A pet peeve of mine for years has been driving into Ocean City and spotting the stationary police vehicles with illuminated lights at the foot of the Routes 50 and 90 bridges. I mention this at least once a year, and I know there are numerous businesses and residents, and at least a couple elected officials, who also have ideological differences with this scare tactic. The Ocean City Police Department’s intention is worthwhile and obvious – to maintain high visibility. However, what it also does is make the town appear like a police state. The fact is it’s simply not needed. Anyone that hit the road last weekend on the lower shore understands full well the police maintained an extremely high presence for Delmarva Bike Week. There were no illusions. Cops were everywhere and they were cracking down on anything and everything. They were stationed at every crossover on Route 50 between Ocean City and Salisbury on Friday afternoon and spotted every few blocks on Coastal Highway. It was not just an Ocean City police thing. The State Police troopers swarmed the area and the county and other surrounding towns were also involved. Obviously, the authorities need to be on the alert on these high-traffic weekends and Bike Week has grown into a monster event, but stationing these well-paid cops at the bridges is overkill and a waste of manpower. It accomplishes little and hurts the town’s image. If history is any indication, the unfortunate thing is it will be the same old thing in a few weeks for the autumn Cruisin’ event.
Since things are so quiet on the election front (still only five candidates for four open City Council seats and an unopposed mayor), I went back to investigating some of the tidbits churning out of the rumor mill. One individual whose name has surfaced in recent weeks for a potential run at the council was local businessman Todd Ferrante, who was sworn in as president of the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday. During a recent conversation, Ferrante, owner of Park Place Jewelers, confirmed he has been approached by at least one current elected official in town about the possibility of seeking a council seat in this quiet election year. However, Ferrante made it clear to me he would not be heading to City Hall before Tuesday’s filing deadline. Ferrante said his plate is full enough at this time with his work with the chamber as well as the Ocean City Development Corporation. Add to this volunteer work his business and the fact he and his wife, Jill, have an 11-month-old daughter at home and it’s understandable why Ferrante said the timing is not right for his first foray into politics. “I have already made the commitment to the chamber and the OCDC and some other subcommittees. It’s not right at this time. I can’t ask my wife to take on any more with our daughter at this time than she already does so I can volunteer with these organizations,” he said.
The Town of Ocean City is looking for input on a possible license plate design for the resort. Nothing is official yet and it will have to meet the approval of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, but what the residents have to say could go a long way toward persuading the Mayor and Council. The results of the survey will be presented to the council sometime after Oct. 10. The three designs essentially mirror each other. It’s the logo that appears on them that will be different. The three different logos include a vintage design used by the town for years that features a marlin and a sun; the blue OC flag; and the current logo used in promotional items that features a large “OC” with Maryland running through it set atop a wave. I must admit I was not enamored with any of them, but I voted for the town’s current logo. As of yesterday morning, more than 5,000 votes have been cast. Leading the way was the vintage design, 45 percent; current logo, 32 percent; and the flag, 23 percent. Go to ococean.com to see what you think.