Voices From The Readers
More Tax Dollars Wasted Fighting OCPD Suit
Your article titled, 'Dismissal Sought in Discrimination Case with OCPD,' is yet another example of taxpayers' money being spent unnecessarily. It is ironic this article is in the same edition as the story on the Ocean City Council cutting 45 take-home cars at an annual savings of $90,000. How much has the town spent defending yet another civil suit against the police department and its chief? Legal representation in the U.S. District Court is not cheap, and I'm sure the costs incurred with this case are greater than that saved by a 63-percent reduction in the take home vehicle fleet.
The William Bunting I know is a very fine police officer and supervisor. He was and is an excellent candidate for police lieutenant. I say this after serving almost 30 years with the Ocean City Police Department, six of which were as a lieutenant and 16 years as a captain. I was actively involved with the promotional process in the OCPD for many years under various chiefs, and served on promotional boards for other police agencies on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Sergeant Bunting also worked directly for me and demonstrated many leadership characteristics.
As I understand it, the bottom line and basis for this suit is Sergeant Bunting wasn't even given the opportunity to participate in the process. He was off serving our country, and someone forgot him. The suit was brought because he wasn't given the same treatment and considerations as previously allotted others serving our country.
Pretty sad. What is even worse is the Mayor and City Council not only allows such discrimination and poor working environment to continue but don't seem to have any qualms about wasting your tax dollars trying to defend it.
(The writer is a retired captain from the Ocean City Police Department.)
Trust Must Be Built
I live not far from the Route 113 and Bay Street intersection. I will not go to the convenience store and am apprehensive about driving through the area at night. State's Attorney Joel Todd has been quoted numerous times regarding the drug trafficking problem that bounces back and forth from Henry Park to Uncle Willie's.
From time to time, I see a Berlin police car parked off of Bay Street. What is the point of that? Intimidation? I'm sure that the police know better than anyone that many residents view police as the enemy and fear local retribution should they cooperate with any information.
Why is there no community policing in this area? Why aren't officers walking the beat and getting to know the people? The eventual trust that could develop may also yield valuable information about illegal activities, as well as teach the next generation that all police officers are not hiding in speed traps, but are truly working to help the entire community.
Reported In Moped Saga
On June 16, I bought my son a moped. It was a top-of-the-line type but somewhat down that line in cost. On Aug. 26 he was hit by an SUV traveling in the same direction as he, but the driver of the SUV, who was in the middle lane, decided that he wanted to make an immediate right into a downtown parking lot. As a result, my son was hit by the SUV, driven into a fence post and took quite a hit to his chest, arm and leg. The crash was investigated by an Ocean City K9 policeman and subsequently resulted in my son being transported to PRMC in Salisbury. He was treated and released. The moped was OK.
On Sept. 9, the moped was stolen from our locked shed. The shed door and side panel was ripped off and the top was torn loose and thrown aside. I had to work that day and I told my son to call 911 and report it. As luck would have it, the same Ocean City K9 officer responded to the call, took the information and pictures and wrote the report. I, of course, reported it to my homeowners insurance company who took the information and very promptly reported back that since it wasn't used to maintain the property it was not covered. And the shed's damage was below my deductible.
On Wednesday, Sept. 30, my son called the investigating officer's direct phone number and left a message asking if he had any news on the moped. No response to that call as of this writing.
On Monday, Oct. 5 a customer came into my shop and mentioned that she worked for the Ocean City government. We got to talking and I told her about the crash and the stolen moped. She said you better check the impound lot.
That night I was reading one of the local newspapers and saw that the police department was getting ready to auction quite a few vehicles (mopeds included, but ours wasn't listed) on Oct. 17. I told my son that he probably should go to the auction and maybe even preview what was for sale if he could.
The following morning, Oct. 6, he did exactly that•€¦and guess what? His moped was in the lot. The property clerk told him that it came in on Sept. 14, five days after it was reported. And guess what? It had been found only three blocks from our home.
The property clerk also mentioned that the recovering officer probably would have noticed it 'if' (not when), but if he had checked the record. My son then asked why he/she hadn't seen it. She said, 'It wasn't entered into the system'. What system my son asked? The NCI? (unintelligible). So apparently, the original officer who investigated the theft on that Sept. 9 morning didn't go far enough in entering the vehicle's identity (and he had it, VIN and all) into the stolen vehicle system. And I say apparently, not because there was any question as to whether he did or not (he didn't), but because the property clerk checked, while my son was standing there, the system to see if the was any record of it being a stolen vehicle. No record.
Another crime is that having been out in the weather for almost a month, like it was, there's quite a bit of rust on it (the chain's the worst), it has a flat rear tire, it won't start and there's some kind of glop in the fuel tank.
Thanks Ocean City Police Department. I'll be sure and respond when the FOP calls.
Lawrence E. Snoots
Fiddlers Success Reported
The 17th Annual Berlin Fiddlers Convention Sept. 25 - 27 was a record breaking event this year, with more fans, more musicians, more sponsors, more retail sales and more fun than ever before. Berlin's Main Street looked like the Boardwalk on the Fourth of July during this annual three-day bluegrass competition and festival.
The Berlin Chamber of Commerce is proud to thank the following businesses and individuals who made this year's Fiddlers Convention possible:
The Town of Berlin , Froggy 99.9, Comcast Spotlight, The Globe, PNC Bank, Barrett Chevrolet Chrysler Dodge Jeep, Taylor Bank, Victorian Charm, Spartanburg SC Friends of the Fiddlers, Bank of Ocean City, Git R Done Cleaning Services, First Shore Federal, Maryland Coast Dispatch, Del. Jim Mathias, Frontier Town, Worcester County Tourism, Delmarva Power, Robert McIntosh, Esq, Royal Plus Inc/Disaster Kleenup Int., MarshallEstateServices.com, Purnell Inc., The Jeweler, Bayside Gazette, Burbage Funeral Home, Atlantic Hotel, Atlantic General Hospital, Adkins Company, Pink Box Bakery, Grow Berlin Green, Rayne's Reef, Sheppard Realty, Claudia Nichols State Farm Insurance, Church Mouse Thrift Shop, Bunting Realty, and Berlin Interventional Pain Management.
In today's challenging economic climate, such generosity must be recognized. Thank you all so much.
(Anita Todd is the president of the Berlin Chamber of Commerce. Joel Todd is the chairman of the 17th Annual Berlin Fiddlers Convention.)
Tax Break To Consider
The "Cash for Clunkers" program for new cars may have ended, but the IRS wants to remind taxpayers that many people might overlook another special break available. If you buy a new vehicle this year, there's a special federal tax deduction available that can help you save money, in some cases hundreds of dollars. This tax break will allow people who buy a new vehicle in 2009 to deduct the sales and excise taxes they pay when they file their tax return next year. The tax deduction is available on the 2009 federal tax return even for those who claim the standard deduction.
The deduction is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and applies to taxes paid on up to $49,500 of the purchase price for qualified new cars, light trucks, motorcycles or motor homes. Generally, vehicles weighing 8,500 pounds or less qualify. This means that most new cars and many new trucks will qualify. New motor homes qualify regardless of weight.
Buyers are entitled to a partial deduction if they earn between $125,000 and $135,000 ($250,000 and $260,000 for joint filers). The deduction is eliminated for those who earn over these amounts.
To qualify the vehicle must be new and purchased in 2009 after Feb. 16 and no later than Dec. 31. There is still time left but the clock is ticking.