Voices From The Readers – November 22, 2019

Voices From The Readers – November 22, 2019

Water Bill Upsetting


I am an angry Worcester County water customer. My last quarterly water bill jumped from about $230 per quarter to $459. We have been living here for the past 15 years and never experienced this situation.

In reviewing our usage, we discovered it was all irrigation related. Because our grass was dying in June, my wife turned up the system. We have a very small yard and didn’t think much of it. Four months later, we received this obscene water bill.

Looking into it, we discovered that unbeknownst to us the water company charges increasing rates – from $5 per thousand gallons to $10 per thousand to $15 per thousand – on a quarterly usage basis. Being unexpected, this bill was financially distressing.

In discussion with John Ross, water company director, even though the majority of the water was irrigation related, the commissioners won’t even consider an adjustment for sewer usage. A 15-year perfect payment history is irrelevant. A modest one-time (fully justifiable) $50 good will adjustment would have ameliorated my anger.

These people have no compassion – could care less – it’s all about the money. Message to Worcester County Commissioners: that is not the way to treat your customers. Reader comments are welcome.

Joe Gahm

West Ocean City


Opposed To Bulk Trash Tax


I am writing to express my concerns about the new bulk trash fees that were proposed at last week’s council meeting. Residents are already unhappy about tax increases and higher utility rates. They’ll be even more unhappy if the town starts cutting back on services while at the same time increasing taxes.

More pointedly, the idea behind this fee increase is short sighted at best. The numbers presented at the council meeting were from the last year alone. One year of data is not an indicator of a trend. Five years of data showing a steady increase may demonstrate a trend, and something that would need to be addressed through modifying a fee structure. But one year of data alone is not enough to warrant a fee structure change of this sort.

Second, Mr. Wheaton seemed to indicate that a significant amount of that increase could be due to construction trash, which is already prohibited from bulk trash pickup. If that’s the case, then the town should simply not pickup construction debris of any sort.

If costs are too high, then having other people take the trash seems like a win-win for town. Banishing this kind of community trading, if you will, seems counterproductive. After all, if someone else takes the trash, then the town won’t have to pay to haul it away.

There are other options that can help reduce costs as well and help the town get a handle on the amount of bulk trash they pickup. For example, residents could be required to call when they have bulk trash for pickup. Town employees will spend less time driving down every street looking for items to pickup, decreasing wear and tear on equipment.

The point is, the Mayor and Council need to lead with collecting more data, enforcing existing rules and working with citizens to find solutions to these issues, rather than reducing services and increasing fees.

I urge the Mayor and Council to vote no on this bulk trash tax.

Jeff Smith

Berlin Resident


Scavengers Provide A Service


No scavenging?

This is the best form of recycling. This stuff is on its way to the dump. If anyone has a use for it, that is wonderful. They save money, the town doesn’t have to pick it up, the item is reused, less goes to the landfill and our unsustainable consumerism is slowed down a tiny bit.

So now the town has asked us to pay more for this service. This, after raising our taxes 20% and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a park we cannot use. I believe this idea was not well thought out. Not only will it make town residents resentful, but it also may cause many more mattresses to end up on the roadside.

So let the scavengers have at it and then get the rest.

Lynne Lockhart



Support For Tower Decision


I was extremely happy to see the Town Council take a strong stance against the requested extension by AT&T/Smartlink of the Cellular On Wheels (COW) tower on Worcester St. This 94 feet tall “temporary” structure has been in place for 2 ½ years. The timing of the request by AT&T/Smartlink was made in such a way that even a small extension would have crossed the threshold into the no build season, thus having the effect of at least another full year of this supposed temporary tower.

I spoke before the council at a regular Town Board meeting earlier this year, where I brought my concerns about the temporary tower becoming permanent. Mayor Meehan responded to my concern by reassuring me that the tower would be coming down at the end of this season. The mayor deserves a public thanks for not only keeping his word regarding the tower, but also for putting residents first over Corporate Greed. It was also nice to see the mayor joined by Council member Matt James, who wanted to know why the tower was still standing today even after the expiration date of the agreement.

Thanks to the council for voting unanimously against the extension request, but especially to Mayor Meehan and Council Member James for their vocal opposition.

M.Scott Chismar

Crofton and Ocean City