Voices From The Readers

Voices From The Readers

Joel Colton Was Key Part Of J/R’s


(Editor’s Note: In response to last week’s press release, “End Of An Era In Ocean City For J/R’s, Owner Jack Hubberman,” the family of Joel Colton, the co-founder, wished to respond regarding the history of the restaurant.)

I remember very clearly when my father told me he was going to open up a new restaurant following the success of the House of Pasta on the Inlet in Ocean City.

My father did his research travelling to Chicago, New York and other cities to bring Ocean City authentic baby back ribs. In a short period of time, one restaurant grew to three locations in Ocean City and Rehoboth. His contributions deserve credit.

If ever there was a front man to the personality of a restaurant, it was Joel Colton. Baltimoreans flocked to J/R’s not only for the delicious food, but for the warmth, humor and hospitality they received.

I watched with awe how he treated everyone like a friend even in the middle of rush hour with lines out the door. I saw him bus tables, help out the wait and kitchen staff and give out roses to women on Mother’s Day. Co-founder Joel Colton made everyone feel like his guest.

Although my father has been gone since 2002 and retired a few years prior because of his health, that doesn’t mean his name and contributions should be omitted from the legacy of J/R’s Place for Ribs.

Stacey Colton and The Colton Family

2016 In Hindsight


As the son of a survivor of the Christian genocide in Turkey (1914-1922), much like the children of holocaust survivors, I grew up with a heightened sensitivity to the personal loss of freedom due to government encroachment. This is not Republican or Democrat. It involves human rights and freedoms. For this reason, I and others are in two lawsuits with the politicians and Guy Ayres supposedly representing the Ocean City government.

One suit filed by the mayor, the council and Mr. Ayres against the citizen’s petition and paid for by public tax dollars, to quash citizen’s rights to vote on their taxes in a lawful petition. The elected politicians have barred no expense and done everything possible legally to dismiss or quash our efforts to allow people in Ocean City, Md. to vote on their tax.

The other lawsuit is an effort born out of preservation, brought by me and certain performers, against the same politicians, to survive boardwalk performers, part of the fabric of Ocean City for over 60 years, who are being eliminated by the cities frenetic and unnecessary over regulation.

In a lengthy interview with the Mayor on the city’s successes in 2015 written by Mr. Russo and baptized in Eastern Shore intoxication, the mayor is far too modest in listing his accomplishments in 2015. Let’s not let the truth and low gas prices get in the way of a good story.

In 2015, 29 ordinances and 26 closed door resolutions were passed by the new council. Among the new laws were the following: regulations on ice cream packaging; regulations prohibiting smoking in public; trespass enforcement regulations; signage advertising restrictive property laws; new law placing liens on your property for any city fine; Sandpiper given monopoly on all gas sales to Ocean City and recently raised prices although gas at 20-year lows; set up Boardwalk Taskforce; increases meter charges; no parking of oversized vehicles in O.C.; plus 20 other new laws.

A few of the 26 closed session resolutions were: financial assistance O.C.D.C. $475,000; increase ambulance fees; increase recreation and park fees; increases in water bills (15% over 5 years) and fixtures; give collective bargaining raises to police; fund uncompleted projects $100,000; and 20 more resolutions. Every ordinance and resolution imposes an unannounced monetary cost on our community with an advertised although less certain benefit.

In an almost zero-inflation environment, the council, in a trance over their spending rapture, must then increase costs on residents and borrow. With no money available in savings that is not restricted, the big spenders borrowed $19 million more, sending total debt to historic highs in 2015.

Worse yet, the mayor and his lapdogs on the council in their 2015 record spending budget, didn’t have a penny left to invest in poor Mr. Recor’s $32 million of needs listed in his executive summary, attached to the 2015 budget. Most of Mr. Recor’s recommendations involved required infrastructure upkeep for the numerous buildings bought under the grandiose schemes of Meehan and Dare over their tenure. The challenge for the mayor this year will be to perfume the pig one last time so he and his lapdogs can get reelected and retain control before the reality of his failed spending policies becomes apparent.

Although we are blessed by sun and surf that has given us a wealthy community where 95% of the taxpayers don’t have a vote in government unfortunately, the politicians get our blessings confused with their brains and pass law after law after law, each imposing a cost on someone or everyone. At the last meeting of 2015, I challenged the council by saying they have passed, on average, 25 ordinances a year for the last 50 years, or about 1,250 ordinances. What if 1,000 ordinances were sunset, eliminated? Do you think anyone would notice?

I was here 50 years ago. Let me tell you: Life wasn’t that bad and think of all the public’s money, the tax dollars, you would save. Prices in town would significantly drop. Ocean City would become more affordable for families with children like it used to be. Maybe we could form a storm fund once again and start paying the debt back before it to gets out of control like the spending is.

Tony Christ