fairly slowly. I just want to get all these projects done,” she said, noting it has impacted the Town’s coffers, leading to the discussion of a potential 100 percent tax increase.
“That’s the biggest problem in our budget — doing all those projects. The Town was dependent on the transfer tax to correct the budget, and we had to stop that because they’re going to be dried up pretty soon.”
Bodine said she enjoys working with her fellow council members, and the respectful atmosphere they have established.
“They’re wonderful. Sometimes we disagree, we’ll have a three-to-two vote, but nobody gets upset. Everybody knows you’re doing what you think is right. We all get along beautifully, and I hope it stays that way.”
Bodine said she plans to put out campaign signs in the coming days and start campaigning door-to-door to meet voters.
“I just love this town. Everything I do on that council is for this town,” she said. “I live here. I want everything to be nice in this town.”
The Ocean View election will be held on Saturday, April 14, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at town hall.