White throws hat into the ring for District 1 council seat

The Town of Ocean View will be holding its annual council election on Saturday, April 13. Resident Bruce White is one of two candidates seeking the District 1 council seat currently held by Bill Olsen, who did not run for re-relection.

White and his wife, Barbara, built their retirement home in Ocean View in 2007 but didn’t become full-time residents for another 10 years.

“I’m a Bay State native and moved to Maryland to begin 30 years of teaching at Gallaudet University, where I served two terms as a department head. Barbara and I started looking for a retirement location nearly 20 years ago, and after searching throughout the coastal communities, we purchased a lot in Ocean View in 2002,” he explained.

“One reason we chose Ocean View was because of its location, being far enough inland to avoid the worst of the seasonal traffic but close enough to bike to area beaches. Another reason was because of the amenities and services the Town offered at a very affordable rate of taxation.

“I particularly appreciated the older homes in District 1 and the fact that there was still some farming in the fields along Woodland Avenue. The farming is over, but the accomplishments of the Ocean View Historical Society in preserving the town’s rich heritage are inspiring.”

White said both he and his wife enjoy volunteering and have been active in the communities in which they have lived.

“While living in Maryland, I served two terms on our town council and took training provided by the Maryland Municipal League. I have been a local volunteer with the Coast Guard Auxiliary for 14 years and am in my third term on the governing board of Coast Guard Mutual Assistance.”

Barbara White volunteers at a local church, preparing meals, and serves as a mentor for a hard-of-hearing child in an elementary school. She also serves as the secretary of the Delaware Deaf Senior Citizens organization.”

White said that, if elected to council, he would like to keep Ocean View “affordable for residents,” but that’s not all.

“I would like to explore the effective use of branding and marketing strategies so that our town is more appealing. Many visitors to the beach consider Ocean View just one more town to drive through. Successful branding efforts will help crystallize the town’s identity and give us some control over how Ocean View is defined and seen by others.

“Wikipedia, for example, says that our town is ‘fast becoming a bedroom community for the neighboring summer resort of Bethany Beach.’ We need to change perceptions like that if we want to highlight what makes Ocean View special.”

White noted that, even with the Town’s 50 percent tax increase last year, “Ocean View continues to be a good choice.”

“There are good places to eat in town, banks and food stores close by, an art gallery, the Tunnel-West House complex and Coastal Towns Museum, the popular John West Park, the canal trail, etc. Council meetings are efficiently run and reported in the local press, the town government has excellent staff, and our police department is the envy of towns throughout the state. It was no surprise that a recent poll ranked Ocean View as the safest place to live in Delaware.”

He thanked Olsen for his service to his district and the Town, and said he hopes to have the chance to “join the council’s efforts in ensuring that Ocean View will be fiscally resilient and an affordable choice for residents and prospective buyers for years to come.”

“We are in a very competitive real estate market and need to be careful that our tax rates do not burden our residents or discourage buyers. More new houses are ready for buyers in this area every month, with many of them in unincorporated areas with no town taxes.”

White added that he hopes residents will consider casting their ballot for him in April.

“Thank you for considering my candidacy. I welcome your thoughts, concerns and suggestions.”

Those who wish to contact White may do so by emailing brucewhite.april13@gmail.com.

 

By Maria Counts

Staff Reporter