Message from the Mayor
STATE OF THE TOWN
April 27, 2016
Mayor Walter F. Curran
Ocean View is a small, quaint town. This is a natural progression of the years and population growth. That it is a nice place to live, and even more so in the last five years, is because elected officials have worked hard to ensure that the Town remains fiscally responsible, that we listen to what the residents want but we make our decisions based on what is best for the long term good of the Town and avoid knee-jerk reactions to hot topics. We have tried to make it more business friendly, but small businesses, ones that fit into the pattern of the town and don’t overwhelm it.
The entire Town Council plays a role in these actions and decisions but as Mayor, I have taken the lead in making sure we focus on the priorities and move forward on those priorities. The first thing I did after being sworn into office was to reach out to all the HOA’s in the Town and offer to meet with them and listen to what they had to say about their communities and the relationship of those communities with the Town. I heard “Drainage”, “Speeding” and “Sidewalks” early and often. I will continue to meet with the HOA’s to address their concerns.
It has been two years since I assumed the office of Mayor of Ocean View and they have been busy years.
Ocean View is in good financial shape and this years’ budget reflects the sensible and realistic outlook of the Town staff and the Town Council. In January 2015 the Town Council approved the staff joining the State program for Health Benefits and it was a disjointed year due to different expiration and renewal dates which forced duplicative deductibles onto the staff. We are past that now and, while we rely on state level decisions for overall costs of the health care program, decisions on individual deductibles and contributions remains in the hands of the Town Council.
The County Council created the 2015 Economic Development and Infrastructure Grant and Ocean View received $10,000 of that Grant.
This year, so far in the state budget process there has been no reduction in the Municipal Street Aid. That is good news for Ocean View and all Delaware towns.
The Town continues to financially support the Millville Volunteer Fire Company which is a fair trade for the wonderful service they provide to our community. The debate continues on whether the town will agree to a contract with MVFC and create an annual $35 per capita tax to support them. We have until the end of calendar year 2016 to make the final decision.
The drainage program has made a lot of progress this year as citizens better understand the necessity for granting easements to the town so that the projects can go forward.
We have had to deal with the poor results of resurfacing of certain streets and the paving contractor has honored its warranty and they are re-paving those streets not up to standards.
Looking forward, the continuing issues will be 1) trying to maintain Health Care benefits for Town employees at prices both the Town and the employees can cope with; 2) drainage will remain a priority for the next few years and; 3) continuing to comply with the ADA requirements for sidewalks.
I thank out-going Council member Geoff Christ for his six years of fine dedicated service to the Town and welcome his replacement, Frank G. Twardzik. We have an excellent Town Council and Town Staff and I look forward to working with them in the next year as we continue to look out for the best interests of the citizens of Ocean View.