Voice From The Readers

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Waterways Under Assault

Editor:

The bays, St. Martin’s River and Shingle Landing Prong has
reached yet another crossroad. For many years we have been told about St.
Martin’s pollution problems. Our waterways now face their latest major assault
from pollution.

Recently a plan was given approval from the Worcester
County Planning Commission for the Showell sewage plant to allow effluent water
to discharge into Shingle Landing Prong. Along with this proposal is the idea
that the plant will use spray irrigation a few years down the road – but not
now.

While this proposed plan cast a shadow over existing
septic systems damaging the river, this plant will exacerbate the problems
facing our local waters. The thought of a sewage plant for 4,000 homes as an
improvement over septic systems is a good persuasive proposal; however, it is
still not sufficient enough to safeguard our water quality and will add to the
destruction of our local waters. Our health should be paramount in this
decision.

To protect our waters it requires a treatment system,
which discharges no nutrient effluent directly to the waters of the bay or
tributaries. The county must insist that the conversion of this plant from an
industrial sewage plant to a residential sewage plant be accomplished using the
latest sewage processing technology instead of just patching the existing
plant.

I encourage the Worcester County Commissioners not to make
this decision until after a hearing where the people can voice their opinions.
The paid consultant gave the following suggestions to the commissioners: A.
discharge into the creek; B. traditional spray irrigation C. hybrid spray
irrigation and point discharge D. hybrid water reuse/irrigation with point
discharge, drip irrigation and purple pipe for water reuse; E. point discharge
to constructed wetlands; and F. on-site septic systems.

We can pay now to keep our waters and bay clean or pay a
lot more later to restore it – just like the Chesapeake Bay.

Arlene and Ted Page
 

Thoughts To Consider During Budget Time

Editor:

It is budget time again for both Ocean City and Worcester
County. The decisions made by our elected representatives affect us all since
we pay taxes in both places. I offer the following thoughts for us all.
Basically, I ask all of us to reconsider our thoughts about borrowing money to
pay for capital projects on the “bond market”.

Assume we have to replace a school in 20 years. The cost
is estimated to be $20 million. Instead of waiting the 20 years and borrowing
the money on the “bond market” (as we do now), I suggest we begin to invest $1
million a year in a bank account earmarked for the school. We negotiate a
favorable rate on interest from the bank after all they are going to have our
money for 20 years. In 12-15 years, (I’ve checked with my bank), there would be
enough cash on hand with accumulated interest to pay for the cost of the
school. Simply, deposits plus interest equals cash. We would have invested
approximately $12 million or 60 percent of what we needed on the project. Think
about it,

In the alternative (what we do now) we wait 20 years and
borrow the money on the “bond market.” The interest we will have to pay will be
100 percent of what we have borrowed (another $20 million). Thus our new school
will have to cost us $40 million. Obviously, the figures are approximate.
However, the principal remains the same. Would we, or our grandchildren (our
present young taxpayers), rather be taxed $12 million or $40 million. Either we
will be taxed for the amount now or later. Which would you rather bear? Think
about it.

Yes, our elected officials will tell us “this is the way
it is normally done.” We borrow the money for “big projects.” It is a good
decision. They say because we, the town or county are good customers, the banks
will give us the best rate possible. They will ask us if we know anyone who
buys a house for cash. All of us are conditioned to borrow/mortgage for our big
project (our house – that is how we are able to afford it we are told). Yet,
now we are talking, not of us as individuals but as the thousands of us
taxpayers be it Ocean City or Worcester County. An attorney friend of mine told
me the first question he was asked by his clients after a title closing on
their new home was when can we pay off our mortgage? What he shared with me was
they are going to die with their mortgage, either the one they had or the one
on their next home. We are going to die with our bonded indebtedness if our
elected officials stay with the current way of doing things. They are killing
us slowly with their present way of doing things. Do you want to die that way?
Think about it.

