Editor, The Delmarva Association of Animal Rescuers (DAAR) would like to thank Mayor Sheehan, Chief DiPino and the rest of the Ocean City Police Commission for meeting with us on Wednesday to discuss the feral cat issue in Ocean City.
There was a lot of useful information and ideas exchanged during the meeting, with each side taking away a new understanding of the trials and tribulations the other faces on a daily basis.
We hope that this dialogue will continue and there can be reasonable agreements and new programs created that will be beneficial to the feral cats residing in our community as well as to the community itself.
For its part, the DAAR will work closely with the City Council, the Mayor's office, OC Animal Control and the Chamber of Commerce in creating positive legislation and programs that will continue to serve the needs of the community and meeting the policies of the city.
We look forward to meeting with all of these parties for future discussions. These discussions include positive TNR legislation, creating an advertising campaign promoting the spaying/neutering of owned and unowned animals and a number of other ideas.
The DAAR will hold an open meeting on Thursday, Jan. 20 at the Ocean City Library and we invite all who are interested to please join us for a round of conversation. Please see our website for more details.Paul Toulotte
(The writer is the founder of the Delmarva Association of Animal Rescuers.)
Mayor Needs To Veto Changes
Doesn't the new council in Ocean City sound just like the Republican and Democratic parties?
No compromise. Instead of sitting down and discussing all these changes, some might be right, but many are not, the new four-member part of the council ram everything through regardless.
I now realize that I made a voting mistake and will remember all of this the next time. I am for the mayor to veto all of these changes for the present.
Joseph M. Marx Sr.
Division Always Existed
There is criticism regarding the 4-3 vote on the Ocean City Council since the past election. Let's be fair, and recall that the 4-3 vote was there prior to the election. The majority/minority vote simply changed sides.
Another issue is that many city employees feel that the cost cutting efforts of the City Council are unfair. In our opinion, the silent majority of the taxpaying residents in Ocean City feels that the council has the responsibility to address fiscal issues in view of the uncertainty of the economy.
It isn't only Ocean City that faces these issues. Many municipalities have issued cross the board wage cuts. The state of Delaware gave all state employees a 2.5% pay cut two fiscal years ago and they have gone without a pay increase since 2008. In fact, Governor Markell is drafting proposals for new hires regarding pay, 401K retirement plan, sick leave and health care similar to those adopted by our council.
One of the disadvantages we see in the approach taken by our council is that low-paid employees are going to help with the economizing while senior employees, department heads, supervisors, city manager, and supervisors will not.
In our opinion, Ocean City takes good care of its employees and those seeking employment will be attracted to its pay and fringe benefit package.
As evidence, we refer you to "Salaries " published by Ocean City Today, June 25, 2010. It lists employees of Ocean City and their salaries excluding fringe benefits.
In view of it all, the council must differentiate between our employees’ wants and their needs.John and Ann McDermott Ocean City
Leave Social Security Alone
An ABC poll shows that while most Americans favor most of the Omnibus Package, 57 percent oppose the part which for one year cuts 2 points off the Social Security (SS) payroll tax, reducing it from 6.2 to 4.2 percent. To buttress SS benefits during the year, $112 billion would be borrowed.
This destabilizes SS. It funds SS with deficit spending. What happens at year’s end? Republicans will want to make the cut permanent and reduce benefits bigtime – part of a plot to kill SS because it’s no special help to the corporate-military-rich people complex.
As funded before Omnibus, SS could have maintained full benefits for another 27 years. Democrats were planning these modest adjustments to prevent shortfalls thereafter:
1. Slowly but more substantially lift the cap on earnings to the SS tax. The cap is now $106,800 and inches up automatically each year based on average wages. A bigger lift would reduce the shortfall 40% and would affect only higher earners.
2. Also slowly raise 1/20th of 1 percent per year for 20 years the payroll tax rate. Shortfall reductions: 23%. Yes, this is a sacrifice for the middle class and poor.3. Extend SS to newly hired state and local government workers. Shortfall reduction: 10%.
4. Give SS just some of the tax on large estates. Shortfall reductions: 27%.
These adjustments would have, before Omnibus, cut the shortfall after 2038 by 100%. Who knows what will be necessary now to do that? Four things to remember: Every sixth American receives SS and every seventh retiree depends on SS for 100% of his income. SS is a pension to which workers contribute – not welfare. SS is a major pillar of both the economy and the middle class.
And messing with SS is playing with social fire, Mr. Obama.
Severna Park, Md.
Carrier Issue Concerning
This letter references numerous points in Steve Cohen’s article in Forbes of October 25, 2010 entitled “Where Are The Carriers?”, which concerns the availability, value, and number of U.S. aircraft carriers.
As a former Navy enlisted man and Naval officer, I am concerned with our ability to deter, thwart, and counter aggression in the world. Our carrier battle groups are formidable forces that can be forwardly deployed to remote and far flung locations around the globe. Each carrier provides on the order of 70 aircraft ready for battle. They are highly maneuverable moving platforms, and contrary to the Defense Secretary’s thinking, the long range anti-ship missile systems of any foreign country probably do not have pinpoint accuracy at long distances to inflict damage on the carriers. Fixed long range missile sites could be knocked out, if necessary, by a number of U.S. systems and by the conduct of special operations. At short ranges enemy shipboard based missiles would be subject to attack from our aircraft, surface warfare vessels and submarines.
It is worthy to note the apparent value of aircraft carriers to China. It currently has four aircraft carriers under refurbishment, which it purchased from other countries.
If Secretary Gates isn’t going to rely on the carrier battle groups for close air support for our troops then he will have to use land based planes which are typically located potentially far from the various hotspots in the world. The planes have to fly long distances to get to their targets and our fixed bases could be vulnerable to enemy air attacks and sabotage operations.
As of the end of October, we had only three out of 11 carriers operational. Having two carriers in dry dock and six carriers in various stages of refurbishment, maintenance and recertification means we are not prepared to address potential conflicts around the globe. Three carrier battle groups would not be enough to counter a North Korean attack against South Korea. Furthermore, we need at least one or two carrier battle groups to support operations in Afghanistan. It is estimated the six carriers in various stages of repair and maintenance could be made available for operations within 30 to 90 days, but this is unacceptable in terms of needed response times.
We need to do a better job of having more of our carriers operational at any one time. Our security and the security of our allies are in jeopardy when eight of eleven carriers are laid up for repairs, maintenance and refurbishment. We probably need 15 carrier battle groups to cover our worldwide security commitments, and provide for downtime associated with in port maintenance activities.
Donald A. Moskowitz