Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

H20 International promoter Jay Shoup has had enough of the entitled bunch that has brought negative attention to his weekend event, which he has been organizing for 18 years. As I have mentioned in the past in this space, I think Shoup deserves credit for clearing the air about what his organized event is meant to be and making it known that he is not associated with most of the people who come to the area to raise hell and cause disruptions.

Shoup discussed these aspects and more this week with News Editor Bryan Russo in a sit-down interview, which can be read in the paper today and a podcast of which is available on our website.

“There have been a lot of people that have been coming to the show for years and years, who bring their families and their friends, who have kind of stepped back to see what is going to happen. They don’t want to deal with the nonsense or the mayhem that happens in Ocean City. I would rather have quality over quantity. I’m not going to get rich off this show, and I certainly don’t make millions, and I’m not going to retire off of this show. I have other ways and means to fund my living and my lifestyle,” he said. “I saw the people become a little more withdrawn over the past couple of years and I didn’t like it so I stood up and said ‘if you aren’t here to have a good time and you can’t respect the town and the officials and the authorities than, stay home. We don’t want you.’ I got to a point where I don’t care if someone likes it or doesn’t like it. There is clientele that doesn’t like my approach. Well, if you are offended by that, then chances are you are probably the problem.”

With this terrible weather, it will be interesting to see whether this stance and the new allied police approach in particular are even tested this weekend. Either way, it’s a good thing.

It’s been a challenging few months — particularly on the road — for former City Manager David Recor, who resigned last July days after a collision with a street sign on Route 50 while on a morning coffee run.

Last weekend, Recor struck a 56-year-old visitor while she was crossing South Division Street southbound in a marked crosswalk. A police investigation revealed a vehicle driven by Recor was heading north on Baltimore Avenue and attempted to make a right turn onto South Division Street when the vehicle struck the pedestrian, who was not seriously injured.

The victim was transported to Atlantic General Hospital and was treated for minor injuries. Recor was charged with failure to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk and a court date is set for next month.

For the former city manager, who is still getting paid as part of a six-month severance agreement with the city, Saturday’s accident was the second in about three months, the first of which was the catalyst for his resignation although not the only contributing factor that led to the mutual separation from the city. His handling of the matter as well as other internal issues cited by other city appointed personnel led to Mayor Rick Meehan once again be forced to don the acting city manager hat. He is to appear in court later this month for the negligent driving charge in the July run-in with the sign pole.

Call it bad luck, careless walking by the woman, problems with his vision as cited in the summer pole accident or a clear inability to fly under the radar while trying to find new employment, it’s amazing to me how this sort of drama seems to follow Recor wherever he goes.

I am rooting for him and wishing him better luck and smoother sailing in the future, wherever that may be.

It’s amazing to me how Berlin businesses and appointed and elected officials always say the same thing while not seeming rehearsed. I truly believe they feel the way they do.

There are currently eight restaurants within one mile in Berlin (and this doesn’t even take into account the coffee shops and bakeries). My optimistic side hopes all will succeed, but realism tells me it will be a huge challenge for a few. At a minimum, there will probably need to be some seasonal scale backs of hours and days along the way to get through the winter months after the New Year.

While it certainly benefits from the summer tourism season, the unique thing about Berlin is it stays busy during the fall and pre-holiday months. Pedestrian traffic has surely declined in recent weeks since Labor Day passed, but it’s still strong for the most part.

All the restaurant operators and officials who spoke with Staff Writer Charlene Sharpe said the same thing this week. They all do different things and offer unique food and atmosphere. There’s something for everyone and enough to go around to keep everyone busy.

“As long as all businesses, not just restaurants, continue to recognize how important it is to support and promote each other, then I believe today’s Berlin will be something we can all look forward to far into the future,” Williams said.

Berlin is truly in a unique period of its existence. You know that’s the case when traffic concerns are making headlines and dozens of residents turn out for a housing board hearing on a condemned house.