My wife and I own a condo in Heron Harbor. It is on a canal. We have boat slips along this narrow canal. During the summer months, it can get quite busy with boating traffic heading out to the bay.
I received a letter yesterday from the Town of Ocean City informing me about a request from an individual who wants to start a Para-sail business at the head of our narrow canal. This cannot happen, because for these operations to prosper, rapid turnover of customers is essential, resulting in the temptation to exceed the maximum no wake speed of 6 mph. This business belongs down the bay where all the commercial businesses operate, not in a residential neighborhood.
With the wind and current, it makes getting into and out of the slips difficult sometimes and the last thing we need is a Para-sail boat rushing up and down the canal. I ask the town council to turn down this request on the behalf of the residents of our community
Robert T. Lemon
Evaluate Other Spending
Editor: I must admit I’m disappointed, as I think all registered Ocean City residents should be, regarding the council’s dispute over "Future Employees" benefit package. Excuse me but we didn’t elect you to spend your time talking about future expenses. What we expected you to do was to determine expense deductions on present local government expenses.
May I suggest you look at the recent Fiscal Year 2010 Report to Citizens and do a little cost/benefit analysis?
The one thing that stands out in my mind, and I’m not an economist, is that there are only 7,715 year-round resident yet the largest portion of the government’s revenue, 58% as stated in the report, comes from property taxes. Talk about taxation without representation. Where do you locals think all that revenue is coming from? If the condominium and townhouse part-time residents had a say in how the government spent their money, the council might have to be more responsible regarding spending. I know there are costs that are needed that give very little return but let me suggest just a couple of areas that you might want to evaluate.
Take for instance the convention center, you want to expand it, yet it’s costing million to operate yet it’s not generating a profit. You might consider turning it over to a private enterprise and let them try to turn it into a profit center. I’m sure there are businessmen in this town who could do a better job running this center. The city would relieve itself of a burdensome cost and in return collect a reasonable rental income.
Another area that really bothers me is transportation. I’m sure a large part of this cost is the bus system. I can’t tell you how many times I observed the buses following each other up the highway empty. Did you ever think about doing an analysis of peak rider-ship? Just look in your past records to see when you have the highest amount of riders during the day and set a schedule based on your analysis. I’m sure you’ll find the times consistent, early morning, midday and early evening. You might try positioning two buses at the north station and two at the south station and have them take a number of trips back and forth ending at their starting position at the end of the set schedule. By limiting the schedule to set times during the off season, you would reduce the cost significantly and not have to increase the fare for riding.
These are tough economic time council members and you have to come up with some real cost reductions not future reduction for future employees. If you don’t reduce cost now there may not be any future employees. Use some commonsense and remember there’s not a whole lot of us but we’re watching. You might want to start by looking at your own benefit package and salary or would that be asking too much. I’ll leave that to your conscience.
Paul St. Andre Ocean City