Simply Provides Voice
(The following letter is in response to Tony Christ’s letter last week encouraging a no vote to unions in the upcoming election.)
It is pointless to expend any more of your energy towards insisting that each member of the Ocean City Council publicly state whether they are for or against collective bargaining. The decision has been made to place the issue on the ballot and whether those rights will be extended to all Ocean City government employees will be determined democratically by residents like you.
Collective bargaining is a voice in the workplace. It facilitates open constructive communications between the employee representative group and the employer regarding issues such as pay, health care, retirement, worker safety and other work conditions. The IAFF (firefighters) and FOP (police) unions in Ocean City have shared a good relationship with the city. We work together with mutual respect and understanding to make fair decisions in the best interest of everyone, especially the citizens.
We don’t strike, walkout, picket, etc. not only because our contracts and labor code forbid it, but because we are also part of the community, tax paying citizens like you, middle class, trying to make a decent living. We also care about our town and our careers.
As employees, we just want some security and reassurance that we will be able to continue to serve the city as they have served us. A collective voice. I agree with you Mr. Christ that Franklin D. Roosevelt was a tireless defender of labor rights. Instead of Joe Hall and Brent Ashley standing with FDR against public union collective bargaining, they should stand with FDR when he said “Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country”.
(The writer is the president of the Career Fire Fighter Paramedics Association of Ocean City, IAFF Local 4269.)
What’s Lawsuit Goal?
In the Sept. 7 issue of your paper, there was an article concerning the Hudson Farm lawsuit. It seems that the Hudson family’s lawyer wanted the judge to visit the site, and the Waterkeeper Alliance, on the other hand, didn’t, citing “the conditions of the Hudson farm may have changed over time.”
Isn’t that the whole reason of the lawsuit? It has been two years since the state of this farce. If the conditions haven’t changed by now, what is the real goal of the lawsuit? The Waterkeepers seem to think that the lawsuit is more important than fixing the problem.
Say No To Union
I’d like to ask the voters of Ocean City to consider not voting for bargaining rights for general employees.
The employees don’t need it and I suspect many don’t want it and the rest are apathetic about it and will just go along either way.
Voting for a union will put an outside party between the town and employees that I believe will harm us rather than help us. Imagine if you will a labor strike called on Memorial Day weekend. What would that do for our businesses, guests and residents? How would the town function without garbage collection, maintenance, water, wastewater, recreation and public works and 100,000 people in town? What would this town be with empty rooms and restaurants and businesses? How would we look to vacationing families walking around City Hall with picket signs and garbage piled up on the roads and sidewalks?
I ask because the same union that was holding Chicago hostage with a teachers strike, leaving 350,000 kids without school for over a week is the same one that will represent Ocean City employees, namely AFT.
Unions care about their due-paying members and their bottom lines and nothing else, hence the timing of most strikes. Unions also protect workers who can’t or won’t do their jobs. I have seen examples of this first hand.
These protections affect other workers who watch people not working and feel they don’t have to work either, snow ball effect.
Then you end up with people who just collect a check and nothing gets done, as long as union dues are paid that’s all that matters. You’ve heard the phrase, “that’s my job.” Union employees would be told only to do one job. Drive a truck? Well, you better get a union window washer to clean the windshield or you’re in trouble. Need the oil checked? Better be sure to have a union mechanic do it.
If you do it yourself, you’re in hot water. I know this because as a 20-year-old kid I was a union truck driver and tried to check my truck’s oil. Major reprimand. These types of things disrupt commonsense work practices and add major cost to doing business.
In a company that would mean raising the price of products to cover union demands. In a municipality, it would mean raising taxes to cover costs. I personally have enough demands on my paycheck and I’ll bet you do, too.
Ocean City is lucky to have good, hard-working employees and they should be treated with the respect they all deserve. Maybe referendum raises or maybe set up a voluntary employee committee to deal with issues, but let’s vote AFT out. They’re not going to do us any good, just ask any one of the 350,000 schools kids in Chicago.
In March of 1952, I was a Navy Airman stationed at Quonset Point Air Base in Rhode Island. It was a large air base located on the shores of Newport Bay with several thousand Naval and Marine personnel. As at most large military bases, Quonset Point was “self contained”. There was a movie theatre, stores, tennis courts, baseball fields, churches, a Credit Union, and whatever else was necessary to keep the “troops” happy in case they were not able to go into Cranston for liberty.
Also at most Naval Bases, the security was assigned to Marines. These Marines were very adept at their primary duties, i.e. guarding the main gate and base perimeter, and manning the brig. Oh, I didn’t mention that the base had a very large and very full brig containing mostly wayward Navy sailors and airmen. I can still see these prisoners being marched, double speed to and from the mess hall guarded by a team of Marines all armed with .45 caliber semi-automatic pistols, and one who carried a .30 caliber semi-automatic carbine rifle. (All weapons assumed to be locked and loaded with ammunition.)
At the main gate (leading out to freedom) was stationed one Marine for outgoing, and one for incoming. Each of them were dressed in spotless and pressed khaki uniforms with a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol in a white holster at their side on a white web belt with two extra ammo magazines. The sentries were pretty well armed, or so it seemed.
