Council Approves Boardwalk ‘No Profanity Please’ Signs

These signs will be installed on every block of the Boardwalk by this summer. Submitted Photo These signs will be installed on every block of the Boardwalk by this summer. Submitted Photo

OCEAN CITY – “No Profanity Please” signs will be posted on each block of the Boardwalk this summer in an effort to serve as a reminder that Ocean City strives to be a family-friendly resort.

Earlier this month, after several months of deliberation, the Police Commission voted unanimously to recommend the Mayor and City Council approve the installation of “No Profanity Please” signs along the Boardwalk at street ends.

On Monday evening, the recommendation came before the council.

“You all recall earlier this year Council Secretary [Mary] Knight received a suggestion by her constituents after visiting Virginia Beach that Ocean City move forward with “No Profanity” signs on the Boardwalk. The Mayor and City Council referred that matter for further discussion to the Police Commission. The police department and Lt. Scott Harner drafted several iterations of the graphic to make the signs family-friendly for Ocean City,” City Manager David Recor said.

Recor presented to the council on Monday the graphic, which will also be made available to the public on the town’s website to allow businesses an opportunity to use as well. The signs have been produced by Ocean City’s own Public Works Department, which recently invested in a sign machine. The signs are available in 12-by-18-inch and 24-by-18-inch dimensions

Councilman Brent Ashley pointed out the Virginia Beach Hotel-Motel Association also posts a “Rules of Common Decency” on its website, Dewey Beach, Del. just recently more than doubled their fines for public urination, and Wildwood, NJ. last year enacted an ordinance against “saggy pants” being worn on its Boardwalk.

“I think it’s fair to say that our competitors are dealing with similar decency behavior situations and are taking steps to protect their family-friendly images, and so are we. Although this is not an ordinance but rather a suggestion, it’s the right thing to do and sends the right message. We respect each visitor that comes to our town and we are just asking that they do the same Now, if we could just add ‘no saggy pants’ to the sign we might have something but that is not going to happen tonight,” said Ashley, who has been an advocate for allowing police to fine individuals for “saggy pants” on the Boardwalk.

The council voted 6-0 with Council President Lloyd Martin absent to approve the motion.

“This is showing how commissions work. This idea was brought to me by two hoteliers, and I brought it to the Police Commission. The research was done, and it was determined it was not going to be anything finable. It is just a general reminder. The whole idea is it shows Ocean City cares … families will see it, and people will remember when they see it that maybe they shouldn’t use the kind of colorful language that some folks use,” Knight said.

The concept was first brought before the Police Commission in January. At that time, Police Commission Chair and Councilman Doug Cymek recognized the public is entitled to the First Amendment and the signage should not enforce a fine or an arrest. He recommended adding “Please” to the sign to help differentiate between asking for no profanity versus implementing a law. Both Police Chief Ross Buzzuro and City Solicitor Guy Ayres agreed.

In February, Harner returned to the commission with a preliminary design of a “No Profanity Please” sign, which differentiates between a friendly suggestion versus a crime.

Unlike Ocean City, Virginia Beach has a law in place that states, “If any person shall, in the presence or hearing of another, curse or abuse such other person, or use any violent abusive language to such other person concerning himself or any of his relations, or otherwise use such language under circumstances reasonably calculated to provoke a breach of the peace, he shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor”, which is a fine up to $500.




4 thoughts on “Council Approves Boardwalk ‘No Profanity Please’ Signs

  1. REALLY…REALLY?? OK what slays me about this is that OCMD, where I live and yes love it, has a bar on every corner. Most times, they are filled to the brim with the intoxicated. For a town of our size, the drug problem is pretty prolific. For those of you who come to visit, profanity and baggy pants (OMG) are the least of our issues. Family resort?? I think not. You need to head to Dewey and Bethany for that. If you all got a look at who’s on our town/city council, you would understand this ridiculous step. Councilmen, un-urkle your trousers and pull your tighty wh***es our of your b***s…Councilwomen, you all need to unhinge your rubber waist trousers. Tourists, head North to Delaware.

  2. Leave it to the Idiots at the A.C.L.U. to ruin any efforts and enforcements to retain what’s left of public decency and a family atmosphere.

  3. No profanity please. Will that sign be in Spanish also? That sign will be as effective as shop lifters will be prosecuted. Yawn. OCMD will never be the same. So sad. Politicians have no clue how nice a vacation used to be 20 yrs. ago. Not fun anymore. Sign of the times, bowing down to be voted into office.

  4. Any action is positive. Doing nothing is negative. Speaking of positive, (4/2/14) I just read an article stating OUR boardwalk made the list of the top 15 best attractions for kids. Yes, you read that correctly. A travel website (gogobot) ranks OUR boardwalk 11th out of 15. That site says families “consider a bit of dinginess part of the Boardwalk’s kistchy charm.” A familiar DC area radio news website has the full story. Similar story, with PICTURES (remember, OC is #11) is also on the CNN website. FREE advertising is what? FREE!!!!! Didn’t have to lift a finger or pay a dime for a travel website and a cable news network to say good things about OCEAN CITY!!!!!

    What to do now?? CAPITALIZE on the FREE publicity!!!!!!!! Its only APRIL – but I’m already excited about the ENDLESS SUMMER OF 2014!!!!


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