True they will claim they do not wish to increase our
taxes. They will talk about the tax rate going down. However, have you noticed
our taxes keep going up? The total that is. They want to be re-elected. They
tell us the rate is going down, yet taxes keep going up. They are still in
office. They have just shifted the tax burden to another generation, another
group of representatives. They who started it are long gone. The burden is
still borne by those who are still here – the taxpayers. That’s us dear
friends. Think about it.

Check my figures for yourself. Go to your own bank as I
did. I repeat the figures I have submitted are approximate. I repeat again, the
principle remains the same. Pay cash or bear the burden of the interest. When I
explained this plan to those I meet in person, all have said yes, I see it.
It’s so simple even a caveman could understand it. Fellow cavemen, let us
unite. Let’s change our way of thinking and that of our elected officials.
Avoid bond interest, pay cash and see.

Jim McGinniss

Ocean City
 

Remember To Pray

Editor:

Thursday, May 3 is the National Day of Prayer. All across
our generously blessed nation, there will be all types of observance
opportunities; whether at churches, workplaces, campuses, eateries, on the
radio, television and most likely websites and blogs. Please join me in
thanking God for this awesome privilege and freedom, and in praying that God
strengthen our faith in Him, and obedience of Him, like Jesus tried to teach
us. What would you like to pray about?

Ellie Diegelmann

Ocean City
 

Don’t Forget About Papers’ Legals

Editor:

How in the world could us locals get along each week
without our "free" papers that we all soak up from cover to cover? We
are thrilled with the lead stories, comments from citizens, health news,
sports, lifestyles, and the opinions of our learned editors, of course. We scan
the photos of ourselves, our friends, and local gad-abouts. And, of course,
depending on one’s age, the obituaries. Who could ask for anything more?

But, do we really read our copies from cover to cover? Or,
are we apt to skip the legal section as it is so legal and so boring? Or, do
you realize the golden nuggets hidden in this language of the ages?  Like property foreclosures, tax sales due to
arrears, seizure of assets from those apprehended with controlled substances,
changes of one’s name to restart their life, estates being probated, and on and
on. Now, truly, is this not interesting?

In recent issues you will find a listing of 133 properties
up for tax sale by Worcester County for non-payment of 2005 real estate taxes
and other items

owed to the county or state. Ocean City taxes are not so
mentioned. It covers properties in the entire county, including Ocean City, but
did not identify any delinquent 2005 taxes due the town. Property buyers should
be clearly aware whether OC taxes are also involved.

So, with an unbridled curiosity, after my visit to the
Health Fair only yesterday, I easily noted 21 OC addresses with only county and
state delinquent taxes referred to. OC collects its own real estate taxes. I
would speculate unpaid 2005 town taxes may also be in arrears. And using an
ancient system of extrapolation I would estimate that $94,000 is due the Town
whereas $177,000 is due the state and county for OC properties. And once the
property is sold what recourse would our Town have in collecting delinquent
taxes or enforcing an active lien? 
Maybe Town officials should explain this in a Town open session?

All the 133 properties, unless reclaimed before the sale,
all are going up for tax sale on Thursday, May 10 at 10 a.m. at the Worcester
County Government Center in Snow Hill. Of the 17 properties I identified with
OC addresses known to me, such as condos on Condo Row, Montego Bay,
Philadelphia Ave, etc simply popped up on the radar screen. And with our Town
budget deliberations now in full swing it makes sense that not one
"sou" be overlooked or in Town coffers.

Now, doesn’t it make a lot of sense to read our local
papers from cover to cover? In any event, it will give our Town Officials
another hard look at any non-recovered taxes from 2005.

Ray Sawyer

Ocean City
 

Ocean Pines Troubles

Editor:

Not being a resident of Ocean Pines maybe I’m missing
something concerning all the goings on over there.

Maybe I don’t feel the stress being presented by this
whole situation of the new community center, the questions about the
association’s finances etc. Maybe many will feel I have no right to comment,
but there is one thing I do know. After more than a year of seeing this endless
fighting back and forth, the never ending letters to the editor and the
constant bombardment of stories in the local papers I’m sure there are a large
number of people outside the Pines who would agree with me that we are sick to
death of it. Story after story, letter after letter concerning who did what,
who said what, who wants to do this, who doesn’t want this done. My goodness
people get over it and move on.

