Voices From The Readers

Voices From The Readers

License Fee Outrageous

I became a resident of the State of Maryland when I moved to Ocean City and registered my 2003 Hyundai Accent accordingly and paid the $50 fee for personalized license plates. (I opted to have the exact same plate number that I had in a different state for over 20 years).

Last week, much to my chagrin, I received my notice advising me that the fee that I owe is $ 228.  Wondering if perhaps an error had occurred, I phoned the MVA only to learn that the fee for personalized license plates had gone up double for registrations with personalized license plates.

I’m sure that after the State of Maryland passed this legislation of doubling the fees for personalized license plates it has been written somewhere but I guess I just missed it in the fine print.  My thoughts:  The State of Maryland, in my opinion, raised the fee for personalized license plates for the sole purpose of generating additional revenues and justifying its reasoning by saying "it’s a luxury thing."  

As one resident of this state who maintains a personalized license plate, I would like to say that I think the state should have notified in advance and or at least provided notification on the mailed out fee papers that are sent to all registered vehicle owners about the fee hikes. Doing so will give decent opportunity to allow residents to have a better say in where their additional dollars are being shifted to concerning their individual vehicle registrations, since the State of Maryland does offer multiple options on the topic.

Because I, like probably so many others were advised via means of direct mail of the increase in fees for having personalized license plates, all I find myself doing is not spending the extra $100 on my local community so that I can rest assure that I am able to pay the state this extra $100 that the governor had implemented for the sole purpose of bringing in additional dollars.

Gee, I guess that residents paying the additional money for our personalized plates just wasn’t enough.  Now, we are needed to pay additional monies simply because we applied for personal plates years ago.  To me, this is taxation without representation. Just my opinion.

Doug Antos
Ocean City
Support Of Amendment

Memorial Day weekend 2012 is normally a time of remembrance and reflection, but this time I am disturbed after getting my Dispatch this week.

Being an outsider from another state, I could care less about the issue. What I care about is the lack of respect on both sides of the 1st Amendment.

From what I have read, the editor of this paper has been verbally abused and mistreated for what he did — allowing the ad to run. From what I have read, it sounds like bullying to me. The amazing thing is the people who are upset use the 1st Amendment to voice their opinions, but disagree with it if it goes against what they think.

A sad commentary on this weekend when so many gave their lives to protect this amendment.
To Steve Green, way to go in support of the amendment. This person backs you all the way.

For any and all of you who agree or disagree with me, I will be on the beach at 4th Street and the ocean, rain or shine, Sunday, Aug. 19 at 10 a.m. and the whole week 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

I welcome any and all and I don’t run and hide. You can’t miss me.
I like to chit-chat face to face.
Richard Miller
Morristown, N.J.

Bingo Support Appreciated

We want to express our appreciation to everyone who participated in and/or attended the American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 166 Luncheon Bingo held at the Post.

We wish to thank everyone for your support and for the donations of cash and items to raffle. Thank you to our Bingo Committee – Dolores Price, Bonnie Hansen, Kate Gray, and Donna Miller for all of their planning and hard work to make this event a success. Many thanks to Alice Jones for devoting her time and talents in preparing the baskets that were raffled and for her generous donations for the door prizes. Also, we want to thank all of “the guys” for their help in the kitchen, on the bingo floor and with the clean-up.

And finally, we want to express our appreciation and heartfelt thanks to the following businesses and sponsors that contributed to the event. Without their support this event would not have been possible. They are Chesapeake Martial Arts, Barrett Chevrolet, Cheers, 19th Hole Restaurant, Decatur Diner, Phillips Seafood Restaurant, Copy Central, Home Depot, Deer Run Golf Club, Miones Pizza, Fish Tails, Star Charities, Southside Deli, The Ocean City Art League, Steve & Adele Deaver, The American Legion Post #166, American Legion Riders, #166, Ladies Auxiliary Unit #166, Sons of the American Legion #166, The Bar Girls from Post 166, and the American Legion bartenders from Post 166.

The proceeds from this event will be used for the various local charities that our Auxiliary supports. This event truly demonstrated what can be accomplished when the Ocean City business community and the “Legion Family” come together to help those less fortunate.

Christine Hawkins
(The writer is the president of the American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 166.)

