What’s Your Sign?

horoscopes new

ARIES (March 21 to April 19): Despite your Aries penchant for wanting to tackle a problem head-on, you might want to take a little more time to see how a current situation develops. It could surprise you.

TAURUS (April 20 to May 20): Taking on the role of peacemaker in a disruptive environment is a challenge. But you can do it. Just continue to have the same faith in yourself that so many others have in you.

GEMINI (May 21 to June 20): Although your work schedule keeps you busy, you should make time to start preparing for that important upcoming family event you’ll want to celebrate in a special way.

CANCER (June 21 to July 22): Home is where the Moon Child wants to be early in the week. But by week’s end, a chance to travel raises her or his excitement level, and that of the lucky person who gets to go along.

LEO (July 23 to Aug. 22): Be careful not to be a copycat when dealing with someone who uses unfair or even unkind methods to reach a goal. As always, do the right thing the right way, and you’ll win in the end.

VIRGO (Aug. 23 to Sept. 22): An offer could have many good things attached to it that are not apparent at first glance, including a chance to move into another career area. You might want to check out its possibilities.

LIBRA (Sept. 23 to Oct. 22): With responsibilities surging both in the workplace and in the home, it’s important to prioritize how you deal with them. Be patient. Pressures will begin to ease starting early next week.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23 to Nov. 21): A positive reaction to a suggestion could indicate that you’re on track for getting your message to the right people. Devote the weekend to catching up with the special people in your life.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22 to Dec. 21): A new attitude from those in charge could make things difficult for you unless you can accept the changes without feeling as if you’re being pressured into doing so.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 to Jan. 19): Family matters once again dominate much of the week. But don’t neglect your workplace duties while you deal with them. An offer to help could come from a surprising source.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 to Feb. 18): A difficult workplace situation begins to ease, but there still are matters that need to be dealt with before it’s fully resolved. There’s also a more positive turn in domestic relationships.

PISCES (Feb. 19 to March 20): Don’t let yourself be rushed into making a decision about an intriguing financial arrangement. Asking questions and checking it out now could pay off in a big way later on.

BORN THIS WEEK: You might have a tendency to be more than a bit judgmental, but others understand it comes from a warm, loving heart.

(c) 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

Man Arrested Two Days After Charges Dropped In Attack

Wade Korvin

OCEAN CITY — Just two days after having the charges against him dropped for his alleged role in a downtown Ocean City beating last August, an Odenton man was arrested again in the resort for first hitting a bar employee and then exposing himself on a crowded street while urinating during his subsequent arrest.

Last Tuesday, Wade Korvin, 21, of Odenton, had first-degree assault and other serious charges against him stemming from a vicious beating allegedly carried out by him and another man last August dropped in Worcester County Circuit Court when prosecutors deemed there were too many issues with the case to affect a successful prosecution. Less than 48 hours later, Korvin was arrested again on assault charges after allegedly punching a door man at Barn 34 for not letting him into the establishment because of his alleged level of intoxication.

In April, a Worcester County grand jury indicted Korvin and another man, Terrance Webster, 21, of Upper Marlboro, on multiple charges including first-degree assault for their alleged roles in the beating of another man in downtown Ocean City last August. Around 1:45 a.m. last Aug. 18, OCPD officers responded to the area of 17th Street and St. Louis Ave. for a reported assault. The officers located a male victim suffering from serious injuries.

The investigation revealed the victim had gotten into a physical altercation with a group of unknown males, who then fled the scene. Although police arrived quickly on the scene and searched the area, the suspects were not immediately located. Immediately following the incident, the victim was sent to the Johns Hopkins Medical Center Surgical Intensive Care Unit in Baltimore. The victim was eventually released from the hospital, but is still suffering from the long-term effects of the assault.

In the months following the attack, Ocean City Police detectives were able to identify Korvin and Webster as the two suspects involved in the incident. OCPD detectives presented the case to the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office, which was able to secure grand jury indictments for Korvin and Webster. However, the charges against the two suspects were nolle prossed, or not prosecuted, last Tuesday when prosecutors deemed there were too many complications to gain favorable outcomes.

