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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Fireman Murphy--Letter to the Editor of the Ocean City Patch

To the editor:

Your story about the efforts of Ocean City Councilmen Keith Hartzell and Scott Ping’s proposal to save millions of taxpayer dollars over time without reducing any personnel while maintaining the same level of service was interesting on more than one level. First, it revealed that it is possible to do by assigning EMTs to do EMT jobs instead of Firemen. Significant savings would result by reducing firemen overtime while still maintaining three dual role EMT/firemen where needed to run the ambulances for all shifts.

It was also interesting on another level. Union President, John Murphy’s comment: “It’s hard to see how a paper salesman and a butcher can come up with a proposal without any further expertise.” However Councilman Hartzell had clearly put much time and effort in his study of the department, including information he obtained from Fire Chief Foglio. Besides being intelligent businessmen dedicated to serving their community, Hartzell and Ping appeared as if they were the only Councilpersons who were not intimidated by the Firemen in the back of the room mumbling occasional heckles. Not a single other Councilperson uttered a comment or question. Were they afraid? Uninterested? What?

Fireman Murphy’s comment seems to reveal an attitude that the elected people’s representatives should stay out of their business. I hope I am wrong. We appreciate the services our firemen provide. But it should be made clear that they are employed to serve the public, not the other way around.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

School Choice Program

The Ocean City school district was approved for the School Choice program this year and accepted 10 out of district students for the 9th and 10th grades. The school board then voted to accept 30 new students for next year's class. However, because of the large number of applications, at the December school board meeting, a total of 58 school choice students were approved for the 2012-2013 school year. the breakdown is as following:

1st grade - 2 students

2nd - 2

3rd - 4

4th - 2

5th - 3

6th - 3

7th - 3

8th - 4

9th - 30

10th - 3

11th - 2

Since a large number of the new students will be coming from Margate, it appears that Ocean City high school will soon become the de facto high school for Margate. Margate students currently attend Atlantic City high school and Holy Spirit high school.

Ocean City will receive $11,500 from the state for each student it accepts into the School Choice program. Ocean City will not be responsible for any transportation costs. The new students will occupy empty seats in the Ocean City school district, which has been suffering a decline in student population.

Posted by Julie Baumgardner at 10:20 PM
Categories: Schools