I like the innovative approach the Indian River School District in southern Delaware took this week in dealing with an unusual amount of inclement weather days.

Indian River schools have been closed seven days this winter due to snow. As a result, the school system decided to extend the school day by 30 minutes beginning Monday, March 17, to help account for the lost time. By doing this, over the course of a four-week month (20 school days), the school system will be able to make up a little more than one school day per month.

Worcester, where there have been eight inclement weather days, is thinking outside the box as well, cutting short next month’s spring break by one day with the decision to add a half-day on April 17, which was previously a full day off. Word is the school system is reluctant to go the same route Indian River did this week due to sports event complications, among other unknown reasons. At this point, Worcester needs to make up five days unless a waiver is secured from the state.

In Maryland, there is a real concern apparently among the local Boards of Elections regarding the last day of the school year. The primary election is set for June 24 and many jurisdictions, including Worcester and Wicomico counties, utilize school buildings for voting due to their size and parking availability.

In nearly all cases, the students will be finished up by then but the concern lies with teacher in-service days to wrap up the year in addition to worries for more inclement days.

The good news is spring starts next Thursday.


There was a perplexing discussion on elected officials’ pay in Salisbury this week with some officials maintaining a spike in pay is needed to attract qualified candidates to seek public office.

That’s a first. I have never heard that argument before and it’s an odd one to make. Pay has nothing to do with whether people make the jump into the proverbial fish bowl that is politics. Other considerations, such as time availability, work obligations, family demands and an interest in serving, usually play more of a factor.

Nonetheless, it’s worth noting an independent committee of residents has suggested increasing Salisbury elected officials’ annual pay from $10,000 to $11,200, or a 12-percent adjustment.

Using 15 hours per week, which I think is generous, devoted to being a council person means a total of 780 hours a year. That means $12.82 an hour at the current $10,000 a year salary. The proposed bump in pay would take that hourly figure to $14.35. That small increase will have no impact on the hypothetical resident who is on the fence about seeking public office.

The bottom line here is nobody is running for public office for the money because it’s just not worth the aggravation and time commitment. People seek elected seats because they feel they can make a difference and want to serve their community. I don’t believe anyone is computing their per-hour pay (besides me). If they are, it’s probably not the right job for them.


Ocean City was asked this week to consider allowing horse and carriage rides downtown during the summer months. I was surprised the operator was not laughed out of the room.

To be fair, members of the Police Commission were skeptical at best about the plan, which involves a route starting at 2nd Street and the Boardwalk, heading west across Baltimore and Philadelphia avenues to Chicago Avenue north to 4th Street, back south along St. Louis Avenue to the starting point at 2nd Street.

Obvious opposition from the police department was recorded due to public safety concerns over pedestrian and vehicular congestion in a crowded downtown area already. In the end, the commission tabled the matter in lieu of gathering more information on accidents at the two intersections along the proposed route.

While I like the carriage rides as an off-season activity, this is a matter that should get little future consideration.