Views On The News

Views On The News

Scooter Regs Tweaked

No matter what level, government is not known for being efficient, but the current controversy surrounding Ocean City’s attempt to better regulate the growing scooter industry in town seems to take that to another level.

Somehow, throughout the entire process, nobody brought to the table the fact the stipulated training area in the ordinance is impractical for nearly all operators. In 75 percent of the cases, existing businesses would not be able to comply with the ordinance’s required training area measurements.

The simple fix is to simply drop the 20 feet wide by 50 feet training area requirement and insert “acceptable” at the discretion of the zoning head. However, these scooter ordinances have been on the table for months. How come nobody knew before last month that it was an impractical hardship?

A Symbolic Gesture

For the average property owner in Ocean City, the decision to slice a penny off the proposed property tax rate this week will amount to a savings of $20. That amounts to about five gallons of gasoline. The decision requires transferring about $800,000 from the city’s fund balance to make it happen.

This was more a symbolic gesture than anything. It should not mean much to anyone.

Berlin Booze Happy

Just how far Berlin has come with its approach to beer, wine and liquor is on display often these days and at practically every special event it hosts.

We think it’s a good thing because it helps to diversify the visitors who will come to town. At last weekend’s Jazz and Blues Bash, beer and wine sales were available on Main Street, as well as outside at satellite bars at the Atlantic Hotel and The Globe. We like seeing 20-somethings walking Main Street with a beer from Burley Oak alongside 60-somethings doing the exact same thing.

For too long, Berlin resisted allowing alcohol sales on public property. Now, that’s all changed, and the Mayor and Council deserve recognition for understanding the change was necessary.

At last month’s meeting, the Worcester Board of License Commissioners granted two new alcohol licenses and at next month’s meeting it’s expected to do the same for the new Italian and Mexican restaurants as well as the new Burleigh Inn Tavern, which is slated for the former Goober’s site.

This is all good for Berlin and one of the many reasons its success is often touted as the personification of small town commerce growth and responsibly adjusting to challenging times.

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.