Voices From The Readers

Records Show No Gouging


I don’t mean to belabor the parking lot issue, but I must address the price "gouging" that was alleged on last week’s editorial page.

I keep a detailed record of what I charge at Mario’s parking lot. For three hours on Saturday of the Dew Tour, my highest price to park for all day was $30. The balance of the afternoon was $20 and the evening was $10.

I believe these figures are on a par with the majority of commercial lots in Ocean City.

Jacqueline DeGroft
Ocean City

Suggestions To Keep Visitors Coming Back


After reading the articles on retention of visitors program ideas in the Ocean City Today and The Dispatch, I had some thoughts I want to share. Obviously, requiring businesses to purchase the wristband bracelets is not a good idea when times are tough and expenses high. So, if you want to keep visitors returning, you’ve got to give them something that they’ll remember. Here’s a few ideas for the council and the business community to think about.

For starters, you might consider giving renters a free parking ticket good for one or two days along with a copy of their rental contract. You also might want to give them a lower percentage rate on the room fees and rental rates. Make the percentage rate reduction more for a larger size family or group.

Another thought I had was regarding Brent Ashley’s idea on free gas. Why not have participating restaurants put some skin in the game? We all know that many people like a chance to win something. Well, why not offer them a chance at a free meal or a gas card good for use only in local stations. You could advertise the chance to win on a specified weeknight, after Happy Hour of course. The manager of the restaurant would randomly pick a number from between 25 and say 150. When the lucky numbered patron comes in, you announce it, give them the choice of a free dinner or the free gas card, take their picture and publish it in the following week’s newspapers.

It’s a guaranteed win-win situation. They’ll leave happy, spread the word and before you know it you’ll be seeing a lot more customers on the designated award night. What’s nice about this idea you could start it immediately at low cost.

If you want to keep visitors returning to Ocean City, these few ideas will certainly help. I’m sure when the Mayor and Council, Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association, the Chamber and Tourism Advisory Board get together, you can discuss these ideas along with others I’m sure you’ll think of. I think these ideas are certainly a way to keep visitors returning without spending a whole lot of money. Keep thinking Brent and don’t worry if all your ideas aren’t accepted.

Paul St. Andre’
Ocean City

OC Similar To Congress


If, and this is a large if, you residents and voters of Ocean City have been paying attention to what’s been going on in Washington, DC, during the past months, you’re aware of the failure of elected officials (politicians) to be able to guide our ship of state on a safe steady course. Case in point, how much education must you have to know you can’t spend money you don’t have or spend money unwisely on projects that are not, without any doubt, completely necessary?

Here in Ocean City, your politicians have seemingly approved and voted for $600,000 for a building to house the Art League with an estimated cost of $800,000 — note the word estimated and what this infers — try another $100,000 or more before conclusion. This sounds like I’ll spend your money so you can reelect me, your mayor and city councilman. I remind you, nothing is free.

This letter is written in response to Steven J. Wittmer’s letter reproduced sensibly by our two leading local papers. In this letter, if you had not seen it, July 22, the reference is to the council’s lack of understanding regarding, the "need to have", versus "nice to ha


I concur with the ludicrous outlay of our tax dollars for this Art League building where I’m sure the money, especially in the current circumstances, can be used for more suitable purposes. Where you live, residents, are there potholes in need of repair, street repaving, speed limit signs, damaged sidewalks, canal dredging, etc, that would improve the town of Ocean City?

The political picture of Ocean City compares to that of the Congress in Washington, D.C. The analogy refers to "term limits." Until such time when greedy, self-serving individuals are limited to time in office, nothing will change for better governments anywhere. All you have to do is look to the Middle East — Egypt, Libya, Greece, Syria where the people have had enough of those in power.

The mayor’s office here in OC and the council fall right into this big picture. They just don’t know when enough is enough and the money grubbers behind them keep pouring in the dough to reelect — it is bought and paid for.

My situation is the same as Mr. Wittmer’s — I am a tax paying non-resident owner without the right to vote. I prefer the warmth and sun in the state of Florida for the winter months, although a native of Maryland.

Jerry Courtney
Ocean City

Paid Parking Idea Not Wise


I am responding to the "Letter to the Editor" from Len Bender titled "Paid Parking Answer".

I am a resident of Ocean City who lives on 146th Street. I suggest that Mr. Bender also sit on the corner of 62nd Street at the bridge into Ocean City and watch incoming traffic. He should observe the license plates and consider whether paid parking would be good for that area in Ocean City.

I doubt very seriously if his proposal to install paid parking is sound, equitable, or based on any credible information. Does he not realize that out-of-state residents purchase goods in Ocean City and pay sales taxes? They are all over Ocean City and that may be good for the town. If the town wants to capitalize on that by creating paid parking, do it everywhere in Ocean City and do not single out those who happen to live at the north end. If there was paid parking on the streets, whoever parks on the street would pay, even residents of Ocean City.

Ron Deacon
Ocean City

Officers Commended


First of all, I am very proud of all the law enforcement officers that recently assisted the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office in the major drug arrests in the Snow Hill and Pocomoke area.

Your professionalism was outstanding and your departments can be proud. We will continue to pursue drug dealers and we will return again and again. This is not just a one-time sweep. All of Worcester County will be done.  

On Thursday Aug. 4, Sheriff Mike Lewis of Wicomico County, Sheriff Todd Godwin of Accomack County, Sheriff David Doughty Jr. of Northampton and I met with Virginia State Police, DEA, and other agencies in Northampton County to discuss and work together to track down these drug dealers and crossing state and county lines. Helping each other and sharing our resources we will find you.

Our job as sheriffs is to protect our county residents and together we will give you 110%. However, we do need your involvement to make that call when you see drug activity on our streets.

The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Enforcement Team consists of members of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, the Maryland State Police, the Ocean City Police Department, and the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office. This team put many hours into this investigation and operating plan and is to be commended for a job well done.

Special thanks to our Worcester County Commissioners, the Snow Hill Council and Mayor Bruce Morrison of Pocomoke for being there with us to see what law enforcement encounters on these type of operations and the Accomack County Virginia Sheriff’s Office participation.

Reggie T. Mason
Snow Hill

(The writer is the sheriff of Worcester County Sheriff’s Office.)

Thanks From Diakonia


On behalf of Diakonia’s clients, staff and Board of Directors, I wish to express sincere appreciation to Roy Frick, Buzz Taylor, Bill Veneble, Bill Burke and Buddy Sass of the Ocean City Golf Club for the 2nd Annual Diakonia Golf Tournament that they recently organized and conducted as a fundraiser in support of Diakonia.

It was a huge success, due in large part to all the golfers who participated, and the community that we received. Additionally, all the volunteers who helped on the day of the event contributed to it being so successful.

The weather was perfect and everyone who participated, golfers and volunteers alike, enjoyed the activities immensely. The best part was over $13,000 was raised through individual contributions, the silent auction and commercial sponsorships. This all assists Diakonia in fulfilling its mission to provide “Help for Today and Hope for Tomorrow.”

This was the second in what will surely continue as an annual event held to raise funds for and awareness of the vital role that Diakonia plays in assisting the homeless population in our area. Plans are already underway for the 2012 tournament. Again, I thank the local community for their continued support.

Ed Montgomery
Ocean City

(The writer is the president of the Diakonia Board of Directors.)