HARRY HURLEY OPINION EDITORIAL

MAYOR BETH MACCAGNANO HOLTZMAN UNCONDITIONALLY SUPPORTS VETERAN BEACH ICE CREAM CONCESSION VENDORS

I want to take this opportunity to rise in support of Ventnor City Mayor Beth Maccagnano Holtzman.

The Mayor is forcefully and unconditionally pushing back against a very bad idea. She’s absolutely right.

Even bringing up the subject of increasing the annual licensing fees for those who work the summer beach concessions in Ventnor is a terrible idea.

For those who don’t know, the ice cream operators in Ventnor are all United States Veteran’s.

We all have incredible memories from childhood to adulthood on the Ventnor City beaches.

Close your eyes, you can hear them now.

“Ice cream and ices. Who wants a fudgy wudgy.”

To quote the great philosopher, Joe Biden ... “Come on man.”

I was strenuously against the move last year when the Veteran’s saw their annual licensing fees increased from $ 50 to $ 500 annually.

There are 14 available vendor licenses. What was accomplished when Ventnor City went from earning $ 700 to $ 7,000 per-year?

In reality, nothing productive at all. But, even at a $ 500 fee per-year, it directly hurt Veteran’s, who experienced a 10 times increase in the cost for doing business.

Now, a year later, some knucklehead is talking about raising the annual license fee from $ 500 to more than $ 3,500 per-year.

Whether it’s raised all at once, or, incrementally makes no difference. It’s just plain wrong. Knock it off.

This is outrageous and all talk of this nonsense must be stopped right in its tracks.

There are some traditions which are worth keeping at all costs.

The bond between the residents and visitors of Ventnor and the summer ice cream vendors is a special one. It’s inter-generational.

To go after Veteran’s for such a relatively small amount of money ... yet, it is an exorbitant amount of money for them ... is just plain stupid and tone deaf.

It’s also very disrespectful to the Veteran’s who have served our country in countless, material ways.

Every generation of Ventnor residents well remembers your beach and the ice cream vendor who served your beach.

It was like a Family. Year-after-year, your beach days were made that much more special. On a hot, summer day when you heard your ice cream vendor shout out his creative, personal, verbal schtick ... children and adults alike became excited and happy for the experience.

Trying to raise $ 40,000 to $ 50,000 annually by sticking it to our Veteran’s is grotesque.

I join with Mayor Beth to unconditionally reject this bad idea.

Many times in life, elected and appointed officials get themselves in hot water by “overthinking the house.”

To the person who is spearheading this nonsense, who has stated that Ventnor City is giving away the licenses, calling it “obscene.”

You couldn’t be more wrong. The only obscenity is the punitive concept that you’ve proposed.

There is one obnoxious Ventnor City Commissioner, Tim Kriebel, who loves to hear himself talk and talk and talk. About anything and everything.

Kriebel has more bone-headed ideas than Slip Mahoney from “The Bowery Boys.”

While not directly advocating for it, he appears open to the idea of looking further into it.

For once, he should consider it appropriate to just dismiss a bad idea from jump street.

Which is exactly what Mayor Beth did. I’m confident that her leadership will prevail and that this punitive, bad idea will be sent packing.

If not, watch as a relentless, pro-Veteran campaign is publicly and effectively unleashed. This is the kind of stupidity that directly leads to an early retirement program for stubborn, tone deaf elected and appointed officials.

Congratulations to Mayor Beth for immediately stepping-up and knocking this down.

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