OCEAN CITY – The Social Security days held at City Hall twice a week during the summer months may not be returning next year, raising concerns over the negative effects it could have on foreign students.
Brooks Trimper, member of the Ocean City Task Force, which works to examine the problems faced by summer student employees, reported this week that Social Security would not be returning to City Hall next summer.
For several summers, Social Security has set up camp at City Hall twice a week to give the foreign students the opportunity to apply for their Social Security Cards. The only other option is to travel to Salisbury.
This past summer 2,500 applications were accepted through Social Security at City Hall. Trimper explained that the Social Security days at City Hall not only provide a chance for students to apply for their cards, but also acts as the hub of information services.
Police officers are present to provide information and better educate students on bicycle and personal safety. Trimper explained that it also helps to calm the foreign students’ initial fears of police, explaining that police are viewed differently in many of the students home countries.
Trimper explained that the Social Security office is adamant about not returning to City Hall next year. The technology reportedly does not match up between the computers used on site and the computers used in the office, resulting in a cumbersome and often confusing job for Social Security employees. Trimper reported that the result was a back up in Social Security cards and a lack of efficiency.
Students instead will be required to travel to Salisbury to apply. Cards will still be available for pick-up at City Hall.
“That’s going to be one of our biggest hurdles next year; getting the students over to Social Security,” Trimper said.
The City Council agreed that it would cause numerous problems for the students and would deprive them of the information being provided.
“If we don’t see them here, we probably won’t see them,” said Council member Jim Hall, explaining that the City Hall Social Security days provided the task force and the town a chance to reach out to the students and educate them on local laws and culture.
A motion was made to write a letter from the Mayor and Council to Senator Barbara Mikulski and all other appropriate entities in an effort to bring Social Security back to City Hall. The council voted unanimously, with Council member Nancy Howard out of the room, to approve the motion.