Last weekend was not a true test of whether the approved changes were a success over Cruisin weekend. The torrential rains Thursday and Friday resulted in much smaller crowds and events, including burnout and racing activities in Delmarva, having to be cancelled. While police were busy, there was a major reduction in service calls – 1,461 last weekend compared to more than 2,000 in 2017 and 2016. It was clear the weather kept people from coming to Ocean City.
However, what the weekend did do was send a clear message that Ocean City is not messing around when it comes to its new special enforcement zone, which essentially gives law enforcement the ability to issue massive fines on speeding and aggressive driving infractions.
One motorist was hit with $1,800 in fines for driving more than 30 mph over the stated 30 mph speed limit, among other infractions, in Ocean City last weekend. The motorist, citing his umbrage, has set up what must be one of the most laughable GoFundMe pages ever created.
His effort is called “Lawyer fund for OCMD Cruisin meet.” The motorist was caught traveling 64 mph in a posted 30 mph zone (as a result of the new special event zone set up for motorized vehicle gatherings in Ocean City). The fundraising page has been shared more than 660 times on Facebook. I’m guessing that’s purely for entertainment reasons.
The page creator wrote, “This money raised will be used to help out 10 people to acquire an attorney with the highest tickets amounts. I am working on getting a better rate with an attorney if we hire as a group. Instead of individual. So might be able to help out a few more people. … This event is about having fun, not funding OC. They clearly just care about the money. If this was a safety concern people would be losing their cars or getting arrested.”
The message last weekend was clear. Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan told WBOC. “If the laws are broken, we are going to press charges. We are going to make arrests and if that deters some people from coming to Ocean City, so be it.”
The good news about the GoFundMe effort is no donations have been made as of Thursday at 3 p.m.
While there are certainly enough campaign signs around the area to confirm an election is near, my sense is most people are unaware that the primary election this year will be Tuesday, June 26. Early voting will be held June 14-21.
For decades, the primary has been held in September. I think this change to the heart of summer is a terrible move and will have a negative impact on voter turnout. Many people in this resort area will be simply not thinking about voting one week before the 4th of July. However, it’s an important election on the local front and deserves attention, as at least three races will be decided on primary day – House of Delegates District 38 C (where four Republicans are seeking the seat with no Democrats on the ballot); Worcester County Sheriff (where four Republicans are vying for the post and no Democrats filed); and Worcester County State’s Attorney (where only two Republicans have aspirations).
As a result of the Republican ballot being heavy, many individuals have inquired about changing their party affiliation to get a say in June. It’s easy to do online at https://elections.maryland.gov/voting/primary.html. Residents can even switch their party affiliation back after the primary should they choose.