Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

The petition effort, if you can actually call it that, to stop the performing arts center’s bond was abandoned this week. In a letter, petition organizer Tony Christ said the petition process was “discontinued” because the city is withholding information from the public about the impact the performing arts center will have on future bookings at the convention center.
The fact is the petition was not widely embraced by the community at large. Petitioners were simply not having a lot of success, as they did while working last summer’s parking meter petition effort, which easily exceeded the minimum threshold, thanks to former Councilman and petition guru Vince Gisriel, who did not collect signatures in the most recent drive.
The smoke-and-mirrors approach by petitioners that the city was not coughing up requested information is transparent. There simply were not enough signatures garnered, and the public generally supports the performing arts center.

These are sad days for the Worcester County Humane Society.
The no-kill shelter located off Route 611 in West Ocean City has found itself in a hotbed of controversy this month over the alleged forced resignation of long-time director and founder Kenille Davies. Up until this week, Davies had been mum on the events that led up to her resignation, but she removed her self-imposed gag order this week in an interview. She made it clear she was being removed against her will and read excerpts from a letter she was given by the board.
The most disturbing part of the letter was when she was asked to not impact the shelter in any way prior to departing as well as the animals it boards.
“In the interest of all of the shelter’s constituents, we hope the transition can be done smoothly and without the need for formal action or court intervention,” the letter reads. “In particular, we demand that you do not destroy or remove any shelter property including the animals, or retaliate against or attempt to intimidate any of the shelter volunteers, board of directors, employees or members or harm any of the animals.”
Whether the board had legitimate reasons to seek Davies’ dismissal will be debated vigorously in the community, but it was wrong to intimate that Davies would in any way do harm to the shelter she founded and particularly its animals. No matter the merits of the board seeking a change, it’s clear that part of the process was mishandled, disrespectful and unnecessary.

For the last several weeks, I, like many others, have been watching in amazement at the utility pole project along Coastal Highway in Ocean City. The poles are so incredibly high and wide in diameter that they make me laugh when I drive along the highway, for some strange reason. It’s just looks like extreme overkill.
I have been wondering if any public official was going to address what many in the community have been wondering about — why are they so incredibly high?
To its credit, Delmarva Power has been extremely thorough in its presentation of this project, and there can be no allegation that the utility company was not clear about this project. It’s been in the works for a couple years and Ocean City was first broached about it back in 2012 with rendering images presented.
However, it’s something altogether different when you actually see the work taking place. Currently, the highway looks terrible, but I am holding out hope that once the old poles and power lines are removed and added to the new, taller behemoths the overall appearance will approve.
The reality is a glass half-full mentality is the only way to approach this situation because the poles are here to stay. This is a multi-million investment aimed at stabilizing the transmission system in Ocean City, and it’s not going to be stopped at this point, no matter the level of public outcry.

It’s unfortunate, but all indications are the proposed beach music festival is not going to happen in Ocean City next summer.
Although country music is not my thing, I do hope that’s not the case because it could be a nice revenue generator and a valuable addition to the city’s special event calendar. It’s tough at this point to come to any other conclusion, particularly after the promoter could not keep a planned appearance before the Mayor and Council this week. The promoter’s intentions seem sound and he appears to have been quite straightforward with the city on some levels, but it’s typically not a good sign when communication issues start to surface.
This proposed festival has had a tough go of it, and I think the main issue that has led to it stumbling out of the gate and possibly never taking place is competition from similar events in the region, namely the Firefly Music Festival in Dover.
When the event was first proposed a few years ago, Firefly was in the planning stage, but there was no official announcement that it was coming to Dover. When that was decided, it essentially doomed Ocean City’s event because it was nearly the same time in the summer and the Dover event had major headliners. Last year’s event reportedly attracted about 80,000 attendees during its multi-day festival.
To completely contradict myself from the above view on the utility pole work, I think a glass half-empty approach might be wise in this case. That way a pleasant surprise will be in store if it actually does occur.