Applauding Mayor’s Veto

Mailbox_and_flag_5k2

Editor:

I would like to commend Mayor Rick Meehan, for his veto of seven proposed ordinances which could have made deep cuts to the Ocean City employees payroll and benefit packages. My kudos to the mayor is not for the substance of his veto but rather for his concern that we “know what we are doing and the impact on our Ocean City workforce.”

I have watched all the council deliberations on our local cable and quite frankly have been shocked at the cavalier and somewhat non-professional approach of some of the council members.

As a property owner, I have always felt the Ocean City employees (whether bus drivers, maintenance personnel or other officials) have been outstanding in their commitment to public service.

I am president and CEO of MRF Consulting, LLC, in Rockville. My firm specializes in HRM Management with particular emphasis on compensations and benefits. This area is the most difficult in the human resource arena since it involves long-term planning at an interface with the management process.

A mere 4-3 vote should not and will not serve our city well in the future. I strongly support Mayor Meehan’s recent appeal to take the time and effort to get this issue right, so we may all benefit from this difficult process.

Thank you Mayor Meehan and Council members for your efforts on behalf of Ocean City.

Bob McCarthy
Ocean City

Just Legalize It

Editor:

Marijuana legalization has been a hotly debated topic for many years now and there is a groundswell of support for it in some form by many in our country.

What has turned the tide in the debate regarding marijuana over the years you might ask? The simple answer is science. The medical community has studied marijuana more extensively and has concluded that it is not nearly as destructive to users as was previously propagandized by the "reefer madness" crowd from the beginning of the last century. In fact, it has found that there are actual medicinal benefits for users like an enzyme that prevents tumors in the lungs. It has long been known for its benefits to glaucoma patients in relieving pressure in the eyes, and it is effective for patients undergoing chemotherapy because of its anti-nausea properties and also encourages patients to gain much needed nourishment through eating.

In the article "Police Chief Rails Against Pot Legalization", Chief DiPino does not reference any of these benefits of marijuana use. How can decisions about public policy that affect us all be based on ignorance of the facts? She also mentioned a "lot of money backing the push for this (legalization)". Money like the $1,000 a user was just fined by Worcester County for being charged with possession? Just read the paper each week and you’ll see more marijuana arrests and convictions than any other crime. Do you feel safer citizens?

The Chief is somewhat correct in her statement. There is a lot of money involved in this fight. But the money is on the side of law enforcement and the government. They stand to lose a bunch of revenue the minute they can no longer arrest peaceful, freedom-loving pot smokers. For the record, I do not smoke pot lest I be considered just another pot head fighting to use my drug of choice. But I believe the facts bear out that criminalizing it has been an utter failure.

Unless you consider the additional monies it has brought into government coffers, because that has been wildly successful. And does anyone find it ironic that a government that can outlaw the use of a mild drug such as marijuana experimented with LSD on housewives back in the 1950′s? That information came out recently and it shows how hypocritical our governments truly can be.

Also, alcohol use is much more damaging to the user and to society in loss of productivity in work, to violent domestic disputes, to killing innocent people in auto accidents. Yet that remains legal due to the large amounts of money involved.

Let non-violent marijuana offenders out of prison. Let people with medical conditions have access to a drug that works. Let recreational users choose marijuana if they please.

The time has come. Legalize it now.

Kelly Wilson
Ocean Pines

Pot Letters Miss Point

Editor:

The Jan. 21 edition of The Dispatch contained three Letters to the Editor expressing displeasure with Ocean City enforcement of marijuana laws, and special displeasure toward Police Chief Bernadette DiPino for actually enforcing the law.

A Massachusetts writer decries Chief DiPino’s “strident opposition,” stating that possibly not all of her 100 police officers agree with their chief, and asks that they be polled for their opinion.

The esteemed writer from Oregon suggests that Chief DiPino “investigate the origins of this Cannabis Prohibition that they are such cheerleaders for.”

The lone writer from Maryland (a “retired detective/officer” no less) exclaims that Chief DiPino “… supports marijuana prohibition but never explained why.” This man should know better.

Chief DiPino’s job (and the officers who serve under her command) is not to explain their “conclusions” about marijuana prohibition but, rather, to enforce the law.

The three letters possess the similar intelligence one might expect from marijuana decriminalization advocates. Chief DiPino has held her position since 2003 and, since that time, has not passed a single piece of legislation. She is part of the Executive Branch. The police enforce laws passed by the legislature.

As far as obtaining support from her citizens, Chief DiPino has received a Citizen of the Year award from the Knights of Columbus; honored as a Hometown Hero by the Delmarva Shorebirds; and received a Public Service Award from the Ancient Hibernians. She is Secretary for the Maryland Municipal League Police Executive Association and served on the Governor’s Task Force for Missing and Vulnerable Adults. Chief DiPino is also the current President of the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association, and is a member of the International Chiefs of Police Association.

I would suggest that our Oregon writer visit Neskowin Beach and our Massachusetts writer visit Hyannis Beach and not be burdened by Ocean City law enforcement. Maybe they will find a more tolerant police force in their so-called progressive states.

Angelo Floria
Ocean City

Wrong For Government
To Right A Greedy Wrong

Editor:

So as a life-long resident let me make sure I understand this completely. People that are not from here bought real estate being sold by greedy developers who tried to shoehorn buildings onto every square inch of land. These are same people who destroyed longtime landmarks like Stinky Beach (along with the pine forest that was next to it), every other available piece of shoreline they could find and even Shantytown so they can have a place to spend the weekend.

The same people who hire security guards to make sure that nobody can see the fireworks from directly across the bay, while they are not even visiting. The same people whose homes were built atop fill dirt that was given little time settle, right on the water’s edge.

The same people who built the enormous vacation homes that most true locals, or their kids, will never be able to afford. The same people whose vacation homes raised the average home values so high that the people who grew up in Ocean City with me, and their kids, are forced to move away for affordable houses. These people now want to use public dollars, my money, to fix their private problem? Seriously?

Even during the times when every public coffer is running empty, when there is concern about funding education and public safety they have the nerve to ask for help from the County and the Army Corps of Engineers? I thought the lessons of Katrina and the problems with the National Flood Insurance Program had shed enough light on the issues with using public dollars to bail out (no pun intended) properties subject to repeat water damage. If I had built a house under a tree could I ask the county to trim the branches?

Jason Hearne
Berlin

Wage Increase Not A
Help For Economy
Editor:

Advocates of a minimum wage increase in Maryland claim it will help stimulate the state economy (“Minimum Wage Of $10 Per Hour Pitched,” The Dispatch, Jan. 21). They may wish that were the case, but the economic evidence shows otherwise.  

New research from Dr. Joseph Sabia, a labor economist at West Point, demonstrates that past increases in the minimum wage have had no positive effect on overall economic growth — and can even have a negative effect on the output of certain industries that employ less-experienced employees. 
That’s not the only unintended consequence of a wage hike. The research also finds that each 10 percent increase in the minimum wage decreases teen employment by 3.6 percent.

Less business output and lost jobs – hardly the way to help workers and stimulate Maryland’s economy.

Michael Saltsman
Washington, DC
(The writer is a Research Fellow at the Employment Policies Institute.)