earn thanks, donations
On Aug. 17, I called to report a fire next door. I was terrified as flames flashed through the home.
I would like to praise the members of the Oceanville Volunteer Fire Company, who performed in a calm, orderly and brave manner. These are volunteers. We should never take them for granted.
So when donations are requested, please contribute with love in your hearts for these volunteers.
We are blessed to have such people in our community, who care enough to sacrifice their time, health and lives for anyone who is in need.
Ventnor mayor's actions
sparked recall move
Once again Ventnor residents are expressing outrage at their government. The last time this occurred, the result was the fall of an entrenched regime that was thought to be politically invincible despite its record of increasing taxes, neglected infrastructure and overt arrogance.
The administration of Mayor Theresa Kelly, which followed and which I was proud to be a part of, did its best to turn things around. We made progress, but Mike Bagnell and his running mates successfully portrayed themselves as better equipped to serve. They have, however, failed to deliver on their promise - so much so that there is a growing movement to recall Bagnell.
I had not intended to be involved in that movement. But the promiscuous hiring to repay political favors, the hiring of cronies to staff positions at surreal salaries and shutting down free exchanges at commission meetings have all begun to wear on me.
I feel compelled to support those courageous folks who are calling out the mayor. The prospects for a better Ventnor have diminished over the past year. Taxes are rising under the pressure of debt and spending, while revenues are declining. What will another three years bring?
We can't afford to wait and see. We must act now to protect the interests of taxpayers and city employees.
John Piatt is a former city commissioner in Ventnor.
on Margate dune plan
Margate's white-sand beach is as beautiful now as it was before Hurricane Sandy. No replenishment is needed. It has grown considerably over the years, most likely due to replenishment projects in Atlantic City and Ventnor. It is the core of our economy and has kept property values high and taxes low by appealing to second-home buyers.
Consider the monetary cost of building dunes. The initial project is "free," but taxpayers will be locked into 40 more years of replenishments. Consider the scenario if the federal government discontinues funding. We could be left with a beach that has been greatly diminished in width by the dunes and possibly further eroded from other storms. The full burden of restoring our beach would fall to taxpayers.
There are still many questions that need to be answered. Our big problem is the bay, not the ocean. The issue of flooding from bay water needs to be addressed.
What is the estimated cost to Margate of subsequent replenishment projects?
Who will benefit most from the creation of dunes? Beachfront and beachblock property owners, the majority of whom do not appear to be in favor of the dunes?
What will happen to our property values if our beach is degraded? Will subsequent replenishments also be done during the summer months?
Where will rainwater drain?
Bagnell performed well
While I cannot dispel every accusation hurled at Ventnor Mayor Mike Bagnell and his administration, I can assuredly address the erroneous charge that he failed to communicate with displaced residents during Hurricane Sandy.
We endured the storm from our home. In the dark, in the silence, in the rage, we had one means of receiving information - local radio station WOND. The station stayed with us day and night.
During the broadcasts, announcers noted that Ventnor was the one town that was providing regular updates - so much so that other island towns were criticized for providing little to no information at all.
After power was restored, we received regular bulletins over the Internet. These bulletins not only provided vital information, but also disclosed the rationale the mayor's office used in making decisions regarding that information. That's the truth. That's the reality, first-hand.
I don't get this witch hunt, and I am skeptical as to how many of these accusations are accurate.