Health Fair Thanks

Since 1974, the Ocean City, Maryland AARP Chapter 1917 has stood as a landmark in promoting fellowship, community, and services for the wonderful people who make up its membership.

On May 9, 2012, the Ocean City AARP chapter celebrated the 26th annual Health Fair at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center. Over 400 attendees owe much gratitude to Chairman Dr. Melvin Friedman, Dawn Denton and her staff of Atlantic General Hospital, the Mayor and City Council of Ocean City, the staff of the Ocean City Convention Center, and all of the associations, businesses and individuals that contributed to the success of the event.

To all, I say "thanks for a job well done."
Christopher R. Norris
(The writer is the president of Ocean City AARP Chapter 1917.)

Fee Not A Good Idea

I would like to commend the town of Berlin for at least tabling the motion to initiate an outside-contractor-fee at their recent town meeting. Too many towns have initiated this contractor fee with the rationalization that it is small [around $150], and somehow protects their residents from contractor fraud. Most contractors are already required to have a Maryland Home Improvement License easily verifiable by the homeowner. The mere fact of a contractor paying a fee does not ensure that they would or should be recommended.

More importantly is this perception by many towns that the fee is small, thus it is not onerous to a small business. I think too many towns view small business as having an office with small staff and several vehicles on the road. What is often overlooked is what I would call the micro businesses. The business people just starting their business, often working from their home, with a spouse doing the bookkeeping and living on a shoestring so as to grow their business. This could be the carpet cleaner, the HVAC guy or lawn service company, etc. just getting started. Just think how many towns in which they are able to do business within a few miles of Berlin on the Eastern Shore. Just one customer in a town means a potential new fee and associated paperwork, not counting the time spent in compliance. Many small businesses in our area have to deal with another state as well. Those $150 fees add up pretty fast and can become quite onerous. 

Hopefully Berlin will continue its reputation of being “business-friendly”, and recognize this outside-contractor-fee is not necessary, and will not spend time on a problem that does not exist.

Jack Barnes
Ocean Pines

Writer Way Off Base

The letter that ran in Friday’s Ocean City Today is obviously someone who is not in touch with the true events of the last year.

First, Mrs. Pillas sat on the dais less than two months ago and stated strongly that she was not a part of any coalition, group or secret society.

This writer now insists she put together a coalition that took on the fiscal problems of the town.

The first major steps of this secret society was to propose and pass ordinances for retirements and benefits of city employees that would cost the town hundreds of thousands of dollars if implemented in the proposed structure.

Luckily, the mayor had the good sense to veto those ordinances and demand that they be studied and restructured to eliminate any hardship to the employees.

Next this group fired Dennis Dare. Dennis was the city manager who worked with his staff to reduce spending in a workable, logical way to reduce the need for funding by approximately $8 million over two years. The “Pillas group” has yet to give a reasonable accounting of the firing of Mr. Dare.

Next the writer accuses Mary Knight, Lloyd Martin and Doug Cymek of being the reason that Hal Atkins refused the recruitment of the “Pillas group” to the position of city manager. I guess the writer of the letter has never read the reasoning of Hal for his decision.

Further, the writer in her letter indicates that the new city manager could make wholesale changes and will replace Hal.

I believe if Hal leaves, it will be of his own choosing. Hal now has the very difficult task of managing a force that had its morale destroyed by the “Pillas group” and still try to maintain the excellent daily performance the makes Ocean City so proud.

In conclusion, it seems that writer has no basis for her letter except some ill-gotten support for a group that has done so poorly in putting forth an agenda, that they have challenged the true loyalty the workers of Ocean City.

Charlie Barrett
Ocean City

Support Appreciated

The Ocean City/Worcester County Humane Society would like to sincerely thank everyone who supported our largest fundraiser of the year, Boardwalkin’ for Pets, held on April 28.

From our generous sponsors to local businesses who contributed prizes to our wonderful walkers, we cannot thank everyone for all the support. This year was our 13th event and we raised over $26,500. We truly appreciate everyone who made the event a success. All money raised goes to the care of our animals.

Also, a big thank you to Matt and the gang at Duffy’s Tavern for hosting the 1st Annual “Putts for Pups” fundraiserm which benefited the shelter.

We really appreciate all the community support.
Kelly Austin

After Prom A Success
Stephen Decatur High School seniors and juniors recently enjoyed their annual Prom.

