Voices From The Readers

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Program Deserves County Funding

Editor:

We support Worcester County State’s Attorney Joel Todd’s recommendation that the mediator program be made a permanent line in the county budget.

Two years ago, we became involved in a dispute with a neighbor that escalated to police involvement and our going to court to seek a restraining order. Judge Gerald Purnell referred our case to mediator Katherine Cropper, who distilled our dispute into a series of concrete issues and brokered a mutually-agreeable written agreement that allowed us all to take actions that defused the disagreement. A stressful and potentially dangerous conflict was resolved in two, 90-minute meetings. About a year ago, the neighbor repeated some behavior that did not conform to the agreement. A call to Ms. Cropper corrected the situation within minutes. Otherwise, the agreement has held up and avoided further costly and time-consuming involvement by police and the courts. The service was free, but doubtlessly resulted in significant net savings to the county.

In her article, “Grant Extends Office’s Mediator Program”, Cara Dahl details the successful resolution of 35 of 37 cases referred to the mediator’s office in the past two years, which is a remarkable record. As with emergency services, we hope that our fellow citizens never need this program, but it is worth our complete and permanent support. The resulting financial benefits and civil harmony greatly exceed the program’s modest cost.

While Todd’s current request is not tied to Ms. Cropper’s filling the position, we would like to compliment her on her negotiating skills and caring. She is a direct, committed and focused county official. Todd’s creation of the program is visionary. Let’s recognize their good work by making the mediator program a permanent part of the county court system.

Benjamin and Beate Beck

Newark

Facts Do Not Back Up Pillas’ Comments

Editor:

For the past 10 years, I have been the coordinator for Ocean City Irish Student Outreach, a group that has been looking out for the welfare of students who come over from Ireland to work in Ocean City for the summer.

There is no one in Ocean City that has been closer to the Irish students than me. I have assisted the students with housing and jobs and never during this time have I received one complaint about their work ethics or productivity. On the contrary, there are businesses who hire Irish students year after year after year. Currently, there is one Boardwalk establishment that has hired 15 Irish students and I have had several requests from businesses specifically for Irish workers.

That having been said, how can Margaret Pillas say, as she was quoted in another paper, that the Irish kids were unsuccessful and did not show up for work because of their partying. I think Mrs. Pillas should get her facts straight before making such disparaging remarks about one ethnic group.

At the end of last summer, I wrote letters to a number of Ocean City businesses complimenting them on the exemplary way in which they treated the Irish students they employed. I wonder if Mrs. Pillas as a Boardwalk employer ever received such a letter.

Bill Ferguson

Ocean City

(The writer is the coordinator of the Ocean City Irish Student Outreach and a member of the Mayor’s Seasonal Workforce Committee.)

Support For Pillas

Editor:

This is a positive comment/observation on one of the most objective, responsible and honest persons I have the honor to meet in my 79 years on this earth –Margaret Pillas.

One of the first things I learned from my grandparents and my parents was to have respect for honesty and integrity. Later, I learned from reading Shakespeare, “This above all to thine own self be true and it follows as the night does the day thou canst not be false to any man”.

Margaret Pillas has that kind of truth, that kind of integrity. When asked by a local reporter of her opinion on workers from other countries, she replied from her own experience (she and her husband Perry own a store on the Boardwalk). They had hired many young students for their shop. In her 40-minute interview, she had many positive things to say about all workers. A small part of what she said had to do with some of them with Irish background. They had a proclivity to “party”. This did not mean they drank. It did mean they stayed up late, then came to work late and did not work. Ultimately, they ran out of gas before end of summer. They put a burden on their employers and their fellow workers. Margaret did not seek out the Irish (she herself has Irish in her heritage). She, as an employer, pointed out the absence of responsibility of some of her workers who happened to come from Ireland. None of the good things she said about their other workers got printed. Shame on the reporter and/or editor who did not include the entire interview in the published article.

Those who have taken Margaret Pillas to task wear their hearts on their sleeves. All Irish are great. We are Irish, therefore we are great. Yet, people are individuals. Some have good traits. Some do not. Judge us all as individuals; judge us not as part of a group. My paternal grandfather immigrated from County Cork, Ireland. He went on to become a judge in the Federal Court of Bankruptcy. He never went to college or law school. He was an individual. I revere him. My three other grandparents were born in Sweden. They all taught me to look at the individual and see, know, him or her, then decide.

That’s what Margaret has done. We who have viewed her actions as an Ocean City councilwoman have seen a hard working person who seeks all opinions, listens to all and she does her homework. That is her reputation. I attend every session of the council. I observe, take notes, watch and listen. Margaret asks pertinent questions. She is prepared to function as a councilwoman. What her detractors have not done is not only look at the whole individual, but also, is see what they read in an article or hear from others who don’t know or care to know the whole person or the whole story.

