News from Ocean City….
The Town of Ocean City has come up with a brilliant idea to lower their taxes by $14 mil or so, and to raise the taxes of the good people of Worcester County by the same amount.
This sum comes from “consultants,” who always agree with the people who are paying them. If a group wanted to change the color of the sky from blue to green, a consulting firm would come up with hundreds of ways that this would be a grand idea.
Ocean City figures that since they pay for some of the services that should be provided by the county, then a rebate is in order. Of course, the good denizens of Worcester County don’t agree. Non-residents own 97% of the properties and if they are foolish enough to pay hundreds of thousands for a small box in Ocean City, then they damn well can afford to pay a measly $14 mil extra in taxes.
Besides, given the high cost they charge for rental properties, on which the Town slaps 6% in room tax on top of a sales tax.
Trimper's rides, the amusement park at the end of the boardwalk, a.k.a. cash cow, has agreed to open this summer and to pay their taxes after getting some relief from their appeal. They had threatened to sell the hundred-year-old Merry-Go-Round on eBay piece by piece if they didn’t get their way.
The mayor, in a talk before the local Democratic Club, doubted Trimper's move would last more than the next five years given the nature of the business. He predicted the area would eventually go condo. I predict that after guiding the demise of the amusement rides through the bureaucracy, he would get the listings for the new, albeit unwanted structure, for this real estate agent/mayor.
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The state’s attorney of neighboring Wicomico County got arrested for drunk driving after drinking himself into oblivion following the loss of a high profile case concerning sex between a doctor and his patient. Three sheets to the wind and driving like a charging banshee, he drove the county-owned vehicle the 30 miles from Salisbury across the Rt. 90 Bridge into the waiting arms of the Ocean City Police.
Other drivers had spotted the weaving and speeding top prosecutor and had called police. A tearful, boo-hoo press conference followed the next day, at which he promised not to drive the county owned vehicle except on official business.
A member of the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council, he prosecuted Olympic Swimming Gold Medalist Mark Phelps for drunk driving, showing the world it didn’t matter that even Maryland’s top superstar was not above the law.
However when his son, was arrested for the same charge last year, his office declined to prosecute because his son was “under consideration for entry into the armed forces.” “I didn’t do anything to help Lee (his son),” he was quoted as saying. Yea, right. Let’s hear one for hypocrisy!
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Swearing up and down that Ocean City did not want any form of gambling, the town council voted unanimously, minus one, to allow private clubs to have slots. This was followed by a unanimous vote by the Worcester County Council. This was then passed on to the legislature for consideration.
Currently, all clubs on the shore, except Worcester, can have slots in a well-regulated venue. Worcester has asked that it be included on this list. The American Legion head stated before the county commissioners that they would glad to take on the undertaking.
I doubt any of the commissioners or city council members has been in the Legion on 24th street. They have a long vacant hall where four rows of slots can be easily placed. I can just see the buses of vets coming into town. It was announced in Sunday’s paper that O.C. is a top motor coach destination. I bet the vets will be heading for the VFW and Legion as the wife and kids hit the beach.
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And…the mayor also predicted the demise of several local newspapers. These are the stacks found outside convenience stores used to cover tables when enjoying crabs during the summer season. He predicted real estate agents (him) want to see a greater profit by moving advertising to the Internet. Since most of these local newspapers depend on housing sales and rental ads, some will fall by the wayside. Don’t you just love it?
That’s about it for now. This is your foreign correspondent reporting from the