Ocean City Today

Strategic plan should address bad behavior

Jun 22, 2017



printed 06/23/2017


Something has shifted in Ocean City and we don’t know what to do about it. There seems to have been an increase in the number of bad actors in town in the early weeks of the season and no one can point to a particular cause for it.

What we do know is the effect, which is that people well beyond this area are following and talking about these local developments.

Anyone who thinks the outside world isn’t paying attention has only to ask Mayor Rick Meehan, whose post on his mayor’s page regarding the bogus news stories about topless sunbathing earlier this month garnered hundreds of thousands of views.

Those same people, and perhaps millions more, are also zeroing in on more serious news arising out of the unfortunate incidents that continue to occur, and then relating it to their friends, family and acquaintances.

Currently, these incidents appear to be isolated, but something must be done before greater trouble comes visiting. Developing a solution, however, is going to be complicated.

It would be easy to say, for instance, that the police should pursue more aggressive enforcement, but that would not take into account the need for some degree of tolerance and the exercise of discretion to avoid ruining someone’s vacation over a petty infraction.

Neither is this strictly a police matter, as some enterprises would do well to clean up their acts and lose the anything-to-make-a-buck approach, just as the community in general should recognize that something wrong in one part of town affects all other parts of town.

City government will begin its annual strategic planning sessions next month and, as officials sit down to discuss where the resort is and should be headed, this question of what’s happening and how to address it should be at the top of the agenda.


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