According to the United States Department of Transportation, on a typical prom weekend 48 American teenagers are killed, 5,202 are injured and 40% of the deaths are alcohol related. To combat these possibilities, for several years a committee of parents have planned for and offered an all-night party at Stephen Decatur High School following Prom, fondly called After Prom.

To meet our goals, we go to our community seeking donations of money, food and prizes to make this evening happen and keep our kids safe. It is our desire to see that the event is so exciting no student would want to be anywhere else. With nearly 500 students attending this year, we accomplished our goal and would like to thank our community, which so graciously provides everything we need to keep our kids safe on Prom night.

The committee thanks Apple Discount Drugs; Atlantic General Hospital; Atlantic Orthopaedics; Atlantic/Smith, Cropper and Deeley; Ayres, Jenkins, Gordy, & Almond, PA; Bank of Ocean City ; Beachwood, Inc.; Dominic and Judy Celozzi ; Ronald and Rose Celozzi; Darren and Judy Davis; First Presbyterian Church of Ocean City ; Friendship United Methodist Church (Friendship Circle); Friendship United Methodist Church Mission Fund; Gismondi Insurance ; Susan and Jim Glenn; Hunan Chinese Restaurant; Knights of Columbus; Lou Taylor; Michael Mann Fund for Children; Michael Kempa; Mitrecic Builders; Ocean City Elks Lodge #2645; Ocean City Lioness Club; Ocean City/Berlin Optimist Club; Ocean Pines Assisted Living, LLC; Ocean Pines Independent Living, LLC; Ocean Pines Lions Club; River Church of the Nazarene; Shirley Phillips; Shore Bank; South Moon Under; St. John Neumann Catholic Church; State Farm Insurance, Rick Ropp; State Farm Insurance, Claudia Nicholls; T&G Builders; Talbot Dermatology; Buzz and Rita Taylor; Taylor Bank; Town of Ocean City; Worcester County Board of Education; Worcester County Drug and Alcohol Council; Worcester County Retired School Personnel; Worcester County Sheriff’s Office; and The Worship Center.

For food donations, we appreciate the various items provided by A Bagel and…, Baked Dessert Café, Bull on the Beach, Candy Kitchen, Coca Cola, Conner’s Beach Café, Crabs to Go, DaVinci’s, DeNovo’s, Dough Roller, Dumsers, Emings BBQ, Fager’s Island, Food Lion, Four Seasons, Frescos, Green Turtle West, Harborside, Jonny’s Pizza, La Hacienda, Malia’s Café, Minit Market, Mione’s, Papa John’s, Pizza Tugos, Plaza Tapatia, Ponzetti’s, Reflections, Rita’s Desserts, Seacrets, Submarina, Sweet Dispositions, Sysco, and Watermans.

The following businesses offered prizes that included gift certificates, bikes, body boards, memberships, T-shirts, and more: Accurate Optical, Baja Amusements, Bethany Massage and Healing Arts, Bungalow 7, Coastal Surf and Skate Distribution, Coins Pub and Restaurant, Donna Cericola, Elliot’s Hardware, Eming’s BBQ, GlenRiddle Golf Club, Grand Prix Amusements, Jennell Siano Hair Design & Tanning, K-Coast, Liquid Assets, Live Long Fitness, Lombardi’s-94th Street, OC Nails, Old Pro Golf, Outback Steak House, Panera Bread, Powerhouse Gym, Princess Royale, Quiet Storm, Rayne’s Reef, Rice House, River Run, Robin Walter Salon and Spa, Ruark Golf, Rum Pointe Seaside Golf Links, Sakura Japanese Steak House, Seaside Driving Academy, Seaside Photography, the Delmarva Shorebirds, South Moon Under, Studio S, The Bonfire Restaurant, The Links at Lighthouse Sound, Trimper Rides and World Gym.

Finally, but certainly not least, we are extremely thankful to have had services provided by ABC Printing, Carousel Hotel, DJ Tommy Davis, Flowers by Allison, Parties Your Way, and Rainbow Florist.

Words fail to express how grateful we are to each and every one of these local businesses. We hope that this public thank you can go even a little way toward showing them our appreciation.

Debbie Atwood
(The writer was the 2012 SDHS After Prom Chair)