Voices From The Readers
Leaves Bad Taste
Ocean City Council President Joe Mitrecic's actions at the Jan. 27 council meeting were reprehensible.
Council member Joe Hall requested the Ocean City taxpayers show up at the meeting to offer suggestions on solving the Ocean City budget crisis. Evidently, Mitrecic, who sets the agenda for council meetings, did not want taxpayers' comments. First, the start of the open meeting was delayed by one of the council's lengthy secret meetings. Then Mitrecic loaded up the open meeting with so many topics of discussion, many of which could have been delayed for later meetings, that the Jan. 27 meeting lasted over four hours, one of the longest meetings in my memory.
As a result, any member of the public who wanted to discuss the budget crisis had to wait to the end of the four-hour agenda set by Mitrecic. Even at the end of the meeting, Mitrecic did not permit public comment before he adjourned the meeting.
Mitrecic's actions in not permitting taxpayers' comments is but another example of the Ocean City backroom politics that believes reasoned public input in the decision making process is not useful.
Local GOP Women
Pledge Steele Support
Worcester County Republican Women (Republican Women of Worcester County and Delmarva Republican Women) congratulate former Maryland Lt. Gov. Steele on his election as chairman of the Republican National Committee.
These two clubs, along with the National and Maryland Federations of Republican Women, pledge their support to work with Michael at the grassroots level to return the Republican Party to the party of good government; the party of national strength and pride as we develop new and innovative ideas to meet the challenges of changing times.
I personally believe as a Republican woman that the strength of our nation lies with the individual and that each person's dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored. If you are interested in these same values and want more information on the Republican Women in Worcester County, please call me at 410.641.7243, firstname.lastname@example.org
(The writer is the 1st Vice President of the Maryland Federation of Republican Women.)
Things Do Not
Seem So Bad
I could hardly believe it. Half-way between the Winter Soltice and the Spring Equinox both parking lots at the Clarion were full. At the Carousel, too.
And not an empty parking spot at the Convention Center. And then I remembered: Ocean City is a tourist town, nothing more. The Mayor constantly tells us this. And with the Super Bowl in the local sports bars, who could ask for anything more?
So, why should I not take time to watch a couple of hours of the Ocean City Mayor and Council in session? Right there on Channel 4 at 7 p.m.? Oops. Instead it lasted four hours. The councillors and mayor were totally involved with the town manager and department heads. All trying to reduce costs and taxes in one way or another. Even the town manager said he got the message: no increase in taxes or cuts in services.
And then I remembered that all the folks who pay the real estate taxes must keep in mind that 59 percent goes to Worcester County, 32 percent to Ocean City, and 9 percent to the state. And taxpayers have to demand that operating efficiencies are an absolute goal, with no trade-off in public safety, whether it is police, fire, EMS, public works, etc. None.
How well I remember the town manager indicating nearly $2.5 million in reduced 2009 costs that can be rolled to over to 2010. But, cautioning that a 10% decline in room and meal taxes does not augur well for the coming fiscal year.
As a long-time employee of the Auditor General of the Air Force I am pretty well impressed with the activities of the town department heads and key management employees. I am not sure they come any better. This, of course, does not mean that all is perfect, but in the end it is hard to get any help from the Wizard of Oz.
I am confident the town will do what it has to do to deal with the local reality of our nation's economic doldrums, even with differing opinions on how and when. I always did honor diversity: in the end the vote decides the direction. So, for those taxpayers, who are rightly concerned with the town and their own interests, just be sure you pull the right tail of the right dog. Or, as my dad used to say, if not sure which direction is right, "let a sleeping dog lie." Oh, by the way, my grandkids and their kids have already checked in on the Air Show in June. They insist upon it. I agree.
Correcting The Record
(The following was addressed to Delegates Norman Conway and Jim Mathias.)
I want to thank you again for arranging the Public Meeting at the Ocean Pines Library on Saturday, Jan. 24.
I would like to correct any misconception that the Ocean Pines Association is requesting a percentage of slots revenues and restate the following positions:
1. The Board considers the prior, unsubstantiated allocation of 30% of impact funds to two jurisdictions to be neither fair nor equitable to the remaining communities in the County, and in particular to those closest to the currently proposed slots venue.
2. The Association believes and supports the Worcester County position that a change to the legislation is warranted and should direct all proceeds to County Government for distribution after a documented impact has been established.
Thank you for your continuing representation of our interests and for considering this issue. We are very open to further discussions at any time and are willing to accept your offer to visit Annapolis if a mutually agreeable date can be arranged.
Ocean Pines Association
No Risk For Town
In Bidding Process
This is in response to Publisher/Editor Steve Green's Between The Lines article of Jan. 30, 2008.
As a long-time worker in the procurement/ acquisition field, I would like to comment on your position regarding use of the Request For Proposal (RFP) in town purchasing activities. I fully support use of sole source and negotiated contracting where appropriate and have used both processes effectively.
On the other hand one must remember that RFP does not mean award to the "low bidder", as suggested by one Town official. Use of the RFP is a relatively simple process whereby the user states the need for necessary goods or services, states their intended usage, cites selection criteria to be used "if "an award is to be made to a selected vendor.
The RFP should state that the user (town) reserves the right not to select from among the offerings nor to not proceed to award at all. Simply put, use of the RFP alerts potential vendors of a requirement the Town has and provides an instrument whereby an interested provider may offer to meet that stated requirement. Selection of a successful offer is the responsibility of the Town, in this instance, and may or may not result in the award of a contract, there is no risk to the town in using the process if handled properly.
Valentines For Vets
Program Supported Well
Veterans at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, Perry Point VA Medical Center, Baltimore Extended Care Center (BRAC), and the Baltimore VA Medical Center will again enjoy receiving over 1,100 Valentines from local children and adults.
For the ninth year, the Republican Women of Worcester County has collected Valentine Cards for Veterans to express appreciation for their service and sacrifices, and hopefully, give them a smile.
Again, we thank Linda Dearing for paying for the shipping and we thank her staff at Copy Center (Ocean Pines) for the packing and shipping. Thanks, also, to Marlene Ott and Re/Max for making their office on Rt. 589 one of the convenient drop-off locations. Of course, the children are the stars with their wonderful home-made valentines. We, also, appreciate their teachers and leaders who encouraged them to create cards of thanks and have taught them who a veteran is and how much they have sacrificed. As Caring for America Chair, I thank all who participated and hope you will encourage your friends to do so next year. You can also send cards to a patient in one of the local nursing homes.
The list of schools includes Buckingham Elementary, Most Blessed Sacrament, Ocean City Elementary, Pocomoke Elementary, Showell Elementary, Wicomico Middle School, and Worcester Preparatory School. Other contributors: Anchorage Nursing Home, Little Lambs Day Care, Peninsula General Hospital Child Care Center, Worcester Developmental Center, RWWC members, and very caring citizens.
Lou Etta McClaflin