Voices From The Readers
Was Never Sought
I live on 4th St. at the corner of St. Louis Ave. Not many year-round residents live on this block but of the five I spoke with, no one had even heard of these 640 forms for public response to St. Louis Avenue development, said to have been mailed to residents of the road and surrounding areas, by City Engineer Terry McGean.
Where is my evaluation form? He states receiving only 13 responses out of 640 forms. I have in fact read the names of more than 13 residents in our local editorials. All were against the proposal of eliminating the bike lane. I agree improvements are necessary, but once again, keeping the bike lane is essential. Not only is it one of the few safe locations one can ride a bike in Ocean City, one would think with the energy matters which affect all of us each day, the council members would encourage more use of alternative transportation. But, then again, we are not vacationers so it is very possible we will have to fight to keep our bike lane.
Compared to Mr. Bill Outz, a 21-year resident of 6th Street; Ms. Gretchen Hancock, a fourth generation 6th St resident; and Ms. Debi Cook, a lifelong resident of 6th Street, I am a mere child to the neighborhood. I have resided in the same home on 4th St for only 10 years. My neighbor has lived here more than 20 years. I am fortunate to live with a wonderful view of the park area along St. Louis Avenue and witness each day the extreme speeding that Mr. Outz plainly sees from his home as well. I also witness the numerous bikes that utilize the bike lane as well as pedestrian traffic. The pedestrian traffic we get are dog walkers in this area. I would suggest that Terry McGean and Mayor Rick Meehan take a bike ride on roads that share the same road with bikes, then ride along the bike lane on St. Louis Ave. all the while counting pedestrians.
I find it quite ironic that on one hand our city engineer says, 'I added the bike lane. I don't think anyone on the council wants to lose it'. Yet, the City Council voted 4-3 for bikes to share the road with cars. Then Mr. McGean goes on to say, 'all we're talking about is does the bike lane have two stripes or one stripe?' Who does he think he's taking to? The difference is having a bike lane and not having a bike lane.
I would like to take this time to thank Nancy Howard, Mary Knight and Margaret Pillas for voting in favor of what it seems to me to be what the citizens of this town obviously want. But, because of the never spoke of, but widely known, 'Ole Boys Club Mentality', you were once again one vote short. It was no surprise to me to learn the councilman that made the motion for the changes. At Kathy's small atmosphere, I heard too many of his early morning breakfast rants against Ms. Howard. It is no small wonder she is leaving council. I do know she will be terribly missed by many locals. We can only hope for better teamwork in the future.
Delay Electric Meeting
Till After Town Election
(The following letter was addressed to interim Mayor Gee Williams.)
I am writing this electronic correspondence as a follow-up to some of our previous discussions as well as your own public pronouncements regarding the value of soliciting various stakeholders in reaching short-term and long-term improvements in Berlin Electric.
At the recent Sept. 22 public meeting, your consultant, Booth & Associates Consulting Engineers (a subsidiary company of Utility Services Associates, Inc.), presented the town's preliminary findings. While the exact scope of Booth & Associates remains unknown, it has become self-evident that additional insight is warranted from other stakeholders prior to the next public meeting (currently scheduled for Oct. 7).
The involvement of other stakeholders would serve to provide the town with a vetting process. This would also provide the consultants the opportunity to gain greater awareness on likely (and perhaps quite germane) questions which could arise from the public. It would further provide the opportunity to have the consultants hear other important perspectives beyond their and the town's own. Collectively, stakeholder involvement would constitute an important 'self-check' for the Town on the nature and scope of the material presented by your consultant.
It is quite possible that with the involvement of other stakeholders, some degree of consensus could be reached regarding what is presented to the public. The alternative, of course, is that the Office of Mayor and your consultant continue to work in a vacuum. As matters currently stand, all presentation material is endorsed uniquely by the Office of Mayor alone. Endorsement by your office of any material presented in a public setting by your consultant is irrefutable. This is not an inferred endorsement by your office, it is an explicit endorsement by you as interim mayor.
