Voices From The Readers – September 8, 2017

Hopeful For Happy Ending On Boardwalk

Editor:

Recently, I received an email regarding the possibility of removing Dumser’s Dairyland, formerly Nathan Rappoport’s building on the Boardwalk in what I call the old Ocean City, Md. The idea of removing such an historical building is upsetting to me as well as may older and younger sisters, Jeanne Thrush Sterner and Bernice Ann Thrush Cook.

Ocean City history in the ice cream business dates back to 1939 when our father, Bernard Thrush, managed Kohr Bros. Frozen Custard Stand in the old Pier building. I was five years old. A few years later my parents opened Bernie’s Dairyland across from Kohr Bros. Following my parents’ divorce in the 1950s, my mother married Peter Dumser and renamed the Dairyland to Dumser’s. In 1966, my mother leased the historic building in question from Nathan’s Associates.

My memories of making and selling frozen custard and ice cream include family relationships developed within family-owned businesses, such as the Rappoports, Dolle’s Candyland, Thrasher’s French Fries, Mitch Mariano’s, Jenkins’ Playland, Trimper’s Rides, Lovell’s Gift Shop, English Diner, Joe’s Restaurant and Bar, Bill and Nellie Torpey’s Pop Corn and Candy Apple Stand, Givarz’s Alaska Stand, 5 & 10 Cent Store on the Boardwalk, Jackson’s Casino, the Ocean City Police Department and the Ocean City Fire Department.

Members of the current police department are probably unaware of the fact that in the 40s my father recruited men that he coached in various sports in Pennsylvania to become members of the Ocean City police force. On the other hand, I was recruited by the Ocean City Fire Department to lead the summer firemen’s parades on and off the Boardwalk. Training I received from Madeline Brady and Rita Villani in the Ocean City Pier Club enabled me to become a professional acrobatic majorette in Pennsylvania with the Chambersburg Drum & Bugle Corps.

Had I not married the first Long Islander I met during his senior year of college in 1953, I probably would have helped my mother manage one of the Dumser’s stores. My decision to continue my education on Long Island where my husband started his teaching career prevented me from following my mother’s footsteps. However, I never stopped vacationing in Ocean City, where my sister, Bernie, occupies her own condo by the Harbor Club when she’s not in her home in Florida.

I’m sure some readers of The Dispatch have heard Bernie sing at an Ocean City club or restaurant. How well I remember the days of the big bands playing the old pier building dance hall. Listening and watching her sing with the Dorsey Brothers and many others during the 50s could only have happened in Ocean City.

In conclusion, I want you to know that my friends and families on Long Island with homes in Ocean City are praying that the town decides to lease the space in question to Dumser’s, now owned by Don Timmons, serving as a landlord.

Gayle Haines

Captree Island, N.Y.

Public Needs To Focus On Ocean City Taxes

Editor:

Following nine years of improper constant-yield adjustments and/or tax increases by local politicians, the citizens’ petition to lower taxes emerged in 2014. A little over 80 percent of the respondents signed to put the tax-reduction issue on the ballot. The petition was certified by the election board as a properly subscribed petition. To keep the people’s petition from going on the ballot, the mayor and every councilperson (except Mr. Gehrig) voted to sue in local court to stop the petition, taking away the basic right of citizens to determine their governance and wrongly making it a judge’s decision. So typical in Maryland.

Although the people had spoken through the petition, the fate of the petition would be determined by Maryland judges. I wrote nine documents to federal court in an effort to have the case heard federally, to bypass the Maryland courts. After months of documents and a number of procedural errors I made (I am not a lawyer), the city prevailed. The case was never heard federally and was remanded to local court. Retired Judge Jackson was brought out of mothballs as the local judiciary tried to appear impartial. Jackson promptly ruled to quash the petition, just what I expected.

On appeal, Maryland’s Court of Appeals ruled the petition on taxes “was not in the public’s interest.” It meant the petition to lower taxes was not in the government’s interest. Certainly, people are quite able to determine what is in their interests. The only appeal from the high Maryland court is to the Supreme Court of the United States: above my pay grade for now.

For the two years since the petition to lower taxes was court rejected, local politicians have for the first time in a decade lowered taxes. Has this been a victory of sorts for the majority of citizens? On its face it would appear so. Certainly local politicians have taken credit for lowering taxes. However don’t be fooled by appearance, in both 2015 and 2016 spending, has increased by over 3% a year. This creates unpaid debts in the future. Taking credit for lowering taxes while quietly increasing spending is deceitful causing the public to falsely believe they received a benefit. While your elected politicians quietly incur unfunded costs that will force increased taxes in the future, or more borrowing.

This exposes a political inability to control spending and will most certainly determine future tax increases. So, be wary of politicians who take credit for tax reductions when at the same moment they approve annual spending increases — a huge problem in government. This genre of duplicitous politician is not unique to Ocean City; it plagues the county, the state, and the federal government. It speaks loudly of financial irresponsibility and, if not disclosed and controlled, threatens the foundations of our financial solvency.

These political behaviors should not be tolerated. Politicians who allow increased government spending while reducing taxes to curry political favor can only flourish in the absence of public accountability and consequences.

When a socio-political system, like ours, that claims to be democratic imposes no consequences on politicians, who do not treat public funds like they treat their own money then public spending becomes un-moored and eventually insolvency becomes an issue that will involve the entire community.

When citizens fail to hold elected officials responsible for unfunded balance sheet spending, when there are no consequences for politicians who cannot control their public spending eventually consequences are visited on the citizenry.

When the public is apathetic, disinterested, accepting of political actions without consequences we are showing a serf’s mentality of submissive acceptance toward our politician’s actions. In time, if it persists, our personal liberties will be lost and we will find ourselves in serfdom.

Tony Christ

Berlin Parking Solution?

Editor:

Just thinking out loud, Berlin has quite a parking problem during tourist season. Wouldn’t it be perfect if the old library was torn down and a municipal parking lot put in in its place?

It could either be free parking or metered or “take a ticket.” I’ve heard that the Berlin Fire Company owns the property though, so, if so, perhaps they could rent out the lot to the town. Seems to be a win-win situation.

Sallye Eschenburg

Berlin

Partners Appreciated

Editor:

The Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC) wishes to thank our partners for their assistance with the 2017 Sunset Park Party Nights music series. Every Thursday night in July and August these events brought free quality music at Sunset Park. This 2017 summer events saw a record number of attendees to Sunset Park.

Our principal partner on these events was the Town of Ocean City who managed several of these events with OCDC staff managing the other Thursday events. In particular, thanks to Frank Miller and his Special Events staff. Also, special thanks to the Ocean City Recreation Boosters volunteers who sold beverages at each event with the proceeds going to youth programs in Ocean City. The Ocean City Police Department also provided their auxiliary officers who volunteered each week to safely cross event attendees to Sunset Park.

Each week, local nonprofit organizations co-sponsored an event and invited their memberships to attend. These groups included the OC Cruzers, Art League of OC, HMRA, OC Chamber of Commerce, Coastal Bays Program, and the Downtown Association. This year’s radio station sponsors were Irie Radio 98.1 FM and The Vault 103.5 FM & 106.1 FM.

We appreciate everyone for making this a very successful music series. We look forward to seeing everyone again in 2018 at Sunset Park for more free music events.

Glenn Irwin

Ocean City

(The writer is the executive director of the OCDC.)