As mentioned, our base had a Credit Union which usually held a fair amount of cash. On the 7th of March, bank robbers decided the cash in that Credit Union was worth robbing. They did just that and raced through the exit of the main gate with the two Marines shouting at them to stop. Remember, each of the Marines was armed with a pistol, but what didn’t come out until after this robbery, was that they had no ammunition for their pistols, neither in the pistol nor in their two extra magazines.
Until these recent attacks on our Embassies in Libya and Egypt, did this incident come to mind. From what I understand, even though there are armed Marines at most of our Embassies, some do not have ammunition for their weapons. This is unbelievable. Our rules of engagement should always include ammunition for our Marines’ weapons. They are there to protect our American officials from mobs like these and should have proper armament to do so. How shameful. You would think that back in 1952 to today someone would learn a lesson.
There is only one thing more dangerous than carrying a loaded gun in plain sight, and that is, carrying an unloaded one in plain sight.
Thanks To All
Last week the Ocean City Art League held its largest ever cocktail reception fundraiser to honor the owners of the homes on the 2012 Sand Castle Home Tour. Named “A Party In Paradise” because it was held at the magnificent home of Palmer Gillis and Sandy James, it could also have been called “A Perfect Evening” due to the beautiful setting, lovely weather and sunset, great food and music and nice people..
The party committee thanks everyone who made this such a successful event that raised over $7,000 for the ALOC. Thank you to Palmer Gillis and Sandy James for being the most gracious hosts ever and for sharing their beautiful home that is a work of art in itself! Thank you to the Gateway Grand Residences for generously sponsoring the event and for their support of the ALOC.
Thank you to Connor Poole, Chris Poole, and Jessi Maddy, three students from Stephen Decatur High School who provided the entertainment (They deserve community service for the evening.) Thank you to the caterer, Waterman’s Inn in Crisfield, the bartender, Tim Carven, the beverage “runner”, Ed Galyon, and to Parties Your Way, Copy Central, Pepsi Bottling Co. and Ish Boutique. Thanks also to ALOC volunteers Ann Hansen, Betty Stork, Caroline Anthony, Stasia Huebeck and Jody Veader, to all the artists who painted beautiful paintings for the 2012 homeowners, and to the homeowners themselves who have graciously opened their homes for the Home Tour.
Lastly, thanks to Katy Durham and Rina Thaler for their guidance and their drive throughout the entire planning process.
By the time, this letter goes to print, the ALOC will be in its second day of its largest fundraiser of the year, the 2012 Sand Castle home tour. We hope your readers have had the opportunity to attend the cocktail party and to take the tour and if not, to be sure to mark their calendar for next September. Our beautiful new OC Center for the Arts is under construction on 94th Street and we need the community’s help to make it a reality. Please stop by our temporary location on 94th Street in the Superfresh shopping center and learn how you can help support the arts in Ocean City.
Many thanks to all who attended the party.
Jamie Albright, Rebecca Galyon, Nancy Rider, Christina Pohland and Jenny Carven
(The writers are members of the 2012 ALOC Sandcastle Home Tour Cocktail Party Committee.)
Fair Support Recognized
The Keenwick Sound Fair Committee thanks all who contributed to the success of the 18th Annual Fair. We appreciate the support and help from the community and we especially thank the following boosters:
Roxanna Fire Dept; Atlantic General Hospital; Red White and Blue Quilts; Easter Seals; Alzheimer Assoc.; Kendall Home Furnishings; Ruark Golf; Delmarva Two-way Radio; Deer Run Golf; Bayville Package Store; CPR Delaware; Bank of Delmarva; Energy Gym 24/7; Treasure Beach General Store; Mia Fratello; K & J Everything $6.00; Brasure’s Carpet Care; Smitty McGee’s; Floaters; PNC Bank; Hemmingway’s at the Coral Reef Restaurant; Dumser’s Ice Cream; Giant Food; Bayside Liquors; The Blue Scoop; Original Smith Island Cake Co.; Bayville Postal Services; Em-Ing’s; Fisher’s Popcorn; Bayside Rug Company; Roy’s Place Hair Salon; Fenwick Bike Shop; Food Lion; Bethany Florist; Jimmy’s Kitchen; Ruddo’s Golf; China Express; Doyle’s Restaurant; Harpoon Hanna’s; Murphy’s Bar & Grill; Primo Hoagies; Fenwick Bike Rental; Ken’s Bayside & Pizza; Cactus Café; Lobster Shanty; Ocean Side Pizza; Fenwick Crabhouse; Georgia House; Fenwick Crabhouse; Old Pro Golf; North Bay Boat Marina; Donna’s Beauty Salon; Natural Creations Garden; and Melvin Long.
Thanks to the Dispatch for keeping us in touch with our community.
Keenwick Sound Homeowners Association
Party Nights Best Ever
On behalf of the Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC), we would like to thank the Town of Ocean City and the many local nonprofit organizations for partnering with us to make this year’s Sunset Park Party Nights music series the best to date.
We are especially grateful to Bill Paul and his Recreation Boosters who sold beverages at each music event to raise funds for youth programs at Northside Park.
Also thanks to Greg Shockley and Shenanigans Irish Pub and Grille for donating the beer sold by the Recreation Boosters. We look forward to an even better 2013 music season at Sunset Park.
(Givarz is the OCDC president and Irwin is OCDC’s executive director.)