Ocean City Today

County, OC bring fight to rest of us

May 17, 2018



printed 05/18/2018


And so it begins, the back-and-forth between Ocean City and Worcester County officials over who’s going to pay for what with whose money.

Obviously, a major portion of the money doesn’t belong to either government, since it comes to them from taxpayers, who elected them to do the right thing with it. This, unfortunately, is not happening just now.

Recently, Ocean City officials, who are grinding their teeth  over the county’s refusal to grant resort property owners a tax differential, expressed their anger by refusing to help pay for a study of the severe and constant shoaling in the Ocean City Inlet. Their contention is that the inlet is not Ocean City’s problem.

County officials, in turn, refused to contribute to Ocean City’s Boardwalk security enhancement program, and followed up by refusing to renew the $20,000 grant the Art League of Ocean City has been receiving for its community programs.

So far, we see no winners here. Resort officials can argue all they want, but the absence of a navigable inlet would do more financial harm to Ocean City than any other community. This is not the commercial fishing capital of the world, but is the White Marlin Capital, or so we like to say.

The commissioners responded by telling Ocean City it has no interest in helping to protect visitors and residents by chipping in to erect vehicle barriers at Boardwalk access points. It is, after all, Ocean City’s Boardwalk, not the county’s.

That’s not exactly enlightened thinking, but worse was the county’s refusal to award an almost insignificant amount of money to the Art League.

Considering the arts grants the county did approve, it appears that the Art League was purposely excluded. The irony is that the commissioners voted against their own constituents, since the Art League probably has as many members from Ocean Pines, Berlin and other communities as it does from Ocean City.

If the city and county want to go chin-to-chin over the tax differential, that’s fine. But they have to stop when winning the fight requires the rest of us to take it on the chin as well.

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