No Need For Repaving
Is it just me? Does anyone else think that tearing up Coastal Highway from 62nd Street to the Delaware line and repaving it is completely unnecessary and a huge waste of money and resources?
Has the City Council been inundated with complaints that the highway is rough and in need of repaving? It seems more than fine to me. It seems like the town’s priorities are way out of line.
Heroic Actions Recognized
Too often the goods deeds of everyday people go unsung. I would like to make an exception to that pattern in the case of Chris Hoen of Bishopville. It was told to me later (for I do not recall these events) that Chris was vacationing at the same hotel my wife and I chose to visit when I went into sudden cardiac arrest. He stepped forward and provided CPR to me until the medics arrived. The medics had to shock me six times to start my heart again. I was then life-flighted to a hospital where I spent 10 days.
As I understand it, I had only minutes to live and likely would not have survived but for the heroics of Chris. Not only did I survive but, weeks later now, I am looking forward to a full recovery. I do not pretend to know what gives some people the courage to not hesitate when others are in need; however, I am certain that the world is a better place because of such people — people like Chris.
I was released from the hospital on my 62nd birthday, a day I otherwise would never have seen. I will be eternally grateful to Chris for the additional time he has given me to spend with my family and friends.
Legislation Needs Support
My birth daughter, Amber Marie Rose, was killed when a dysfunctional ignition switch in her General Motors (GM) vehicle caused her car’s engine and electrical system to shut down and disable its air bags. This ignition switch defect – which GM tried to hide instead of fix – cost Amber and more than 120 people their lives.
Since Amber’s death, I’ve been advocating for important policy changes in the auto industry to ensure safety problems like this are never swept under the rug again. I’ve been working with several Maryland legislators to introduce the Amber Rose Bill (House Bill 982/Senate Bill 666), which would give free speech protections to Maryland auto dealers who wish to disclose potential issues to consumers.
Dealers constantly receive technical bulletins from car companies about issues, but disclosing these issues to their customers isn’t something that they are allowed to do under their franchise agreements. The Amber Rose Bill will change this practice and give local dealerships permission to share what they know with all consumers.
With so many policy issues to consider this year in Annapolis, it is important for our elected officials to know that their constituents want this bill’s passage to be a priority. That is why I’m asking the public to contact their state legislator and ask them to pass the Amber Rose Bill. It is time to curb the abusive practices that make it difficult for Maryland auto dealers to do the right thing for their customers. Maryland drivers deserve better.
Proposal A Blindside
(The following is an open letter to Fenwick Island Mayor Gene Langan and forwarded to this publication.)
As a member of the Town Council, I am compelled to write this open letter because I have been blindsided by the proposed 1st reading to raise the height limit in Fenwick Island at the Feb. 26 meeting.
There has been no discussion of freeboard or the height limit in the Charter & Ordinance Committee since last spring. Several members of the current C&O committee knew nothing about the proposed 1st reading. The Planning Commission has not discussed raising the height as they work on the new Comprehensive Plan. The existing Comprehensive Plan mentions maintaining the 30-foot height limit in several places. The Vision for Fenwick Island clearly states that there is “virtually unanimous support for thirty foot height limits with no more than two levels of enclosed living spaces.” There has been no discussion about the height limit at the Council meetings since the public forum last May where over 200 attended to voice opposition to raising the height, and since the election of two new council members. There has only been your announcement of the results of the non-binding survey. The response, 190-164 in favor of raising the height, is hardly a strong mandate. And as you are aware, I never received my survey in the mail and know of at least a dozen other residents who did not receive theirs. Who has seen the results of this survey other than you and members of staff?
The residents of Fenwick Island elected me on a platform of open, inclusive, responsive leadership. You have established a climate where that does not exist even among council members. You insist on pushing forth your agenda which is in conflict with many residents of Fenwick Island. You turn a deaf ear to those that do not agree with you.
Certainly relief for some bayside properties is necessary because of flooding and should be addressed. Raising the height limit for the entire town, with the inclusion of 2 ft of freeboard, does not address this problem. Two feet of freeboard will not eliminate the flooding problem on the bay side and will give the ocean side properties two additional feet which they do not need. What is the motivation behind this proposed ordinance change unexpectedly appearing on the agenda? Elections have consequences; you have the votes on council to pass this ordinance change. However, your proposal does not solve the problem at hand, while benefiting those that can afford to build new, even bigger homes and businesses.
The current climate in Fenwick Island is divisive. The Council is obligated to unify, not further divide, our community. Our town must work together to develop a responsible solution for relief from bay side flooding. A thoughtful discussion is needed. Solutions exist. I propose our council and community leaders meet in April, before any first reading, and collectively work towards implementation of a plan that benefits affected bay side properties and strengthens our town.
(The writer is a member of the Fenwick Island Town Council.)