Two days later, Korvin was arrested again in Ocean City on assault charges after allegedly punching a door man at Barn 34 on 34th Street before urinating on the sidewalk and exposing himself to large crowds during his arrest. Around 11:30 p.m. last Thursday, Ocean City Police responded to the area of 34th Street for a reported assault. While en route, OCPD officers learned the primary aggressor in the fight, later identified as Korvin, was running south along Coastal Highway near 33rd Street.

OCPD officers detained Korvin, who was heavily intoxicated, according to police reports. OCPD officers noted Korvin was bleeding from the knuckles on his left hand. Korvin tried to hide his hands from police and denied being involved in any fight, however, officers observed two lacerations on his hand. According to police reports, Korvin repeatedly yelled “there was no fight” and “my knuckles are bleeding because there was no fight.”

According to police reports, Korvin was being loud and disorderly while several groups of people, some with young children, walked by. Some of the groups detoured around the building or even walked into traffic to avoid Korvin. At that point, Korvin told police he had to go to the bathroom, but he was told he would have to wait until the process was completed. Korvin then told police he was going to “go now” and proceeded to pull his shorts down, exposing his private parts and began urinating on the sidewalk.

The officers noted in their report the large crowds of passersby observed Korvin exposing himself and urinating on the sidewalk. After a brief struggle, he was ultimately brought under control and handcuffed.

OCPD officers then interviewed the door man at Barn 34, who told police Korvin came to the back door of the establishment where he was stationed and attempted to gain access. Korvin was told he was not allowed in because he was too intoxicated. At that point, Korvin punched the door man, who was then able to wrestle the suspect to the ground.

Korvin then fled the area on foot, setting up the arrest and subsequent scene created on the crowded street. Korvin was arrested and charged with second-degree assault, disorderly conduct and indecent exposure. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was released on his own recognizance. A preliminary hearing has been set for Sept. 30.

 

Men Arrested After Hit-And-Run In Ocean City

Branden Whitley

OCEAN CITY — Two Salisbury men were arrested last weekend after one allegedly hit a pedestrian in Ocean City on Coastal Highway at 55th Street and attempted to flee the scene on foot while the second got behind the wheel and attempted to move the vehicle that struck the person.

Around 2:20 a.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police responded to a motor vehicle collision involving a pedestrian on Coastal Highway near 55th Street. OCPD officers arrived on the scene and observed a female lying in the roadway in the northbound turn lane of Coastal Highway in front of a white four-door Cadillac with Florida tags. The pedestrian, a 21-year-old female, had severe head trauma and was transported to PRMC with non-life threatening injuries.

The 21-year-old female victim was treated at PRMC and was released the following day. The pedestrian was not in a crosswalk when she attempted to cross Coastal Highway and was struck by the vehicle. The area around 55th Street was one of many hotspots identified for frequent pedestrian-vehicle collisions and enhanced crosswalks and other safety features were added in the area last winter.

OCPD officers observed the vehicle’s driver at the time of the collision, later identified as Branden Whitley, 31, of Salisbury, walking westbound away from the scene of the collision with the victim still lying in the roadway. Witnesses on the scene identified Whitley as the driver and said the suspect could have stopped, but instead sped up before striking the victim.

OCPD officers had to run after Whitley in an effort to identify him and the suspect attempted to elude police by walking around a white van on the opposite side of the highway. According to police reports, Whitley was angry the police were approaching him and began to yell. By now, a crowd of around 30 people had gathered around and had their attention drawn to the suspect’s verbal outbursts.

OCPD officers attempted to get Whitley to sit on the curb, but he refused to cooperate, according to police reports. After several attempts, an OCPD officer pulled out his Taser and Whitley complied. OCPD officers observed several indications to suggest Whitley had been drinking alcohol prior to the collision including slurred speech, glassy eyes and a strong odor of alcohol on his person.

According to police reports, Whitley had slurred and mumbled speech and admitted to consuming alcohol before driving, although his accounts of the events leading up to the collision were inconsistent.

Whitley was subjected to a battery of field sobriety tests, which he did not complete as instructed. He later admitted striking the pedestrian. Whitley also was found to be driving on a suspended license and could not provide documentation to the officers. He was ultimately arrested and charged with driving while impaired, hit-and-run and numerous other traffic and criminal citations. He was taken to the Public Safety Building for processing and was found to have a breath-alcohol concentration of .09, above the legal limit.