The nature, participants and timing of stakeholder involvement prior to the next public meeting can be addressed in the near-term if you find this suggestion of merit.
Based on the short timeframe between now and the next meeting, and in consideration of the political calendar, it may be most appropriate to consider a postponement of the public meeting until this broader stakeholder involvement can occur.
I look forward to your timely and productive response.
Damian V. Preziosi
More To Life Than
Just Bottom Line
Recently, a woman waked into my business distressed that she had lost a dollar in the newspaper machine in front of a neighboring business. She was informed by the employees of that business to see me about the problem. Being unaware of the newly placed machines and having a moment between clients, I walked with her to said business to inform the employees they needed to return the dollar to the woman as it was obvious their responsibility.
A phone call was made to I assumed to be a corporate person about the dollar at hand. The response was again 'we're not responsible.' I informed the employee that this woman was a customer of theirs and that it's only a dollar, while a line of people were out the door and overflowing onto the sidewalk, waiting to spend their dollars. Again, same response.
So, the woman and I walked back to my business and I personally gave her a dollar. She left with so much appreciation, stating she would return to do business with me and not with the 'not responsible' business in the future.
Well, the future came about six hours later and she spent $100 in my salon.
The moral of this story is not about the dollar, it's about being of service and just plain being nice. It's not about the bottom line.
Animal Cruelty Laws
Need More Attention
Some recent tragic events in our area emphasize the need for animal cruelty laws with some teeth in them, laws that would go a long way to preventing these incidents from occurring again.
The first is the general attitude by many seasonal workers and visitors that the animals that they acquire during their visit to our city are •€˜disposable' and can be discarded like refuse at the end of their stay. These beautiful creatures are living, breathing beings that feel love, fear, happiness and pain, just as any human does. But, unlike humans, these little bundles of fur and love don't have the capacity or will to just abandon. They are loyal and trusting, sometimes to the bitter end.
This brings up the second incident, where some heartless murderer discarded two very small kittens to a merciless Route 90 bridge. One of these unfortunate sweethearts did not survive their ordeal. The only reason the other was saved was quick and unselfish action by a Good Samaritan, who risked her own safety to save this precious bundle.
Incident #3 occurred in Cambridge, where a passerby discovered a Poodle mix that had been left, 'for just a minute' according to its owner, in a locked automobile with no water and the windows down approximately 2'. This was on a day when the temperature reached 84 degrees with 50-60-percent humidity. The poodle was not able to be saved and passed away before a crowd of onlookers.
All of these incidents highlight the attitude held by many that our pets are •€˜disposable' and don't deserve our protection. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our pets depend on us for everything, from choosing the right food to providing a proper and safe living environment to caring for their medical issues. This dependence is based in love and trust. And in return for all that we do for our animals they give us 100% devotion. They don't care what we look like or where we live, whether we have great jobs or drive new cars, if we're young or old. All they want is our attention. Is that asking too much? I don't think so.
So why can't we protect our animals? Why can they be harmed without any repercussions? If a human, particularly an infant, were subject to the same conditions that some of these animals are there would be a huge hue and cry about how •€˜inhumane' their treatment is, yet the abuse for animals continues daily. If someone had dumped a couple of 9-month-old human babies onto Route 90, the public and the press would have had a field day with the story.
Don't the kittens treated so harshly deserve the same attention?
It's time for the abuse to stop.
Let's all act to put some power into the hands of those who will enact laws that prevent abuse of any living being, human or pet. Let's make the crimes listed above punishable by more than a slap on the wrist. Real jail time should be a requirement in any animal abuse case.
And, if nothing else, let's all start at home with our own animals by having them spayed or neutered. If we take these small measures to prevent unwanted animals from entering the system in the first place, this will lessen some of the opportunity for abuse.
And that's positive action.
God bless all animals.