I, for one, who am not Margaret Pillas, but me, salute her. I wish there were others such as her in this world. I will pass on knowing Margaret Pillas is still here being the person she is.

Jim McGinniss

Ocean City

Iowa Help Appreciated

Editor:

Hello from water-logged Iowa.

I just read your article, “Company Moves Quickly To Help Flooding Victims,” about Royal Plus heading our way to assist in the clean up and aid in central Iowa as a result of the recent rains here. How proud I am to be a ‘displaced’ Marylander here in Iowa. You’ll find the people in Iowa are humble about aid and will gladly accept any that comes our way. They do not automatically assume our government will come to our rescue – we help each other first and if the additional aid comes, we’ll take it.

I’ve been fortunate in my hometown, only to have suffered some water in our basement – nothing that couldn’t be taken care of with some mops, buckets and a good steady drain, but only an hour from me, it was 10 times worse.

I’m proud to display my Iowa license plate that reads…”OCMD”. Ocean City is my favorite spot in the USA and I’ve had my “OCMD” plate since 1995. Now it takes on an even greater message knowing the folks from Royal Plus ventured this way to help my neighbors and friends hit worse than me … someone from ‘home’.

Thanks again and maybe someday, we can return the favor.

Henrietta Huebschman

Jefferson, Iowa

No Other Way But OC

Editor:

It hardly seems as though another first day of summer, June 21, has arrived.

For me, it is number 80. Although I have owned a non-rental condo in OC since 1982. I have been a resident and voter since 1998. I really would not relocate anywhere else, recognizing, clearly, I am in a retired status.

As I reflect back, I guess I got my first taste of a toursim town when my aunt and uncle owned hotels in Hampton Beach, N.H. and St. Petersburg, Fla. In those days, everyone closed up on Labor Day and opened on Memorial Day. I "slept" and ate with the help. How well I remember the big Packard going north or south as the seasons changed. And all on Route 1, a four-day trip.

And these tourism towns are very different from the average ones we all sprung from. Without tourism, the town does not function, even though condos are now in vogue. And of the $19 billion in assessed real estate in Worcester County nearly $12 billion is in OC. Ocean City is the big Gorilla in the room, being about 1/100th of the land area of the county. And, no matter what, it is all about tourism, plain and simple, and the domestic and foreign workers that make it go.

We are all aware of the rising costs, including gas, energy, food and taxes. These costs shows up in all the tourism venues and the room and menu and activity prices. As for me, I am now using the town bus a lot. I get to appreciate all the workers coming and going that make the system work. Some asleep in their seats on the bus. I have decided to keep my daily gas use down to a teacup full. And shut off the electricity when not needed. Eat wisely. And taxes, I can’t do that much about, but appreciate my status as an OC resident. Being a child of the Depression, like so many others, I have long since learned how natural this restraint all comes.

So, it is fair to say there is a gentle mix of locals and a huge mix to tourists to make OC go. For some reason the system seems to work as so, so many, including our mayor, town council, key town employees and the various associations pull hard to keep the visitors coming to town. A lot of bozos slip in that we could rather not have. Ocean City is my spot on the planet, along with Callie II, the feral cat. All of my off-spring, from kids, to grandkids, to great-grandkids continue to think of Ocean City as "their" town. I, and they, would have it no other way. I heartily encourage others to make it, or keep it, theirs, too.

Ray Sawyer

Ocean City

No To Parking Lot Sale

Editor:

The Ocean Pines Board of Directors has directed Tom Olson to obtain a written offer to sell the Ocean Pines Beach Parking on the bayside. Please stop this action immediately. I regularly use the Ocean Pines Beach Club and the bayside parking lot is needed.

The Ocean Pines Beach Club has been known as the “cash cow” of Ocean Pines. The membership supports and exceeds its expenditures and has for years kept other amenities a float.

Ocean Pines is not totally built out. And the board should be increasing parking, not even think about selling. The board should be stewards of our amenities. I don’t care if the offer is for $50 million. Once it is gone, it is gone. Right now it is priceless.

Becky Lawson

Ocean Pines

Kudos To A Fine Lady

Editor:

I am a regular on the shore transit bus now. We used to have two cars, but since the ever rising gas prices, we gave one of our cars to one of our grandchildren.

The bus service is excellent. Even with tight schedules, you can depend on the bus service.

Some of the buses are in the process of repairing the air-conditioning, but the drivers do not complain.

The other day when I got on the bus all the seats were taken. I thought I would be standing up awhile but a young lady, way in the back, sat on the floor so I would have a seat. She had a Trimper’s Rides employee uniform on and had brown pants and an orange and yellow top on. I thanked her, of course, but did not get her name, but she knows who she is.

What a great advertisement for Trimper’s Rides and how proud her parents must be to have a daughter like her.

Marlene Uhl

Newark

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