Meanwhile, back at the collision scene, when officers arrived they say the victim in the roadway and another man, later identified as Lester Simpson, 31, of Salisbury behind the wheel of the white Cadillac that struck the female. Simpson was allegedly attempting to move the vehicle from the roadway when he was approached by police.

OCPD officers stopped Simpson from moving the vehicle and noted a strong odor of alcohol on his person. Simpson was administered field sobriety tests which he failed to complete to the officers’ satisfaction. A breath-alcohol test administered registered a reading of .09. Simpson was also arrested and charged with driving while impaired.

 

A Week In Business

Biz ATop winners at the Coastal Association of REALTORS® Annual Awards ceremony last week were Joe Wilson, Rooki; P.J. Aldridge, Lifetime Achievement Award; Jamie Wetzelberger, Affiliate of the Year; Brandon Brittingham, REALTOR® of the Year; and Wes Cox, Community Service Award. Submitted Photo

 

 

 

 

Karen Turner

Karen Turner

OC Banker Graduates

OCEAN CITY — The Bank of Delmarva President and CEO Edward M. Thomas has announced the recent graduation of Karen M. Turner from Maryland Bankers School.

The school is held for three years on an annual basis by the Maryland Bankers Association at the University of Maryland, College Park. Upcoming bank executives are educated by some of the best professors in the country in regards to financial processes and advocacy for the banking industry.

Turner joined the bank in March 2010 as a branch manager and assistant vice president for the Ocean City branch.

 

Five Realtors Honored

OCEAN CITY – Five local real estate professionals were honored during last week’s Coastal Association of REALTORS® 2014 Annual Awards ceremony at the Ocean City Marlin Club.

Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential and a CAR member for 23 years, was the guest speaker during this year’s award ceremony.

P.J. Aldridge, a Realtor with Condominium Realty in Ocean City, received this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his extensive work in the local real estate industry, as well as his numerous civic and charitable contributions to his community. Aldridge has been appointed to various Ocean City government boards as well as CAR’s board of directors and numerous association committees. After being diagnosed in 2010 with Stage IV Lung Cancer, Aldridge created the P.J. Aldridge Foundation, whose mission is to save lives by providing funding for the research of lung cancer.

Brandon Brittingham, of Long & Foster Real Estate in Salisbury, was recognized as CAR’s REALTOR® of the Year because of his success within the industry as a salesperson and team builder, as well as his charitable contributions and willingness to assist the association by serving on committees and working on special projects. Brittingham has done extensive work in homeowner education, foreclosure prevention, and short sale education. He also awards three scholarships each year to local high school students.

Wesley Cox’s lengthy civic activity resume earned him this year’s Community Service Award. A Realtor for Sperry Van Ness-Miller Commercial Real Estate in Salisbury, Cox regularly volunteers for numerous local organizations, including the Christian Shelter, the Salvation Army, the Mission of Mercy, and the Chesapeake Housing Mission. Cox has also delivered food to families that could not afford Thanksgiving dinner, delivered dictionaries to all third graders in Wicomico County, and has helped create an entrepreneurial training program for veterans, among other efforts.

Jamie Wetzelberger, vice president and branch manager for Suntrust Mortgage Eastern Shore, is CAR’s 2014 Affiliate of the Year. An advocate for the association, Wetzelberger has served on numerous committees and regularly volunteers and donates to various local charities, including Habitat for Humanity, United Way, the American Cancer Society, the Autism Foundation, and the ALS Foundation, among others.

Joe Wilson of Condominium Realty in Ocean City was recognized as this year’s Rookie REALTOR®. An association member for just over two years, Wilson has served on CAR’s Strategic Planning and Finance committees, and is currently serving on the 2014 Election Committee.

 

Firm Adds Employee

SALISBURY — R&R Coatings has announced that Dan DiGrazio Jr. has joined the firm and will be specializing in new business development.

Currently in his final year at Salisbury University, DiGrazio is expected to graduate with honors from the Franklin Perdue School of Business with a double major in management and marketing. He brings over eight years of experience in flooring maintenance and restoration in both residential and commercial settings.

 

Pharmacy Now A Vaccine Destination

SALISBURY – Thoughts of the relaxing summer months can quickly go out the door when hectic holiday celebrations, camp schedules and family vacations come into play. Many families don’t stop to think about carving time out of their busy schedule to make appointments for check-ups and immunizations until the start of the school year gets closer. Apple Discount Drugs can help with the stress of scheduling immunizations by becoming your Vaccine Destination.