Now I read where because of all this ongoing mess there
are many people who would not even want to run for the board because of all the
name calling, backstabbing and suing. Well no wonder, would you want to get
yourself involved with this mess. These are well meaning people put into an
impossible situation who are trying their best, these are people who thought
they were elected to do a job not be the blunt of all this slamming and
bamming. I don’t know the board members but folks they are members of your
community, your neighbors, the people next to you in line at the store. Are
they really as bad as some of these stories want to say.

So next time you attend a community meeting, next time you
sit to write a letter to the editor remember you are all in this together as members
of the community, try to remember that civil behavior gets more results than
all the yelling and screaming.

I wish you all well but please lets get this matter
resolved and come back together as the friendly community the pines was before
this all started.

Len Bender

Ocean City
 

Support Appreciated

Editor:

The Worcester County Garden Club is sponsoring the
District 1 Federated Garden Clubs Flower Show on May 22 at the Ocean Pines
Yacht Club.

We want to thank the following businesses for their support
by advertising in the Flower Show Schedule: Avalon Market, Avery Hall Insurance
Co., Ayres, Jenkins, Gordy & Almond P.A., Barrett Chevrolet, B & C Pest
Control, Berlin Main Street, Beyond Flowers, Bishop Stock, Bonfire Restaurant,
Burbage Funeral Home, Castle in the Sand, Casual Designs, Coates, Coates &
Coates, Coldwell Banker, Sharyn O’Hare, Coldwell Banker, Edie Brennan, Copy
Central, Furnace Town Museum, Grist Mill Gardens, Jack Abel General Contractor,
Headlines Salon, Humphrey Rich Construction, Md. Coast Dispatch, Mercantile
Peninsula Bank, Merrill Lynch-Ryan Kirby, O.C. Appliance, O.C. Grassbusters,
Phillips Seafood Restaurant, Principal Financial Group, Remax-Marlene Ott,
Rosencratz Landscaping, Sea Bright Gardens, Somerset Historical Society, State
Farm-Claudia Nichols, State Farm-Richard Ropp, St. Martin’s Church Foundation,
Taylor Bank, Treasure Chest Jewelers and Village Greens Nursery.

We also want to thank the Garden Club members who
volunteered their time to contact the businesses: Judy Reeser, Joanne Kasper,
Nancy Smith, Sandra Nornes, Margaret Davis, Ruth Bowie, Bozy Markiewicz and
Caroline Humphrey. A special thank you to all of you.

Mary Lou Scott

(The writer is the Advertising Chairman for the District 1
Flower Show.)
 

Stop The Referendum

Editor:

The Community Center referendum should be stopped in its
tracks. Aside form misleading information provided in the Q&A sheet mailed,
the ballot itself is confusing. I may not be the brightest bulb in the room but
neither did I just fall off the turnip truck last week. I found it confusing. I
called the Election Committee number and talked to a volunteer who said he
alone received 65 calls that day for clarification.

By the end of summer, a new board will be in place. Mr.
Stachurski is ineligible to run again. Mr. Duffy said he won’t seek re-election
(then he said he might run; the usual flip-flop associated with this board) and
Ms. Cook said she will not seek re-election. Another member of the board, who
hasn’t committed, wasn’t elected to the board but was appointed to fill a
vacancy. The right thing to do would have been to fill that vacancy by the
person receiving the highest number of votes after those cast for the two
members who were elected.

With the fresh air of a new board, this whole Community
Center project can be re-evaluated (costs, method of financing, realistic
estimated proceeds from the sale of parcels along Route 589, who owns the EDU’s
of those parcels, etc.)

They can also re-evaluate Mr. Olson’s contract to make
sure his interests are in sync with that of the community; not the interests of
the board that hired him. Unfortunately I can’t believe anything this board has
to say.

Leonard J. Nemec

Ocean Pines

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