Ocean City Today

Strategy session getting too busy

Sep 14, 2017



printed 09/15/2017

The scale is obviously different, but the principle is the same, as Ocean City officials, like Congress, seem intent on postponing difficult discussions until they run out of room on the calendar.

The two-day strategic planning session scheduled at the end of the month is where these issues have been shunted, even though some of them have more to do with council members’ conflicting viewpoints than they do with anything else.

One case in point would be Atlantic General Hospital’s request for a $200,000 contribution from the city. This requires only a “yes,” “no,” or something-in-between answer.

Looking for a strategic justification for a decision indicates that officials have forgotten, overlooked or simply never knew that the hospital exists because of Ocean City.

The resort’s huge visitor population and the financial and political horsepower of its business community were driving factors in the hospital’s creation.

Also not necessarily about strategy is the scheduled discussion of a possible funding policy for county-based nonprofit organizations that receive money from both Ocean City and the county.

Assuming area charities aren’t rolling in money, the city should contribute what it can afford to the nonprofits that offer the most benefit to Ocean City, directly or indirectly, without regard for the county’s actions.

Calling this a fairness issue between the city and county government might be the strategy, but it won’t make anyone feel better about being denied.

Moreover, any difference in spending achieved through this approach wouldn’t be enough to cause taxpayers to go dancing in the streets.

As for other matters such as relocating tennis courts, whether to finance an expansion of the Life-Saving Station Museum, and whether to build or renovate the 74th Street fire station — time was these things would have been settled on the floor in work sessions.

Other matters on this session’s agenda will demand some serious thought and planning — police officer retention, pension management, Baltimore Avenue right-of-way — here’s hoping there’s time left to do that.

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