“People may not know this but Maryland pharmacists can now administer all CDC-approved vaccines,” said Jeff Sherr, president, Apple Discount Drugs. “We understand people are busy and therefore wanted to make it as convenient as possible for families, from young to old, to get all recommended immunizations according to their age group.”

If a specific immunization requires a prescription, Apple pharmacists will work directly with a customer’s physician to get the prescription filled and administer the vaccine. For people traveling out of the country, Apple Discount Drugs pharmacists are available to research the immunizations required according to a particular destination, manage the process of acquiring the medication and administering the vaccine in the appropriate timeframe.

“The immunization services we provide fit Apple’s Healthcare Initiative,” added Sherr. “People vaccinate to protect their children and elderly family members who are just as vulnerable. Vaccinations are one of the best ways to put an end to the serious effects of a certain diseases. Unlike most medicines, which treat or cure diseases, vaccines prevent them.”

 

Salisbury To Study Urban Bee, Chicken Regs

SALISBURY — The Salisbury City Council had a frank talk about the birds and the bees Monday when officials weighed the pros and cons of allowing urban beekeeping and chicken coups.

As part of encouraging the city to become “greener” and other community benefits, Council President Jake Day advocated for establishing ordinances that would allow urban bee and chicken keeping. Bee keeping, for example, is a simple way to improve fauna around the city, according to Day.

“There are human health benefits as well. But the primary purpose is to enable and allow and support a healthy community gardening and street tree, flower and tree, systems throughout Salisbury,” he said.

A number of cities across the country, including some much larger than Salisbury, already have urban bee keeping regulations on the books. The idea of encouraging the buzzing bugs in Salisbury was a bit of a sting for some on the council.

“People are allergic to bees,” pointed out Councilwoman Shanie Shields.

She wondered exactly how the insects would be controlled. The bees kept by residents are generally harmless by Day’s estimation and aren’t known to wander far from their hives.

“They behave a lot like cats and dogs. They know where home is and they don’t go far from home,” he said.

Healthy and controlled bee colonies also serve as a deterrent to an influx of more aggressive, wild bees, Day added.

Shields still appeared skeptical and had other issues with another proposal backed by Day that would bring a little more countryside into the city.

“I can tell you right now I’m not supporting chickens. I’ve seen chickens everywhere else. The smell is terrible,” said Shields.

As with bees, Day argued that urban and suburban poultry keeping has a completely undeserved bad rap.

“There are a ton of facts out there. The myths are easy to come up with but the facts are in direct contradiction to what most myths are,” he said.

Backyard chickens can provide eggs and have often been considered good marks for sustainability. The mess and odor they produce is dramatically exaggerated, said Day.

“It would take 10 laying hens to generate half of the waste of a 40-pound dog,” he said.

Councilwoman Laura Mitchell admitted some concern that poultry might attract predators like foxes and increase rabies risks. Day argued that this was also a myth and that chickens were even less likely to be beacons for wild animals than common household pets.

No action was taken on either the birds or the bees, but city staff was instructed to do research into how other municipalities have handled the issue and report back to the council.

 

CFES Board Of Directors Celebrate Achieving Distribution Of $4.8 Million In Grants To The Community

Community A

The Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore (CFES) recently celebrated achieving the distribution of $4.8 million in grants to the community for fiscal 2014. During the past 12 months, the foundation distributed 1,281 grants to nonprofit and faith-based organizations to help improve the quality of life for citizens in our region. Pictured, front from left, are Community Foundation board members Mike Truitt, Susan Purnell, Stephanie Willey, Jane Corcoran and Melody Nelson, CFES Board Chair; second row, Duke Marshall, Greg Tawes, treasurer David Vorhis, Don Taylor, Lauren Taylor, Dr. Carolyn Johnston, vice chair John Allen, Tom Coates, Lou Taylor, Kathleen McLain, Jim Almand, Ernie Satchell and Andy Kim. Not pictured are John Barrett, Todd Burbage, Charles Goslee, Jim Morris, Secretary Jim Thomas and Dr. Julius Zant. Submitted Photos

OC Reviews Current Projects, Looks Ahead To New Work

OCEAN CITY – An update to the resort’s Capital Improvement Plan was presented this month, marking current projects, completions, additions and subtractions.

