Voices From The Readers
(The following letter was sent to the Mayor and Council and a copy forwarded to this publication.)
I was denied parking on the Wicomico Street parking lot that has three spaces for motorcycles. Being I have a handicap sticker due to have a right knee complete replacement, my husband has bought a trike so that I may ride.
We went to our usual parking place that has assigned three spaces for “Motorcycles Only” (painted on curb). I always paid to park there because someone would steal our permit. But as we pulled in we were told that we need a Dew Tour parking pass.
After a long heated discussion with three very nasty people and one officer, I asked to sell me a pass on the spot and was told no and if I don’t like it take it up with City Hall and speak with Mayor Rick Meehan.
Sir, I live here year-round I know that this tour brings in a lot of money, but I feel with being a senior citizen and having disabilities that parking close to the boards should be taken into consideration for local disabled. Not to mention that we did not attend our pizza place, sale lost to local storeowner also.
Long after this tour leaves town, we who still live here help keep the shops open. No one could have parking in spots but motorcycles due to such small spaces. We would have not hurt anyone or anything parked on the lot.Matter handled very poorly.
Strategic Plan A Must
I was very pleased to hear that the mayor and council supported Mr. Recor’s initiative of building a strategic plan for the town. Although this may sound pretty boring to most of us, it could be a huge step forward.
Ocean City, like most government entities (and many businesses), simply produce a one-year operating budget that sets targets for current revenues and expenses. A strategic plan looks into the future and goes beyond a single set of numbers. The plan will articulate who we are, what we do, what we want to be and, most importantly, how to get us there.
Some components of the plan will be very interesting and telling -- the town's vision/mission statement will articulate how our elected officials see us now and in the future. The analysis of our town’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (S.W.O.T.) will crystallize their views. A competitive analysis will compare us to other similar towns, such as Virginia Beach.
Perhaps the most important element is the creation of a real marketing plan that supports this overall strategic plan and would be a key component of getting us where we want to be. The debate over renewing the MGH contract is not as relevant as establishing a marketing plan. Our current marketing seems to be an elementary advertising process that produces ads to increase tourism. These ads certainly must have some impact but there is no direct evidence to measure their effectiveness.
A marketing plan will take our goals of “what we want to be” and “who we want to attract” and build an advertising campaign to do so. It will incorporate critical measurements to gauge its effectiveness. Most importantly, it should gather much needed information and answers to questions like “Why do people choose to come to Ocean City", “Why are people choosing to go elsewhere”, “How do visitors and potential residents view us vs. our competition”, etc.
The building and execution of the plans will require the inclusion of all interested parties and it will be essential for the Mayor and Council to compromise and cooperate on critical visions and ideologies to reach the desired results.Bob Baker
Lessons In Love
Editor: Over the past 24 years, I feel as though I have grown a lot. I have made mistakes, some larger than others, I have cried, I have won some, and lost some, been on track, and off track, but most of all I have learned a lot, and the greatest lesson I've learned thus far is from my parents; love. Many of you may not know that I am adopted, which to me, means that my first lesson in love started even before I was born. To this day, my mother swears she woke up early on November 27th, with a feeling deep in her heart that her daughter had been born. My second lesson in love was when I was in elementary school, my mother taught me that a woman could be strong and independent, and work to provide enough opportunities as possible to her child, yet still maintain that close mother daughter bond. Thank you for defying the stereotype and the statistic, mom.
My next lesson in love was when I entered intermediate school, and continued through middle and high school. I had expressed an interest in taking up horseback riding lessons, so my father decided to close his office early every Wednesday to watch me ride. For nearly 11 years, I never once rode alone. I don't know if you realized how much that meant to me, but I can guarantee that I will never miss a game or performance of my children's someday. My next lesson in love came in high school, when my parents taught me that it's ok to be different, and that talents in the arts and humanities are just as important as talents on the field, or in other academic subjects. College came with uncertainty, bad boyfriends, and that feeling of "I don't know what I want to be, but everyone else does", but my parents love showed me that it's ok to not have life figured out by 18.
Their love showed me what life is all about; that happiness is more important than money, taking your time to find your niche, and finding someone who loves you for all your quirks, unconditionally. Today, I have found my strength, my school, my degree and a boyfriend who treats me like my dad treats my mom. Most of you may know my mother, Mary Knight, and my father, Frank Knight, who stands by her every decision, but I hope reading this, you know how much more they mean to me, how much they have provided for me, taught me, and loved. I owe my ability to love to my parents, and their 28 years of unwavering, unconditional, crazy, funny, perfect for each other marriage. There aren't two people who deserve each other more, mom and dad. Love always, Frankie Knight