Support For Veto
While I applaud the Mayor for refusing to sign the paid-parking ordinance, he now looks askance at those who continue to oppose this ill-advised legislation, questioning their motives, etc.
The more direct approach of invoking his veto power would have effectively killed the ordinance since there were not enough votes to override his veto. The council majority now has the votes to rescind the ordinance and start afresh. Does it have the will to do so? We shall see. This latter approach would short circuit the supposed opposition that the Mayor and Council now seem to see lurking in the shadows and provide an opportunity for a fully open hearing on the matter, to permit public input on the issue and remove it from the budget process where it didn’t belong in the first place, effectively hidden from public view. The recently purchased meters should be moved to the surplus list, as was done years ago, in a previous aborted attempt to impose paid parking, or to the Boardwalk Museum with other relics, (Interesting how that purchase sped through the process when other things take so long!!) Those residents who so recently and effectively sought to change the Council makeup may now be wondering what happened on the way to "change".
Parking Pass For
I am sure I am not the only unhappy resident that you are hearing from, but these new parking meters are going to severely hurt those of us who live here all year-round.
I understand there needs to be a way to make some revenue, but why can’t we be offered a seasonal parking pass? Clearly, spending $1.50 an hour is an outrageous price for us to have to pay to enjoy our beaches. This is so disheartening to know that I no longer can afford to just take a few hours to read a book in one of my favorite places because I can no longer afford it. I am not opposed to pay-to-park, but I am opposed that those of us who live here cannot get a break to do so.
I would hope that at some point in the future, a seasonal parking pass could be offered, so we can continue to take advantage of the beauty that is before us without breaking the bank. What can be done to make this happen?
Dissatisfied In OC
Attention parents and grandparents, Ocean City is no longer a safe place for your children and grandchildren and has lost sits family friendly image.
Drive a few miles north to Bethany Beach and experience a safe, smoke free, family resort, where you can feel comfortable leaving your pre-teen and teenagers to roam the Boardwalk and streets in the evening without having to deal with the gangs, drug dealers, and violence that has become prevalent on the Ocean City Boardwalk. The beach and boardwalk in Bethany Beach is smoke free, so your children will not be exposed to second hand smoke, which causes cancer and respiratory diseases. You will also save money by doing your shopping and dining in Delaware resorts, where you avoid the 6% Maryland sales tax and the Ocean City restaurant tax. Ocean City elected officials appear to be unwilling to return the city to a family friendly resort. They sponsor motorcycle weekends and hot rod car events that attract a bad element to the city and generate a noise problem throughout the city. They refuse to address the second hand smoke issue on the beaches and Boardwalk as well as the liter problem that cigarette butts generate. They raise taxes that increase your cost to vacation in Ocean City.
Most of you who come to Ocean City to vacation cannot vote in Ocean City elections. The only way to show your dissatisfaction with the lack of action by OC officials to again make OC family friendly is to vote with your feet and your wallet. Nearby Delaware beckons you. David Fox Ocean City
Parking Stance Explained
Editor: I would like to explain my support of the minimal increase of paid parking spaces in Ocean City.
Balancing the needs and wants of residents and visitors with the ability to pay for them is difficult. During this spring’s budget process, the City Council contemplated several relatively small measures to bring some services more in line with needs and to expand some revenue in a way that would better serve everyone. The town’s revenue sources can be roughly cut in half: property taxes account for half, while the other half comes from assorted user fees.
If you enroll in an activity at Northside Park, you pay a user fee. Stay in a hotel and the user fee is in the form of room tax. Build a house and you pay a permit fee because you are using the services of the building department. Board a bus and pay a user fee in the form of bus fare. Property taxes are collected from property owners and go toward services that benefit everyone, such as police and fire protection and trash collection. On the other hand, user fees such as from parking meters are paid only by those who use the service. Adding paid parking to South Philadelphia Avenue, 131st Street bayside and the lots at City Hall and the Public Safety Building promotes the turnover of spaces for customers in commercial areas, instead of those spaces being used by employees and others who may park there all day. Adding paid parking to 49th and 146th streets oceanblock provides spaces for the many visitors who drive into town and need a place to park while they enjoy our world-class beach.
When this very limited number of new paid parking spaces was approved, the Council directed the City Manager to prepare a proposal for developing a comprehensive parking study.
No additional paid parking will be added in Ocean City unless it is justified and widely accepted. If services are cut, some complain that they should not be; if taxes are increased, others complain about over-taxation. I believe that user fees are a fair way to pay for services being rendered. You just can’t have it both ways.
Dennis W. Dare
(The writer is an Ocean City Council member.)