During last Tuesday’s work session, City Engineer Terry McGean presented an update of Fiscal Year 2015 Draft Capital Improvement Plan (FY15 Draft CIP).

“This is a living document so as time goes by we add new projects, while other projects take a higher priority and other projects drop off and take a lower priority, and you will see that happening here,” McGean said

Current projects underway are the Fire Station 4 in North Ocean City that is scheduled to be completed by the end of this month and a move in date of September; fire headquarters addition design was approved by council last week and construction is scheduled to begin this winter on 15th Street; St. Louis Avenue’s last phase of its’ three-year redevelopment project will be completed this winter; the Ocean City Beach Patrol’s new headquarters design was approved and bids are currently being accepted by subcontractors with construction scheduled to being this fall; the Roland E. Powell new performing arts center is scheduled to be completed this December; and although permitting and bid issues held up canal dredging, the first phase will start Sept. 15, and the second phase has been approved to be 50 percent funded.

Projects completed this year were the Public Safety Building and Service Center Roof Replacement, 51st St. Production well and well house, Dukes Ave. Pump Station, Old Landing Rd. Pump Station, the rebuilding of two clarigesters at the Wastewater Plant, and several streets and neighborhoods included in the ongoing paving program.

Projects identified by staff to start within the next five years are projects that have a relatively high monetary value, a long life and result in the creation of an asset or the revitalization of an asset.

In general, CIIP projects include construction of new town facilities, remodeling or expansion of existing town facilities, purchase and development of land, operating equipment and machinery for new or expanded facilities, street construction, reconstruction and resurfacing, and planning and design costs related to specific capital projects.

The FY15 Draft CIP projects are broken up into the categories of Public Safety, General Public Works, Municipal Complex, Highways and Streets, Recreation & Parks, Environmental, Technology & Communication, Convention Center, Airport, Water and Wastewater.

Funding sources include debt funding of bond finance supported by the General Fund, bond finance supported, the city’s food tax, user fees, wastewater fees and water fees, as well as capital equipment lease and state loans.

“Pay As You Go” and other funding sources that are not typically debt related are federal grants, state grants, general fund, prior project balances, stormwater fees, Vehicle & Equipment Trust Fund, Wastewater Fund and Water Fund.

McGean added a new category this year, “Unfunded in Current Year.”

“While we started out with the good news with all the things that we accomplished, there are some things that we wanted to do this year that we were unable to find the money for,” McGean said.

Within the FY15 Draft CIP, McGean highlighted there are no new bond projects for FY15.

“We are building what we already funded. It is a planning year, so we are not looking for any new bond projects in FY15,” McGean said.

McGean also highlighted the Eagles Landing Irrigation System will be replaced, which is being funded by Worcester County, and now that the city has received the deeds to the Downtown Recreation Complex from Worcester County the FY15 Draft CIP was updated to reflect upgrades to the complex and Ocean Bowl Skate Park in conjunction with the St. Louis Avenue project and the costs associated to that.

Unfunded projects include utility undergrounding in Little Salisbury, network backup systems and a gap street improvements/stormwater due to the council only approving $1.35 million out of the $2 million project total.

FY15 Draft CIP new projects include the Whiteside Building replacement that is the public works maintenance facility on S. 1st Street and Philadelphia Ave., city wide security upgrades that have been discussed at length during Police Commission meetings, council chambers audio/visual upgrades, equipment replacement of the generator, chillers and tower at the Public Safety Building, the Lifesaving Museum elevator and stairs, consolidating the water tanks at 15th Street and Worcester Street by taking those down and building a new water tank at 1st Street, Chicago Ave. bulkhead repairs and the relocation of Department of Public Works yard.

Superintendent And Wicomico County Board Of ED Finalize Leadership Teams

Community C

Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Fredericksen and the Wicomico County Board of Education finalized leadership teams for two schools Tuesday, Aug. 12. The board approved the appointment of Kimberly Pinhey, assistant principal at James M. Bennett High, as a secondary principal. She will serve as principal of Parkside High School, replacing now Director of Secondary Education Micah Stauffer.  At the elementary level, the board appointed Marie Baker, a third grade teacher at Willards Elementary, to the position of elementary assistant principal. She will serve as assistant principal of Fruitland Intermediate, replacing Dr. Kirsten Jennette, who has taken a principal position in Delaware.

