Keep Family Fun Image
My family are property owners and operate a family pizza restaurant on the Boardwalk. We rely on the public bathrooms to stay open and not to close while the families are still on the Boardwalk late into the evening.
The town advertises the Boardwalk as a destination for family friendly fun. Closing the bathrooms at 9 p.m. does not live up to the expectations that we advertise to the public. Accommodating the tourist with public facilities enhances our town’s reputation.
Please keep the Boardwalk public bathrooms open for the tourist at least or later than midnight.
Remember Safety In Planning
This week, the Ocean City Council came out with a Capital Improvement Plan consisting of extremely important things that cannot be overlooked. This plan consists of maintaining our Boardwalk, seawalls and dredging canals to ensure they don’t fall into disrepair. After all, this is what draws people to town. But there is one key aspect missing from this Capital Improvement Plan.
In light of the events of last June, I believe it is equally important to be making sure Ocean City is a safe place for families in the summer. We need to support our police by setting up more cameras off Boardwalk facing side streets as well as around town and expand community action with city watch groups. The bathrooms also need to stay open later to deter unwanted behavior elsewhere. More seasonal police are also needed to walk the Boardwalk.
Last summer, Ocean City was featured on Fox News and other cable networks for this exact issue. Just as we want people to see a well-maintained Boardwalk, we want people to see a safe boardwalk. Both factors contribute to families deciding whether to come or not. Ocean City is a town for families and one or two events like this ruin that image that Ocean City is a family town.
Considerations For Berlin
My husband, our children and I moved to Berlin from Ocean City in 1981. I had a business in Berlin on Main Street in late 80’s to early 90’s. I have lived in the town limits since 1981. My husband and I renovated the old house and barn we purchased in 1981 and eventually sold that (2015). We then built the home we live in now.
At the last Mayor and Council meeting, the possibility of selling parcels of Heron Park was discussed. Public comments on the sale were requested. This is my response to that request. I am opposed to selling parcel 410.
When Heron Park was purchased it was touted as being a generational project that would be good for the people of the town. We were also told that the planning committee was working on a “green buffer” around the town. I am hopeful that this is still the intent of the current mayor, council and planning commission.
In 1990 there were approximately 2,600 people living in town. In 2010 population was 4,500. Not sure where we are today but as you can see the population doubled in the time shown. I’m sure it’s risen since then. As the town grows, green space in the town limits is going to become more and more scarce, and precious.
When considering the future of the Heron Park property, I think we should ask ourselves, “What is good for the people living in town?”
People are already using the Heron Park space to play, sled, walk dogs, bike, bird and walk. The COVID 19 pandemic has put a microscope on the necessity for outdoor public spaces. Think of Central Park and the foresight shown when that was built.
I believe the best use of this specific portion of land (parcel 410) for the residents of the Town of Berlin would be to save this area to be used as a park, town storage and extra parking area. We should leave our options open, because once it’s sold, we no longer have any options, it is gone forever. The back end of parcel 57 that is green could also be added as well as part of the road on parcel 57.
Town storage: The pole barns that are currently being used by the town on parcel 410 would be very costly to build in another space. Why not leave them there? It seems to work well for the town employees. To recreate these storage spaces for municipal equipment would be very expensive. To create an industrial use site, concrete pad and buildings would be very costly. One contractor we asked estimated for those size buildings, the cost for only pad and building could well exceed $300,000. That estimate is not considering driving access to the buildings, or the cost of the new property.
Town Park: The Mayor and Council, Berlin Police Department and residents have all expressed interest in constructing a skate park. The northwest corner of parcel 410 would work well because it is far from homes and businesses. A skatepark, horseshoes, ping pong, frisbee golf could all fit on this block of land. These activities could even attract tournaments and additional tourists to Berlin. However, these types of recreational activities create noise and people congregate. Many people don’t want these types of facilities built near their homes.
All residents living near any open space being considered for a recreational build or activity of any kind, should be allowed to offer their thoughts and concerns. Just because there is an open park space doesn’t mean it needs to be filled.
The skatepark issue has come up again and again for the past 40 years. We always have to consider those who are really not into skating and/or want to keep the area around their houses private, quiet and peaceful. After all, that’s why many people moved here.
Parking: This area would make parking available for events. We could possibly add shuttle services for events.
Options: Can we revisit the YMCA feasibility study that was tabled a few years back? Can we do research on saving green spaces and money available for that? What do others think as far as how this area could be used for town festivals etc.? What have other concerned citizens come up with regarding green space ideas and this parcel that could benefit us all; not just for a fleeting moment but for years to come?
There is a lot of building going on or in the pipeline around the town already and more will come as farms are sold. Why not keep this green space while we can?
We are paying for it as the taxpayers, and we should have some say in what is done with this land. There is much written on the topic, and a lot of research that shows the value of green space in towns and municipalities. Having green space available is known to boost home prices. Smart planning will only help the value of our homes. We should have a plan for smart planned growth, not just jump because an offer was made.
Berlin is a special place because of its charm and rural nature. I understand why people want to move here. What will our legacy as decision makers be? Did we overbuild and contribute to sprawl or did we have the foresight to preserve precious and valuable open green spaces?
Don’t kill the goose that laid the golden egg. Don’t damage the town so that it is unrecognizable and looks more like every other overbuilt area.
What legacy do we want to leave? That we built and built, sacrificing our green spaces for the endless impulse to develop, and build housing units into every available crook and crevice of available land? Or that we planned a great community, that has rich, connected, beautiful green spaces for leisure and recreation.
Response To Letter
In response to last week’s letter, Scott Chismar I’m sure you can find my phone number. Let’s have a chat. You keep talking stuff about me without knowing me. Let’s be fair and have a conversation like gentleman.
Scott, I am no push over, neither will I bow down and keep my mouth shut. Might I offer a suggestion? If you have a problem with someone you do not know, make sure you have the guts to battle to the end. I have no respect for bullies or games. At least my intentions for this Town of Ocean City are genuine. Not for gains for my family or Rolodex.
Scott, you and the City Council seem to play this I’m better than anyone persona. But I see through it.
Scott, I’m assuming because my family does not own property in this town or I’m not an attorney I am below what some of the town expects. But believe it or not smart guy since you know everything, I know some very intelligent and very smart members of the community all tired of the same Ferris wheel of political figures in this town. They want something different.
You think you know everything, but you do not. Also, I might add some members of the community also see through the “my family has deep roots glasshouse BS too.” So before you wanna act like the king’s messenger, make sure you have the messages right.
By the way Scott, 23% of voters turned out. If you cannot figure that equation, it means 77% percent did not vote. Which means I did not do my job as a candidate. Which I take full responsibility for. Another thing Scott, at least if I become a city council member or mayor I will have the respect for other families and community members. Unlike the stuck up rich kid.
I would have respect for Buas, but this I’m better then you attitude is why I have no respect for him. Our first meeting he had this you’re beneath me attitude towards me. Unfortunately, it’s a deep-rooted trait in Ocean City. If you got a problem with me, as I told other city council members you can try to intimidate me all you want. I’m not scared of any of you. If my family is brought into this again. Respect has very little meaning at that point.
As I said before let’s have a civil conversation. I mean since you are a big and bad guy in the newspaper. I’m willing to do this like gentleman or if not I can treat you like a Rockefeller. I look forward to speaking with you.