Honesty, Faith Restored
(The following letter was addressed to Ocean City Transportation Superintendent George T. Thornes.)
Following graduation, I went to Beach Week in Ocean City. Many of my friends were in OC as well, so we spent a lot of time riding the bus up and down Coastal Highway so we could hang out. One evening, I got off the bus and headed to a friend’s condo for dinner, and when I got there, I realized I didn’t have my wallet, and that it must have fallen out of my gym shorts on the bus. This was a big blow, as I had just graduated high school and there was a significant amount of money in the wallet, along with several gift cards.
The next day, I went to the bus depot and filed a report for my missing wallet. I truly didn’t expect anything to come of it, but I figured I’d try and I wanted to get my mom off my back about it.
By the end of my stay, I still had not heard anything. Disappointed, I returned home and went through the process of getting a new driver’s license. Then, one day in July, I receive a package mailed from the Ocean City DOT, and it was my wallet. Not only did it contain all my gift cards, but also every bit of cash that was in it when it was lost.
I cannot thank you enough for returning my wallet. You’re employees have renewed my faith in people’s honesty, and I am so grateful. I continue to tell people how awesome OC is and happily share my story with others. You can bet that OC will be my beach destination for years to come. Your employees should be commended on their fine service, and on the benefit they bring to Ocean City. Thank you.
Our Tax Money at Work
A little over two years ago, I wrote a letter to this paper decrying the decision by the Mayor and City Council to give over $600,000 of our tax money to a private organization, the Art league of Ocean City (ALOC), a favorite cause of the city’s wealthy elite and their friends. In that letter, I drew a distinction between “needs” and “wants”, and questioned if there was nothing more important, nothing more beneficial to all our citizens, than subsidizing the Art League?
Well, alas, now we find there was and still is — the renovation or replacement of the mold ridden slum building which is home to our beach patrol. I am sure that two years ago it wasn’t in much better shape than it is now. Perhaps now ALOC could donate part of their taxpayer funded building to the beach patrol or at least conduct some fund raisers and donate the proceeds to them.
I recall restaurateurs/night club owners Fager and Moore attending the council meeting prior to the ALOC funding vote to help plead their case. They were even joined in their plea by the local Fraternal Order of Police, well-known long standing supporters of the arts, especially the art of negotiating excessive salaries and pension benefits. Not long ago that same art patron, Leighton Moore, sold the city a super duper, bay skimming, high speed fire boat for over a half million dollars. You might ask what that has to do with ALOC funding. Well, it comes back to “needs” and “wants”. I can understand why local firefighters would “want” such a boat; it would be great fun racing it around the bay in “training exercises”. But do they really “need” it? And do they need it more than the beach patrol needs a new headquarters building?
My memory isn’t the best, but in the 20-plus years I have owned property here, I cannot recall any fire on the bay, boat or property, that could have benefited from such a sophisticated firefighting craft. It may someday help save a life or prevent some property damage, but the beach patrol does that every day. Plus, safe beaches draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to our city every year. I doubt that ALOC or the fire boat attract any.
I suggest that the new fire boat be named “Hose Job” and that when not fighting bay fires it be used to give thrill rides to tourists. At $25 per ride, we should soon have enough money to renovate the beach patrol building, or at least kill off the mold. The fire department may have gotten a new fire boat, but as usual, we taxpayers got the hose.