Public Hearing On Resort Rentals Brings Crowd To City Hall; Most Advise More Enforcement Needed

Public

OCEAN CITY – A public hearing concerning issues coming with rentals in single-family and mobile home districts resulted in standing room only this week at City Hall with the majority of speakers asking the Planning and Zoning Commission to focus on enhancing the enforcement of existing rental regulations.

On Tuesday evening, the Planning and Zoning Commission held a public hearing to consider amending Ocean City’s Code in regards to R-1 Single Family Residential District and MH Mobile Home Residential District for the purpose of regulating short-term and long-term rentals to protect the character and compatibility of the districts as single-family neighborhoods.

The public hearing came on the heels of growing complaints over rental properties. According to the city, there are 3,845 parcels included in the R-1 and MH districts with 276 of those obtaining rental licenses. Between 2013 and now, there have been 67 complaints logged in those areas over 19 months. Only 13 properties received complaints, which is 4 percent of the total number of 276. The complaints received are primarily from residents of the Mallard Island subdivision.

Before public testimony was given, Commission Chair Pam Buckley reminded the room there is no proposed legislation on the table to ban short-term rentals in residential communities of Ocean City.

“We [Ocean City] need single-family homes, we need year-round residents, we need our second-home buyers, we need the people that come on the weekends, the vacationers, and we need our student housing and seasonal workers,” Buckley said. “We are here only to garner information. There is not an ordinance in place we are to vote on. There is not anything that is going to be for or against testimony. This is a Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing, and we are here to collect and analyze the data, and come up with anything that we feel we may garner from that information that you all present with us tonight that might aid a zoning ordinance or enforcement issues for the rentals in single-family areas.”

Independent renter Brad Maunz said he takes the task of renting his Ocean City property seriously imbedding the language of the town’s rental regulations within his lease agreements.

“I strongly believe that the single-family residence or unit adds to the appeal of Ocean City,” he said. “I am in favor of strong enforcement to ensure the rights of property owners. I have plans to live here permanently someday, and I have the utmost respect for my neighbors. I believe that restricting rentals of single-families is like treating a rash through amputation, and what I would like to see is you put some teeth into the enforcement.”

George Sellers, who rents two properties in the community of Montego Bay, agreed, stating the town already has laws in place to deal with unruly rental behaviors.

“If the existing standards and penalties are enforced, owners who rent properties would be much more careful in restraining potential renters, and we believe that renters themselves would comply better if there was better enforcement,” he said.

Sellers pointed out the Town of Ocean City requires property owners who rent their homes to obtain a rental license and noise control permit that comes with a decal that is to be visibly displayed for when police approach a home due to a complaint that allows them to easily contact the property owner or the property owners contact to address the issue.

“If renters are causing problems and the decal is present, the property owner can and should be notified. If the decal is not present, the property owner should be contacted and cited for violation of the city ordinance,” he said. “An amendment to establish minimum rental periods is misguided and will not achieve the goal of peace and quiet in residential communities…adding another regulation may not be enforced any better than the existing regulations already in place. Restricting a homeowner’s freedom to enjoy their home and the homeowner’s right to defray the cost of homeownership by short-term renting I think is discriminatory, unfair and an arbitrary move to do it.”

Chris Jett spoke on behalf of Coastal Association of REALTORS (CAR), which is the leading local property rights advocacy group in the real estate industry on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

“In the absence of rental profits, the value of these homes may decrease and the pool of potential buyers may shrink,” Jett said. “Also, if negative publicity continues, tourists may choose to take their business elsewhere, as some may prefer to rent a single-family home in a residential neighborhood, rather than stay in a hotel/motel or condominium. Additionally, tourists who become aware of a ban on short-term rentals might perceive the ordinance as being motivated by an anti-tourist sentiment. Even a slight impact on tourism in the city could negatively affect local businesses that provide services to tourists such as restaurants and retail stores.”

CAR proposed several alternatives to the city, including increased enforcement of regulations that are already in place; issuance of rental licenses with attached conditions such as occupancy limits as well as noise and parking restrictions; a comprehensive education program for property owners; a requirement that all rental properties have a local contact who can respond immediately to complaints or emergencies, in addition to immediate notification of the contact by city officials; and establishment of a Home Owners’ Association in Mallard Island that would allow for a rental restriction in its covenants.

