Voices From The Readers

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OC Needs To Keep Costs To Visit Down

Editor:

I am upset that Ocean City has once again entertained the idea of raising costs to business owners with a proposed room tax hike that will certainly be passed on to our tourists.

I wish that someone would listen to why people are not coming to this resort anymore. I have owned and rented several properties in this town for the past 12 years and the reason is easy to see for those who care. Ocean City used to be a town where vacations were affordable to the average family. Every time you increase taxes and expenses to business owners they must increase costs to vacationers to stay in business. You take away long time favorite places like “Shantytown” to build million dollar homes, threaten family ride legend Trimper’s and tear down family “affordable” motels like the Beachcomber and Chalet where the same families come back to every year. You never had a problem filling these two places every season. The list is endless and shameful. Did anyone ever think to send questionnaires out to ask tourists what is important to them about this beach resort so rich in beauty and tradition? I think not.

The heart and soul of Ocean City’s visitors was once made up of working class families that looked forward to coming here each year. Now they are looking elsewhere. You can advertise a $50,000 car all you want but you will sell a lot more at $20,000.

A logo on a recent Ocean City ad said, “More fun here”. Why don’t we work on “More value here” and bring the families back to stay?

Bruce Johnson

All For Guard Parking

Editor:

The subject is designated street parking for lifeguards.

I was amazed to read Council President Joe Mitrecic’s statement, "I don’t want designated spots" reported in the Aug. 17 issue of The Dispatch. I assumed any resident of Ocean City would support our lifeguards without reservation, I was wrong.

My telephone conversation with Mitrecic to understand his position ended with our agreeing to disagree on this issue. His reasoning as I understand is a lifeguard arriving for a shift, finding someone parked illegally in the designated space would be faced with the problems of notifying the police, arranging towing and finding another space possibly delaying their beach arrival. Now, by planning ahead, they know where spaces are available.

As a north OC resident, I see the lifeguards often walking two blocks or more lugging all their equipment from a space. I believe a clearly signed and possibly red lined designated space next to the beach is appropriate as is the ticketing and towing of space violators. I do not believe the lifeguard needs to deal directly with space violators but could find another space and later notify their sector supervisor and let the OCPD take care of the violator.

Perhaps other residents and OC visitors should express their opinion to the Mayor and Council about this issue.

Mike Glynn

Ocean City

It’s All In The Figures

Editor:

It’s called, "do the math." The city needs to unload at least a couple of money losing ventures; namely, get out of the convention business by contracting out the convention’s facility – a constant money shortcoming. Get the money up front rather than relying on an agency to draw groups, then showing debit figures. Next, dump Eagle’s Landing Golf Course. How many years has it been that this operation has been an Albatross on O.C.’s budget and a burden on taxpayers? Now, according to sources, Pam’s Golf Getaway is in debt to O.C. big time.

Herein, I submit a proposal that can alleviate some drain on our coffers: have your Mayor and Council members become dollar a year employees. I’d wager Mayor Rick Meehan is a millionaire plus. How much money does he make with selling real estate? Then, as far as I know some of the council’s people are independent business owners – Jim Hall sells real estate, Lloyd Martin is a business owner, Pillas too, etc.

They all love Ocean City and live here or nearby. Certainly, they’re endeared enough to give up their wages for their hometown and the good they can do for the area. After all, do they want to have these jobs because of the money or is it due to their genuine devotion for serving the people of Ocean City?

Use the money saved in this new approach to fiscal responsibility and allow our police chief, Bernadette DiPino, to hire the criminalologist she needs for a safer resort. She was willing to give up a police position months ago for the specialist she wanted. I urge you, voters, to get behind these novel ideas to save our dollars and put them to better usage.

Further, with the hotel, motel and restaurant owners, plus other businesses crying the blues over not having enough money to sell Ocean City through advertising, it’s their responsibility to fund the project. And I don’t really think that loss of visitors can be solely attributed to insufficient promoting. Potential visitors along with those who have been here are constantly being made aware of so many hazards that are prevalent. – read the papers, week in/week out that tell about muggings, all types of vandalism, car thefts, embezzlement, drunken driving, drugs, alcohol violations, the cannibalism by the Sifrits, a few years ago. Now, recently, a gory horror strory detailing information about a local business woman and the police finding fetuses.

Another deterrent is the fact that O.C. is a trash sty. On any given morning during a mile and a half walk, yes, in Caine Woods and Coastal Hwy, I’ll pick up three to five grocery bags of plastic bottles, beer bottles, cans, discarded food items, cigarette boxes, and much more – even condoms. Don”t believe me? Come walk with me. Having observed for many years, the closer one travels south into O.C., the more ugly the litter picture is. Is this what vacationers want to come to? I doubt it. They can see and have all of this where they live.

Jerry Courtney

Ocean City

AGH Applauded

Editor:

On behalf of my husband and myself, I would like to publicly thank the staff of Atlantic General Hospital for the wonderful care they delivered to my husband during his recent stay at the hospital.

He was in the Critical Care Unit for most of that time but from the moment the ambulance arrived to the time he was discharged, his medical care could not have been better.

The nursing staff in the CCU was not only knowledgeable and professional but so caring and considerate of his needs that I could not have asked for better care. From the doctors to the nurses to the tech staff and the aides, I was impressed and will be forever grateful.

Thanks AGH.

