Voices From The Readers

Ocean City Ticket
Aggravates Local
Last Thursday I decided to stop by a store on the Boardwalk. Even though it was raining and the winds were about 20 mph I just wanted to run into a store (Edwards) for a few minutes. I got out of the car at 11:04 a.m. I remember because I listened to the news.
I had quarters and went to the machine and read, “Memorial Day through Labor Day … seven days a week; All other times … Friday through Sunday.” Yeah. I even said to another patron there, “Looks like I don’t have to pay; it’s Thursday.” I went to the Boardwalk.
Thank you to Jill Ferrante of Park Place Jewelers for the paper towels to dry my face and wipe off my glasses. When I got back to my car, I found a ticket. It was written at 11:06 a.m. I took a picture of the writing on the machine and went to 65th Street. I reread the sign on the machine and realized that it must be car Cruisin. I sure didn’t see any Cruisers in that nasty weather. When I got to the police station, I asked the policeman at the desk, “When does Cruisin start?” He answered, “When it stops raining,” Exactly.
So why do I have a ticket? I then went to the desk to pay the ticket. One person was talking to me and another female walked up and slammed a piece of paper on the counter. It was similar to what was written on the machine but not the same but still no dates on when Crusin really is. I paid the ticket. I could have gone to court but should I take off a day of work for $15? It’s October and I was just trying to support our local businesses.
You cannot convince me that the person that wrote that ticket was not watching from a dry, wind free spot and got me two minutes after I parked there. Really? I know they were doing their job but the rudeness at 65th Street and the discrepancies of the sign on the machine and the paper at Public Works and the lack of dates on it. Not everyone knows when Cruisin is especially in a horrible storm when none of the Cruisers are out and about. Thanks for reading.
Jean Keagle
Ocean City

Berlin Commissioner
Explains No Vote
The Berlin Activities Depot project was submitted to the Berlin Planning Commission this month with an improved building design and slightly reduced building size/lot coverage. The article in this past issue of The Dispatch mentioned that I voted against the project again. I would like to give you more information regarding my concerns for this project.
First, I would love to see this site redeveloped as much as anyone. This area is not a good first impression for people coming to Berlin for the first time. It is a major entrance into our town. It is depressing to see the empty Tyson plant and this shabby parking lot sitting unused. Redeveloping this area is greatly needed.
My concerns lie not only with the large building size for the site, but more importantly, with locating a Daycare facility in such an industrialized area. The site is next to railroad tracks, next to the grainery and on the busy Old Ocean City Blvd. The grainery towers are not only a ugly visual element but are considered a high hazardous use due to grain dust explosions.
The Eastern Shore is a great place to raise kids and Berlin is a fantastic town. Carmella has a good reputation for doing great stuff with the kids. I think that the project would be a great improvement for the site, but I have a hard time with putting daycare in this location. The play area is next to the railroad and the grainery will loom over the facility. If I were a parent with small children, I would prefer to have a daycare facility located in a nicer and greener location for my kids.
Barbara J. Stack
(The writer is a member of the Berlin Planning Commision,)

Volunteers Disappointed
With County’s Position
We write to clarify a long-stand misunderstanding between the Worcester County Commissioners and the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company (OCVFC).
In 2011, the OCVFC completed construction of our much-needed replacement of Station 5 on Keyser Point Road in West Ocean City. From that station, we service both Ocean City and Worcester County. No Worcester County funds were used for this construction, and the OCVFC is burdened with the 30-year mortgage. Obviously, as part of construction, we desired domestic water for station functions and to replace water used by our fire apparatus during operations.
To obtain this needed water, the OCVFC agreed to pay to extend the existing waterline from the north entrance of Oyster Harbour to Station 5 to provide for the domestic water service. We understood that this would be at our expense and have already paid the cost of $192,171. At that time, we also paid the additional cost of $59,134 to add the tees, fire hydrants and gate valves, with the expectation that we would be reimbursed by Worcester County because of this increased infrastructure — mostly for Worcester County.
Since that time, to our dismay, Worcester County has decided to classify the OCVFC as a “contractor” and that the additional cost for the infrastructure was no different than if a developer was adding homes or new roads. We disagree with this decision.
Unlike a contractor or developer, we will never have the opportunity to recoup any of the monies spent to provide the additional infrastructure. After all, a developer or contractor would pass such an expense onto the homeowner when they tied into the system. In this case, Worcester County took ownership of the waterline and the charges to home owners, contractors or developers will be collected by Worcester County.
We have requested meetings with the Worcester County Commissioners multiple times to explain our position, the need and the rationale to be reimbursed for the additional $59,134 expense. We did not and would not ask Worcester County to fully reimburse us for the waterline, but only for the added expense for which we did not budget, nor were expecting to have to absorb to add the additional infrastructure.
Our request for reimbursement has been denied every time. We consider this decision to be unjustified. In the name of fairness, we respectfully request that Worcester County reconsider and reimburse us for the additional expense of $59,134. These monies would be used solely for the West Ocean City Station and equipment for that station.
Clifford A. Christello
Ocean City
(The writer is the president of the OCVFC.)

Non-Profit Support
Would Be Appreciated
Can you believe it? It’s that time again. Even though we have enjoyed a beautiful, mild autumn and the leaves have not quite caught up to the calendar, it is once again time for Worcester County G.O.L.D. (Giving Other Lives Dignity), Inc. to being our annual Helping Hands For the Holidays project.
Hundreds of individuals without hope for a happy holiday are waiting and hoping to be matched with a community sponsor. Families with children, disabled adults, foster children and deserving senior citizens are being referred by social agencies to G.O.L.D. for assistance.
Last year more than 1,200 needy Worcester County citizens (mostly children) had a merrier holiday because of Helping Hands for the Holiday sponsors. We have had reports from our donors that helping another family “was the highlight” of their own holiday season.
We understand that it is a busy time of year. If you are unable to shop for a family, another way to help the less fortunate is by purchasing Food Lion and Wal-Mart gift cards for G.O.L.D. to give to families who do not get a sponsor. Another option might be to send a monetary gift to G.O.L.D., PO Box 39, Snow Hill, Md. 21863, so that gifts and food may be purchased for non-sponsored families.
If you can share the spirit of giving through our Helping Hands project, we will send you the name of a family that has been referred to us for this help. Please contact G.O.L.D. at 410-677-6830 and we would be happy to answer any questions you have.
Darlene Onley
Snow Hill
(The writer is the executive director of Worcester County G.O.L.D.)