Jett furthered the city’s statistics proved that short-term renters are not as incompatible with single-family neighborhoods as some make them out to be.

“[CAR] strongly urges the city to concentrate on enforcement and education, rather than outright prohibition,” he said.

Jerry Milko of Holiday Real Estate warned the commission of long-term negative effects in making a change to zoning.

“What I see is we need to protect the peaceable enjoyment and the quality of life in R-1, as well as in R-2 and R-3. Our future as a resort is the family. Our history is a family resort. I am concerned about what I see as changing demographics in this town,” he said. “Interestingly enough the short-term vacation rental is the easiest for the responsible property owner and agent to control. We developed the lodging agreement that provides very specific actions that can be taken if there are problems with a short-term rental.”

Milko furthered it would be premature to make a change and that perhaps the commission should concentrate on the growing underground rental market in Ocean City.

“If you need the income from the rental, the short-term rentals generate a 10.5 percent tax, you can save the rental management fee and you can save the tax fee, so it gives you the incentive to try to rent underground without going through the rental licensing, and there are effective ways to reduce that,” said Milko, offering to work with the city.

Another suggestion Milko offered is to require a 24/7 contact when applying for a rental license and if not the license should be rejected. Also, develop a rental complaint database where complaints can be tracked to why and where that can aid future changes to Ocean City’s rental code if need be. As well as, developing a point system where responsible renters can be rewarded with points and in return rental licensing fees can be reduced, much like the concept of driver’s license points.

Many others came before the commission voicing their concerns with many stating the same issues of enforcing existing regulations, regulating the number of visitors in one home and even several recommending beginning to fine the renters for unruly behavior.

In the end, Commission member Lauren Taylor thanked all for attending.

“Thank you for your testimony. It was exactly what we needed. We knew there were problems, and we needed information to deal with this working with all of you,” she said.

The hearing was closed but the commission did not deliberate that night. Discussion will continue at the next scheduled Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on the evening of Sept. 3.

 

Wicomico Schools Leadership Teams Finalized

SALISBURY — Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Fredericksen and the Wicomico County Board of Education finalized school leadership teams for the 2014-2015 school year this week.

The board promoted Dr. Mark Bowen to elementary assistant principal at Delmar Elementary School effective immediately. Bowen had served since 2012 as the Criminal Justice instructor in the Parkside High School Department of Career & Technology Education.

A number of schools and one center also recently finalized their leadership teams.

Lisa M. Forbush is an assistant principal for James M. Bennett High, replacing Kimberly Pinhey, who is now principal of Parkside High. Forbush had served as assistant principal at North Salisbury Elementary and, prior to that, at Fruitland Primary.

Dr. Kathy Vail is assistant principal for North Salisbury Elementary, replacing Forbush. She had been serving as an assistant principal at Delmar Elementary, and, prior to that, at Pittsville Elementary and Middle and Beaver Run Elementary.

Salisbury Middle Principal Amy Eskridge announced that James Hesen will serve as Dean of Students. Following service in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve, Hesen had been a History teacher at James M. Bennett High since 2010.

Bennett Middle Principal Liza Hastings announced that Brad Gibson will serve as Dean of Students. After five years as a teacher in Baltimore County, Gibson joined Wicomico Schools as a History teacher at Salisbury Middle, where he taught from 2009-2014.

Prince Street Elementary Principal Christopher Nunzio announced that Ronald Dyda will serve as Dean of Students. Dyda joined Wicomico Schools in 2000 as a teacher at Salisbury Middle. He worked in the Eagles Nest program his first year, then served as a math teacher from 2001-2012. From 2012-2014, he was a behavioral intervention support specialist at Beaver Run Elementary. While at Beaver Run, Dyda founded the WatchDOGS program enabling fathers to volunteer in the school.

Wicomico Early Learning Center Principal and Judy Center Coordinator Maria Wright announced that Trina Tilghman-Dix will be the new school program coordinator at the Wicomico Judy Center Partnership Program. Tilghman-Dix taught prekindergarten for several years at West Salisbury Elementary School before moving on to become director of the Christian Community Child Care Center.