Pat Schrawder

West Ocean City

Product Is Worth Worrying About

Editor:

So figures show that the number of vacationers is going down. Maybe it is the high prices for rooms, food, drinks, etc. So what you do is raise your price, i.e. room tax that will bring them back. You would think Ocean City has the only beach on the East Coast.

A couple of hours south, there are plenty of beaches with cheaper prices. I bet their occupancy is going up while O.C. goes down. We don’t want slots anywhere in Maryland because people will spend their O.C. money on them instead of bringing their money here. Well Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia has slots and their tags are seen here.

The powers to be should be more worried about their product than where people spend their money. No slots then I see the mayor touring the Funcade casino. Sure they don’t pay off in money, they pay off in junk. Come on in little kids play our poker machines we will give you a pencil. Have you noticed how the town wants all the advertising dollars? The buses can have it but cabs can’t, the trash cans have it but an EZ Cruiser can’t even advertise on the back of their seats where only the customer would see it. The Kite Loft can put kites on the beach advertising their store. Why can’t Thrashers have a giant French fry balloon or Bull on the Beach a roast beef balloon on the beach. The answer is greed.

Bill George

Bishopville

We Need The Money

Editor:

Slots, Slots and more Slots. An issue which has been around quite some time and still catches the views of many. Just this morning in the local newspaper were some views from readers on slots. And after reading your “freebie” with comments, I just had to make myself heard.

In visiting out of state, Delaware, Virginia and New Jersey and seeing automobiles with Maryland tags parked in their parking lots, why not on Maryland casino or racetrack lots? The revenue could help with the deficit. We need that money and keep Marylanders in Maryland.

As for crime that may come with slots, look at the number of pages with Cops & Courts in your freebie now.

Besides Ocean Downs or Havre de Grace are not Ocean City nor are slots proposed for O.C. Just more development of condos depending on what Trimper’s decides in October.

Just my thoughts for keeping Maryland in the green.

Arthur “Otts” Trabert

Salisbury

Thanks For Support

Editor:

With great pleasure and humble gratitude, we would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the Lower Shore community for its generosity in helping to make a difference for so many of our neighbors in need. We recently had the opportunity to announce a record United Way impact of $1,248,500 for health and human services programs in Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset, and Dorchester Counties. Outside of government, this is the largest program funding announcement ever on the Lower Shore, and the largest for United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore since the organization was founded 63 years ago.

We know that this historic announcement would not have been possible without the kindness and compassion demonstrated by many local businesses, organizations, and individuals. From someone donating one dollar per week through payroll deduction to the donor contributing $25,000, our united effort toward improving people’s lives is making a strong and lasting impact in our community.

As we embark on our 2007 United Way campaign, we extend our sincere and heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make the 2006 campaign so successful. We are looking forward to building on this success and continuing to make a difference for so many in our community.

Kathleen Mommé

Constance Strott

Bill Middleton

Thanks To Community

Editor:

To all of you in Ocean City, I would like to express my deepest gratitude for your many prayers and acts of love and support for my son, Raymundo Martinez of the Dominican Republic, and for our family. You have shown us the love of God and his loving presence that is everywhere in a very special way, here in Maryland.

In particular, I cannot help but mention Anne Marie Conestible, who represents the CETUSA student exchange program. She is a wonderful human being who has practically been a second mother to Raymundo after his accident. I would also like to mention Father Robert Wojtek, the pastor of the Catholic community of St. Michael/St. Patrick in Fells Point, Baltimore. Both of them have walked with us through this experience that has radically changed our lives and deserve our love and respect.

I would like you all to know that God’s love is flowing through each one of your hearts and it’s that same love that is healing, cleansing and binding the pains and wounds of my son Raymundo. Thank you for opening your hearts and allowing that love to flow to our family. Please know that all your help and collaboration will be blessed and multiplied by God. Once again, many thanks to all.

Ramon Martinez

Rude Comments Not Fit For OPA Leader

Editor:
(The following letter was written to OPA Board President Bill Zawacki.)

In regard to your comments during the recent Organizational Meeting of the OPA Board, I feel it was most inappropriate and inaccurate of you to read out of context from a series of emails regarding my respectful response to an inquiry on the bylaws. The email that I sent to the directors was in response to a breakdown in communication and follow up between the by-laws committee and the board on an agreed upon and approved process for soliciting feedback on the proposed Bylaw changes. Your email response to me on why and how this happened is somewhat different than what was reported to me by staff. For you to further infer that I disrespect the advisory committees of Ocean Pines is totally absurd and could not be further from the truth. My board resolutions and actions of the past three years as well as my parting remarks at the July meeting speak of an entirely different story.

Regardless of what transpired between these emails, I didn’t think it was worth any further discussion. Or so I thought until you decided to use portions of it to support your campaign for president of the board. While you did not mention me specifically by name, you made it quite obvious to whom you were referring. This surprised and concerned me.

Is this the caliber of a president who will be receptive to the diverse opinions and concerns of his constituents if they differ from his? Will this president resort to misrepresentation and snide remarks if someone dares to challenge his opinion or position? You say you are a man of few words, but are the words you choose to use, words that are intended to demeanor and disrespect an individual?

Your choice of words to support your campaign for president of the board were completely unnecessary and uncalled for. But they were indicative of your true nature as an individual.

I hope you will be able to overcome this nature in order to better serve our community as president of the Board of Directors.

Heather Cook

Ocean Pines

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