Voices From The Readers – March 17, 2023

Voices From The Readers – March 17, 2023

Petition Review Needs Attention


As of this writing there are still voters who have been rejected as valid signers of the last two petitions to referendum which is contrary to statements made by the City Solicitor at a recent meeting of the Ocean City Mayor & City Council (M&CC). The City Solicitor was inaccurate when she stated that the records are now correct.

Regarding the first petition of Ordinance 2021-24 involving the increase in room tax, six voters remain disqualified when they should not be:

Two of the six voted in the municipal elections on 11/8/22.

Four of the six were rejected when their identity could have been determined by their address, date of birth, etc.

Regarding the second petition of Ordinance 2022-23 involving the conveyance of town right-of-way land along Baltimore Avenue, six voters remain disqualified when they should not be:

  1. One of the six voted in the municipal elections on Nov. 8, 2022.
  2. Three of the six were rejected when their identity could have been determined by their address, date of birth, etc.
  3. One of the six died after the turn-in of the petition, but that individual was alive when she signed the petition. That name should never have been rejected.
  4. One of the six was somehow inadvertently moved to a West Ocean City address, when she had neither moved from town limits, nor requested a change of address. In fact, this person has voted in the last few municipal elections.

While the Worcester County Board of Elections maintains the list of qualified voters in Ocean City municipal elections, relieving our town Board of Supervisors of Elections of that responsibility; nevertheless, the town Board does review and validate local petitions to referendum. The town Board must be tasked with doing a better job in their review process. The M&CC must insist on this important role.

The City Solicitor further made a point to declare that our local Board of Supervisors of Elections is “completely independent” from the M&CC. While the town Board may function independently in local elections, they are not totally independent.

Section C-501 of the Ocean City Town Charter provides that the M&CC appoints the members of the Board and further determines the compensation paid to its.

C-502 provides for the removal of members of the Board for good cause.

Section C-505 provides for an appeal process to the M&CC if any person is aggrieved by an action of the Board, such as “…refusing to register or in striking off the name of any person…”.

Section C-605 empowers the M&CC with the “…the conduct of registration, nomination and town elections and for the prevention of fraud in connection therewith, and for a recount of ballots in case of doubt or fraud.”

Thus, the Charter establishes a clear relationship between the M&CC and the town Board of Supervisors of Elections.

As Americans, we all hold the right to vote as a sacred and important right. Equally important, however, is the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances as guaranteed in the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Vincent dePaul Gisriel, Jr.

Margaret Pillas

Ocean City


Superintendent Message


There is much speculation across our communities about what is considered an “appropriate” education for the young people of Worcester County. While it is unfortunate that misinformation has been given a platform to grow, I feel it is my responsibility as Superintendent of Schools to ensure our community is presented with accurate, factual information on these topics.

First, in relation to health education – in particular House Bill 119, it is important to note that health education, including age-appropriate information on sexual health, has been a hallmark of education for decades. This information is, again, presented in an age-appropriate timeline with the focus on ensuring our young people are educated in order to keep themselves safe and healthy. This means ensuring that they understand not only anatomy, but consent and other factors that can empower them to make responsible decisions regarding their bodies. The need of this information is clear; simply rewatch the livestreamed presentation made at the February 21, 2023, Board of Education meeting to hear the startling statistics shared about youth on the shore.

Another point of debate is the prioritization of equity and inclusion within schools across the country. As an educator of nearly 40 years, I have to wonder why anyone would advocate against teaching empathy for others and fostering a school environment that encourages kindness and actively works to ensure every single student in our care feels welcomed, encouraged, and loved. Of course, research consistently affirms that providing safety – both physically and psychologically – is a critical component in a child’s ability to engage with their learning.

Research also advocates for the make-up of a school system’s workforce to be a reflection of the students it serves. This accomplishes dual purposes: to ensure that students have the opportunity to learn from those who look like them and to expose students to perspectives that differ from their own. This does not mean a sacrifice in educator quality; Worcester County Public Schools (WCPS) prides itself in recruiting and retaining the best educators available. Simultaneously, we are also committed to building capacity within our students to embrace and celebrate the diversity in the world around us. We know that this can only enrich our communities and encourage the ability to hold productive civil discourse in our future citizens.

There has also been some discussion around student performance. Recently, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) released both standardized assessment data and its state school report card. WCPS consistently outperformed the majority of other Maryland school systems, and while we certainly celebrate that fact, we are not oblivious of the work ahead of us. I am, however, confident that our teachers, staff, and students are more than capable to achieve continued progress. In addition, we recognize that state assessments are just a single data point, and data from other sources like the SAT and i-Ready are indicating that progress towards curriculum standards is happening.

Lastly, I want to encourage our school system community to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. The best way to get accurate information as to what’s happening in our schools is going straight to the source. Our school system website, which is a hub for all of our schools and Board of Education information, is available 24/7 at www.worcesterk12.org. If you can’t find the information you’re seeking, again, please don’t hesitate to reach out, we are here for you.

Thank you for your continued partnership and support,

Louis H. Taylor

(The writer is the Superintendent of Schools for Worcester County Public Schools.)


Halt Wind Farm Project


As a property owner, and commercial property owner, in Ocean City, I am writing in -opposition- to the proposed wind turbine farms, with regard to their height and proximity to the beaches of Ocean City.

I understand the need for future energy alternatives, but the wind turbine companies are continuing to change the initial agreed upon distances from the beach, and height of the proposed wind turbines.

Ocean City government officials initially proposed this idea, promised the residents, property & business owners, that OC’s commitment to wind energy was ‘Green and Unseen’.

This promise continues to be broken to the detriment of future business, not to mention the ‘view shed’, the environment, and the birds and sea life.

I cannot support these continued changes which are happening in behind closed door meetings, and that effect so many aspects of my home town of OC, it’s nature, beauty, and the natural environment of the only beach resort in Maryland.

Please halt this project until further research into the current multiple whale deaths is better understood, and the promise of ‘Green & Unseen’ is adhered to by these wind energy companies.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter, and thank you for acknowledgement of my concerns.

Open communication about this project is the right of every tax paying citizen.

Dinah Warfield

Ocean City