Thanks To Taxi Drivers
For the last month I have been struggling with a string of car problems. Not fun. A bright spot in all this was the amazing taxi drivers at Taxi-Taxi and City Cab. They are courteous and safe drivers that are always on time.
I cannot say that about Uber who were at least 23 minutes late the first and last time I used them in Ocean City. Keep up the good work. Thank you to all the great guys and girls who have been essential to my getting to work and home again safely, even in the snow.
GM Needs To Reconsider Bulkhead Reserve Decision
(The following letter was addressed to Ocean Pines Association General Manager John Bailey with a copy forwarded to this publication.)
I was reading the Ocean Pines Progress newspaper about your not accepting my recommendation to have a one-year suspension of the property owners assessment contributions to the Bulkhead Reserve. I would like to know your logic or rational for not instituting this request.
In my previous career, I served for over three decades in finance and budgeting. I know that it is conservative to budget in excess of your needs. I also understand that being new to Ocean Pines, there are many things for you to digest. However, it is super conservative when the Ocean Pines Association continues to “bankroll” bulkhead reserves in excess of the money needed for next year’s budget. I certainly hope that you are not developing a budget that will spend in excess of $3 million on bulkhead replacement next year. As outlandish as this may seem, even an outlandish proposal for next year could be funded out of the next year’s reserve estimated to be about $3.4 million by May 1, 2018. Based on previous years’ requirements, on the average, only $800,000 per year was spent. Unless you are proposing a program to replace the bulkhead in only five or 10 years in lieu of 20 or 30 years, I cannot conceive a need for the coming budget year’s bulkhead assessment. This program is supposed to be an annual “pay as you go program.” I hope you can shed some light on your rationale for needing additional funds. I also hope you will reconsider your decision and support a one year suspension of the bulkhead assessment for all property owners.
I understand that you are working hard and hurrying to scope out a new bulkhead replacement program. There are many complex decisions to be made before a well thought out program should be proposed; e.g. decisions as to what material, longevity of the material, increasing the height, number of years to spread the cost out, estimate total cost, various cost saving ideas. I hope your desire to retain the excess reserves and increase them will not continue until a program and its related costs can be developed. I applaud your desire to get this program into full swing by the start of the budget year, but historically, a program with this complexity, will probably not be executed as quickly as you hope.
I hope the board members will support a one year suspension by not voting for a budget that continues to stockpile additional bulkhead reserves when no added funds are needed for the upcoming budget year.
Thank you for listening.
Turkey Trot A Success
The 10th Annual Fenwick Island Turkey Trot was held on Thanksgiving Day. There were 615 people and 54 dogs who trotted 2.2 miles from Lewes Street in Fenwick south to the Maryland line and back, in support of the first responders of the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company (BBVFC) and Roxana Volunteer Fire Company (RVFC).
Many clad in holiday themed costumes, and others just wanting some exercise before the “big meal” later that day, also donated non-perishable food items for Neighbors in Need. Everyone celebrated at an after party at Pottery Place Perks Café in Sunshine Plaza, featuring complimentary hot cocoa and oatmeal.
Between sponsors, proceeds from T-shirt sales and other cash donations, we were able to raise $8,000, $4,000 for each company.
I want to thank our gold level sponsors: Aqua Pools, Bank of Ocean City, Energy Gym, Hileman Drywall, Hocker’s Grocery and Deli, Indigo Octopus, Just Hooked, Massage Envy, The Paint Dr., Rooster’s Nest, SL Giansanti LLC. In addition, the event was also sponsored by Anne Powell, Realtor, Custom Mechanical, DJ Batman, Fenwick Pet Stop, Focus Multisports, Gallo Construction, Harpoon Hannas, Heather’s Home Works, hipAHA, Fenwick Island Boot Camp, Island Construction, The Jeff Baxter Mortgage Team, Mio Fratello, Pottery Place, Smitty McGee’s and Surf’s Edge Pizza and Deli – thank you. The support from the local community and our volunteers is most appreciated. Thank you to all who helped – especially Becka McWilliams and the McWilliams family for the use of their driveway on Bunting Avenue.
Grassroots fundraisers like this, I believe, hold an important role in local communities. Neighbors supporting each other, including the local merchants, has been inspiring to me and it has been my pleasure to have founded the Turkey Trot in 2007. I thank everyone for their tireless support over the years
(The writer is the founder of the Fenwick Island Turkey Trot.)
New Tax On Certain Food?
With the annual tax filing date just around the corner, pundits are searching for ways to make our tax code fairer and more reflective of our social incentives and burdens. In this regard, there is a growing interest in a tax on meat, eggs, and dairy products designed to curb the self-destructive health impacts of their consumption and to effectively compensate society for the associated devastating environmental impacts.
The concept is hardly radical. We already pay similar taxes on tobacco and alcohol products. A number of states have or are considering imposing taxes on soft drinks and other junk foods.
New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s decision to ban supersized sugary sodas has resurrected the age-old debate over the role of the state in protecting the public health. In recent years, this debate involved bicycle helmets, car seat belts, tobacco, trans fats, saturated fats in meat and dairy products, and sugar (or more aptly, high-fructose corn syrup). Public subsidies for tobacco, meat and dairy, and corn production added fuel to the debate.
I would argue that society has a right to regulate activities that impose a heavy burden on the public treasury. National medical costs of dealing with our obesity epidemic, associated with consumption of meat, dairy, and sugars, are estimated at $190 billion. Eliminating subsidies for these products, as well as judicious taxation to reduce their use and recoup public costs should be supported by health advocates and fiscal conservatives alike.
Benjamin Franklin claimed that, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Ironically, death can be deferred substantially by taxing products that make us sick.
The revenue would reimburse the Medicare and Medicaid programs for treating victims of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic killer diseases that have been linked conclusively with consumption of animal products. It would pay for restoration of waterways and wildlife habitats that have been devastated by production of these items.