Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

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The Ocean City Mayor and Council has been taking some body shots in recent weeks over a decision to add paid parking at City Hall and part of the Public Safety Building. The new meters are expected to raise about $22,500 in new revenue for the city over the next fiscal year.

The criticism stems from a group of residents who were involved in a petition effort last summer to overturn an ordinance that added parking meters to the same sites currently under consideration as well as several streets in mid-town Ocean City and uptown Ocean City. It was the northern areas of town that raised the most outrage over the new meters. Eventually, once all the petition signatures were verified, the council decided to nullify the ordinance that allowed the new paid parking areas rather than put the issue on the ballot as a referendum question this fall.

With the city lots now about to be metered once again, the successful petitioners are arguing the city is trying to pull a fast one. While it’s true these new metered lots were included in last year’s ordinance, which was eventually wiped off the books due to public outcry, it was the street meters in north Ocean City that were leading to umbrage from citizens and the main driving force behind the petition effort.

Personally, I don’t think the measly $22,500 in new revenue is worth all the trouble, but the city maintains every little bit of new cash helps.

 

Sure kids do stupid things, but the Stephen Decatur High School senior who mailed animal feces to a vice principal at the school took the notion to another level. He is now facing a 10-day suspension in the last month of his high school career.

What makes this humorous to me is not the fact the guy actually picked up dog excrement and mailed it as some sort of prank. It’s that he tried to send multiple packages from the same post office within a few days.

The post office employee deserves kudos for being sharp enough to write down the guy’s license plate and report it to authorities. When police caught up with the student, multiple packages of beer were found in his vehicle, putting him in even hotter water.

What a ridiculous way to ruin a senior year, which should be a jovial time for him.

 

The Worcester County Commissioners were right to approve the initial investment to study the prospect of bringing excursion trains to the county because it has the potential to be a success.

While the estimated cost of between $12,000 and $20,000 to finance a feasibility study is noteworthy, the county showed in this case that it’s being progressive. As Commissioner Virgil Shockley put it, “This, to me, is one of those studies where we have to put in a little bit of money and hopefully get a lot and a lot of people. I’m all for this.”

If all goes as planned, the idea is that eventually a Strasburg Railroad franchise would operate between Berlin, Newark and Snow Hill, featuring train replicas of Thomas the Tank and The Polar Express, among others. Food and beverages would be served on these themed trains.

It’s early and nothing is imminent on this, but the prospects of it happening are exciting and worthy of following.

 

Ocean City tourism folks are thinking the addition of fireworks to some already popular weekly events will result in increased interest and attendance. That seems like a safe bet.

Fireworks and the summer go well together, and they are always popular at the beach. With the new additions of fireworks to the Sunday beach lights display downtown and Northside Park’s Sundaes in the Park, residents and visitors will now be able to take in boomers three days a week during the height of the summer season — Sundays downtown at the beach lights display as well as at Northside Park and on Mondays and Tuesdays downtown during a new weekly event running from July 7-Aug. 26.

This seems like a win-win to me and adds tremendous value for visitors.

 

It does not look like Ocean City’s planned public boat ramp off 64th Street will be operational anytime soon, as the project is essentially stalled at this point.

Although lips are tight about it, the issue is the city needs to purchase a small piece of property adjacent to the city’s land to allow for a two-laned boat ramp to be erected. Assuming that can be resolved in a timely fashion, it will likely be another two years before it will be open, as permits will need to be secured and then construction will take place, according to sources.

When the town purchased the property off 64th Street a few years ago, one of the major projects planned for the site, along with wastewater work, was a quality boat ramp facility, which would allow the city-operated public boat ramp in the Little Salisbury community in Ocean City to be closed.

Residents near the boat ramp have been dealing with issues associated with trash, unruly behavior and traffic there for more than a decade.

With the city mired in a private party property negotiation currently, permits needing to be approved once that’s resolved and then the building and dredging to follow, it’s looking like it could be the summer of 2017 before the city’s new ramp is open, according to my sources.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

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Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

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