Voices From The Readers

Voices From The Readers

Moving Election Is Wise
Combining the national and municipal elections in Ocean City is the right choice.

I’ll never forget the 2010 municipal election. On that Tuesday, it was literally a ghost town at the Convention Center. To point out how sparsely populated it was, a song started on the radio when I entered the building and it was still playing upon returning to my vehicle. At that moment I realized to expect the unexpected with the results.

And as we all know Brent Ashley narrowly beat Joe Mitrecic for the final seat that was up for grabs. That small margin drastically changed the landscape of the council forming a new “majority.” I don’t think we need to document the many controversies that have happened since then. But the fact of the matter is that small percentage of registered voters who turned out that day (less than 25%) narrowly changed the legislative landscape of our town.

I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather see 50% of the registered voters deciding who sits on our council over 25%, and that is what the national election has consistently shown to turn out. Doesn’t it only make sense then to combine the elections?

I’ll admit that I would miss the announcing of the results part of election night. But I would much rather lose that than have a council voted in by only a small percentage of voters that isn’t the right choice to serve. I always vote in both elections, but I know a lot of people who simply forget to vote in the municipal election or don’t realize when it is. I commend Council members Cymek, Knight, and Martin for changing their stances on this issue and listening to the concerns of the citizens.

It’s refreshing to see politicians who still do what they are elected to do: serve the people. Now hopefully with combining the two elections us registered voters will do what our rights as Americans are: show up and vote.   

Rich Drake
Ocean City
A Fair Election Merge

The current election system discriminates against people with jobs. Government employees receive the day off to vote in the national elections. The local election leaves a narrow window for these workers to vote. School teachers who participate in after school activities should be afforded the same opportunity as the unemployed.

Clinging to “nostalgia” does not excuse voter suppression.
Sean Rox
Ocean City

Plein Air Event A Success

The Art League of Ocean City would like to thank the artists, sponsors and volunteers who made this year’s Plein-Air Paint Out a success.

Thirty-three artists from all over the region participated in the event. Artists came from Baltimore, Washington, La Plata, Delaware and Salisbury to compete for over $2,450 in prizes.

Thank you to the Ocean City Development Corporation for providing $1,750 of the prize money, the HMRA for $500, Jan Bain for $100 and to La Hacienda Restaurant for providing gift certificates for the honorable mentions. Thanks also to Bryan Russo for providing beautiful entertainment at the Wet Paint sale, for Laura Era of Troika Gallery in Easton for judging the overall event, and Brad Hudson of UMES for judging the quick draw.

The winners of this year’s event were Tara Funk Grim, first place and artist choice; Dorothy Harrison Braun, second place; and David Simpson, third place. Honorable mentions went to Sandra Esham, Gerilynn Gaskill, Yelena Macleod and Barbara Septula. Quick Draw winners were Cheryl Wisbrock, first place; Rina Thaler, second; and Sandra Esham, third.

The event would not be possible without the efforts of our committee chairperson Paige Ruby and her volunteers. The public is invited to view and purchase the paintings created during the event at the August reception and exhibit at the Art League of Ocean City on 94th St. The opening reception is Friday Aug. 3 from 5-7 p.m. where people who are eager to collect Ocean City scenes can have the first chance to purchase the original artwork. The exhibit will remain on display for the entire month of August. The Art League is open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday thru Sunday.

Rina Thaler
Ocean City
(The writer is the president of the Art League of Ocean City.)

OC Safety Suggestions
(The following letter was addressed to Ocean City Mayor and City Council.)

The Worcester County Times article of June 14, 2012 Six Lanes of Fear sounds a siren call for action — 260 people have been struck and seven have died in the past seven years while crossing Coastal Highway in Ocean City. This carnage on Coastal Highway is unacceptable and more needs to be done than place the responsibility and onus on pedestrians to cross at marked crosswalks.

I have been coming to Ocean City since the ‘60’s, have been a property owner since the ‘90’s, and have seen many changes over this time — changes that seem to favor developers and merchants over the safety and concerns of vacationers. Changes have seen Coastal Highway grow into a raceway for a car-friendly Ocean City hurrying consumers from one destination to another.

The question for Ocean City is whether it wants to continue as an automobile frenzied town, hurrying people up or down the streets to spend money, or try to find better balance and create a town that caters to people’s sense of safety and friendliness.  I think the town is now out of balance. Most of the unsafe practices I see in Ocean City occur on Coastal Highway – drivers speeding and driving recklessly, pedestrians crossing illegally, scooter riders helmetless, and now the latest, the little scooter cars waiting for their accidents to happen. And, all the while unsuspecting visitors and vacationers play Russian roulette on our Coastal Highway.

Here are a few suggestions I ask you to consider implementing immediately – suggestions I shared recently with Mayor Meehan and City Council member Joe Hall: (1) Reduce the speed on Coastal Highway to 30 mph. Ocean City is a town and not just a highway to hurry consumers on their way. Slow people down. Let this be a vacation town. (2) Post the speed limit next to the overhead lights so there is no question of how fast to drive. (3) Post speed cameras. This would get driver attention and make more money for the town to spend on people, parks, and recreation.

I’m sure in your deliberations you will also find other ways to help Ocean City find balance and sanity on Coastal Highway. Thank you for considering my concerns and recommendations.

John Hutchinson

Tourney Support Appreciated

Thank you to everyone who helped to make successful the Swing into Spring Golf Tournament to benefit the Worcester County chapter of Women Supporting Women, our local breast cancer awareness and support organization. It was a wonderful event that, because of the generous nature of this community, raised more than $10,000 for our chapter.

First and foremost, credit for this event must go to Ed and Margaret Colbert, of Deer Run Golf Club in Berlin, and their hard-working employees. Long-time supporters of WSW, they hosted the golf tournament for the Worcester County chapter and put in countless hours to ensure that it was a success.

A bevy of businesses and community organizations also offered their support by becoming tournament sponsors. Our major sponsors were Mike’s Carpet Connection in Fenwick Island, Del., Nationwide William Staples Insurance and Financial in Salisbury, the Ocean City Elks Lodge #2645 and the Pocomoke City Elks Lodge #1624. Hole sponsors were Acquest Title Services, Atlantic/Smith, Cropper & Deeley, Avery Hall Insurance, Bank of Delmarva, Bank of Ocean City, Bonfire Restaurant, Burbage Funeral Home, C.B. Taylor Bank, Coates, Coates & Coates, Elizabeth’s Treasures, Farmers Bank of Willards, Faw, Cason & Co LLP, Fresco’s Restaurant, Ladies Auxiliary Knights of Columbus of Ocean City, Landmark Insurance, Salisbury Elks Lodge #817, Senator James N. Mathias, State Farm Claudia Nichols, Optimal Health Chiropractic P.C. and Virginia Reister.

Many other businesses and individuals donated items for prizes, silent and live auctions. Thank you to each and every one of them and to the many volunteers who help us to make this event so successful for our small local nonprofit.

A special thank you goes out to Senator Jim Mathias for speaking during the luncheon and embracing our organization.

As a nonprofit, we are only able to maintain our office in Berlin and to keep our programs and services to survivors free because of the support of the community. The golf tournament generated income for our Worcester County Chapter that will be returned directly to the local community through our educational and support services.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in our golf tournament as a sponsor, donor, player or volunteer for helping us to help our survivors and their families through one of the most difficult times in their lives.

Rota L. Knott
(The writer is the Worcester County Coordinator of Women Supporting Women.)