Voices From The Readers

Voices From The Readers

Common Sense Needs To Win In Some Cases


The Ocean City Beach Patrol is an extraordinary organization that does an outstanding job of protecting hundreds of thousands of beach goers each summer.

It is understandable that Captain Butch Arbin seeks to eliminate the potential for tragedy by banning swimming when lifeguards are off duty. However, there is a point where the authority and responsibility of the Town of Ocean City and the Beach Patrol ends and common sense and personal responsibility on the part of those who take to the water begins.

Additionally, the period of time between 5:30 p.m. and sundown is one where many choose to be on the beach and to enter the water. In many cases, this may be the only time available for new arrivals or locals who work to enjoy the water. Swimming after dark can be dangerous. Few people do this. But if they do, they need to be advised that they do so at their own risk – just as they are if they swim after 5:30 p.m.

I do not support expansion of the responsibility of the beach patrol or legislation that bans swimming when lifeguards are not on duty.

Dennis Sirman

Selbyville, Del.

Ad Agency Process

Skewed From Start


Thanks for the article about how nine agencies are challenging MGH for OC advertising. I’ve been in the business for over 25 years and have an opinion about the questionable comments from the people who are in charge of our tax dollars.

The process of selecting an agency is exciting but more often vital to the success of an organization’s ability to compete in a competitive landscape. Since our tax dollars are being spent to promote Ocean City as a vacation destination of choice, I would prefer the people in charge approach the advertising campaign like a professional and not make it out to be some sort of game.

In my opinion, getting an agency that has destination experience in their portfolio is an incredible asset not a weakness. The analogy of two pizza places is just a poor comparison and a wrong assumption. Maybe a better analogy would be that ‘I would rather have an experienced pilot who knows how to fly this plane rather than someone who has only driven a bus.’

Secondly, working for a government agency that makes decisions by committee is a not the most glamorous account to have and often is recipe for disaster. The comments that this is a "beauty pageant" by the committee only shows that they really do not take the profession of advertising marketing seriously. These comments are insulting to the many agency people putting their own time and money to pitch for the business as if there is no intellectual thought and years of experience that goes into these campaigns. 

This is a good example why advertising campaigns fail: when the people in charge of making advertising and marketing decisions on the client side are less qualified to do their job than the agencies that serve them. For example, why can’t they cite the metrics to show why the ‘Rodney’ campaign is successful? What metrics should we be using? What are the goals and how will we know if we are successful? If the review committee can’t articulate what they want, how will they be able to judge the talent and the agency ideas?

If MGH is doing a great job, reward them. If not, fire them. But to get the other agencies to use the same ‘Rodney’ campaign in their pitch strategy is very narrow-minded thinking. In my opinion, the other nine agencies should resign in protest to the unfair judging beauty contest and the big waste of time.

Tim Fahey
Ocean City

Prayer Breakfast News

This is to let everyone know that the date of the Ocean City Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast is Friday, Dec. 11 at 7 a.m. We will keep you posted as to this year’s speaker and other developments.

Meanwhile, e-mails were sent out several weeks ago to those people who signed up for our e-mail list announcing this date. If you didn’t receive an e-mail and would like to be included in any updates or know of any one else that would like to receive these e-mail updates please e-mail us at the following address and we will include you in our follow-ups. Email me at [email protected]

Due to the high cost of postage, we are sending a very limited number of written correspondences. We are trying to do everything through e-mail.

Bruce Spangler


(The writer is the director of the OC Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.)

Another Way To Enforce


As a physician, I am familiar with the disability and even death that may be caused by the invisible, tasteless and odorless gas carbon monoxide (CO).

The City of Ocean City has responded to recent tragedies by enacting laws to encourage and require functioning CO detectors. These laws will save lives. But, only if they are enforced and obeyed. The recent closure of a prominent hotel for non-compliance should further encourage all other rental property owners to install CO detectors and inform Fire Marshal Sam Villani.

The process of inspection is costly in terms of time, personnel and money. But there are other ways and means to improve compliance. Rather than wait for property owners to return a certificate of compliance, why not include a "Statement of Compliance" with the renewal forms for all rental property licenses?

The "Statement of Compliance" could be very simple:
A. I do not have fuel-burning equipment on my property.
B. I have installed CO detectors in all living areas and other rooms where appropriate.

This "Statement of Compliance" should carry the force of law, and if falsely provided, might be considered as perjury.

James G. Smirniotopoulos, M.D.

Bethesda, Md.