Bayside Gazette 10031 Old Ocean City Blvd.
Berlin, MD 21811
Phone: 410-641-0039
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Editorial

Editorial - Articles


OPA fatigue contagious

Posted On: 7/13/17
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Ocean Pines is exhausting. It’s exhausting, as a news outlet, to cover, and this week the majority of the Board of Directors indicated it’s exhausting to govern. Imagine how the homeowners and residents must feel. At a Sunday public meeting during what was otherwise a picturesque and sunny beach day, interim General Manager Brett Hill, the board president and vice president essentially said two other directors were engaged in a conspiracy to undermine Hill. Two other directors, countering that Hill was creating chaos among his employees, fought to install a local human resources consultant to deal with what they said were a multitude of complaints. Those aforementioned men and women involved in the contentious debate, accounting for five of the seven people who govern Ocean Pines, sparred for nearly two hours and engaged in numerous personal attacks, but never came to a consensus on what should be done to correct the problems. At one point, Director Slobodan Trendic ...
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Where is BOD oversight?

Posted On: 7/6/17
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One must wonder why many on the Ocean Pines Board of Directors have taken the posture of sitting back and taking little action while Acting General Manager Brett Hill makes many changes typically not within the scope of a board member temporarily in that role. The board, and Hill for stepping up to take the lead, can be commended on taking quick steps to improve ambience at the Yacht Club, getting bridge repairs done in quick order, renovating the Country Club, which had been left in disrepair, and moving to repair unkempt properties, but there were many other changes that would have been best left until a new general manager was in place. The positive steps taken by the board have become overshadowed by more than a few controversial decisions, seemingly made without the full board being made aware. Wholesale changes to personnel have left food and beverage at Mumford’s Landing and many of the pools in complete disarray, leading to a troubling financial picture going into the s...
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Advantages to annexation

Posted On: 6/29/17
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When a town annexes property adjacent to its borders, it isn’t always about expanding its tax base, encouraging commercial or residential growth, or seeking change in the nature of the community. In many instances, these things might be factors in deciding to bring swaths of property into the municipal embrace, but towns also pursue annexations for the opposite reason: to protect the nature of the community. That, as Berlin Planning Commission member Pete Cosby observed during the most recent session of that body, is a major consideration in the town’s early contemplations of whether the town limits should be extended to include the Gerardi property on the western end of Route 346 and Route 50. The frequently overlooked advantage of annexation is that it gives communities more control over how a property is developed. More than one community on this peninsula will bear witness to that fact, as they helplessly watched rapid growth erupt on their perimeters just beyond the...
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Something smells fishy

Posted On: 6/22/17
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The news release from the Ocean Pines Association said the board of directors “worked collectively” to solve an undisclosed problem and met in closed session “to collaborate as a team.” Neither of these statements, vetted as they must have been by the association leadership, is true. As was demonstrated Monday night, when the directors voted 5-2 to go behind closed doors to discuss some secret situation, any teamwork or collaboration was the work of some directors to keep other directors in the dark. How else can it be explained when one group of directors consulted an attorney about this unspecified circumstance without telling the others? That’s not a representative government, that’s a clique, whose you-didn’t-need-to-know response to that very question says, “we’re in charge, and you’re not.” This much is obvious, based on the comments in the public session: an employee or employees bypassed their immediate supe...
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Believe in Berlin business

Posted On: 6/15/17
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It’s good to know that Berlin’s Main Street area has become so highly regarded as a place to do business. It hasn’t been that many years, after all, that town officials had to recruit various enterprises to fill in the blanks in what was then just a vision of how the downtown should look. When we say “not that many years,” that would be within the last 10 or so that the push to create a vigorous downtown shopping dynamic has taken place. And, now, it has reached a point where shopkeepers are expanding their hours, not just in the hope of catching the additional customer or two, but because the volume of business demands it. With all the positive stories being reported by both long-time occupants of and new arrivals to the town center, it’s apparent that the town has become its own tourist destination, which doesn’t need a rainy day in Ocean City to draw visitors. If someone a decade ago had said this kind of prosperity was achievable in such...
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McGuffey deserves credit

Posted On: 6/8/17
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With so many people spending their time looking down at the truncated messages on the screens of their smart phones and tapping abbreviated replies, it’s a wonder there’s anyone left who can produce a properly composed, appropriately punctuated sentence. Whether they’re in a restaurant, walking on the street, in stores shopping or relaxing on the deck, people seem to be fascinated by this to and fro transmission of inconsequential chatter. That could be a problem in a situation that requires conveying a serious message that involves detailed communication that others need to understand. That’s also why the McGuffy Bookworm Club created by Worcester County Commission for Women is more important than the public recognizes — it entices children to read and through that teaches them the importance of comprehension in reading and communicating. Although correct English involves more rules than anyone can remember and is constantly evolving, the ability to e...
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Interesting by omission

Posted On: 6/1/17
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Something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is. That’s a line from an early Bob Dylan song about a person who was baffled by events taking place around him. Although that lyric was about the inability of un-hip outsiders to understand the rapidly evolving cultural scene of the 1960s, it also applies to the non-sequiturial statement issued this week by the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors. “The Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors, along with the Association’s attorney, met in closed session on Friday, May 26, to discuss the recent resignation of Chief Financial Officer, Mary Bosack. The board has taken steps to ensure a smooth transition towards the hiring of a permanent General Manager for the Association.” Unless three or four paragraphs are missing between the first and second sentence, one has nothing to do with the other, leaving residents to wonder what is happening. Obviously, the implication is that relatively n...
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Ocean Pines Board has to hold Hill accountable

Posted On: 5/25/17
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No matter the right or wrong of it or who says what, Ocean Pines has a real mess on its hands, as senior management continues to leave the association’s employ. With the recent resignation of Chief Financial Officer Mary Bosack, allegedly because of work conditions, it’s obvious that something isn’t right and that the board of directors must correct the situation quickly. This is a case of where there’s smoke there’s fire, and there is no doubt that something is smoldering somewhere in operations under the supervision of director and interim General Manager Brett Hill. Whether the resignations and departures of these people were because of specific circumstances, petty grievances or general dissatisfaction with the conditions of their employment is beside the point. The fact is numerous people have left in less than a year, and it’s unlikely that all of them were bad hires, or were malcontents, or weren’t doing the job, or misunderstood how...
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Fix is – clearly – not in

Posted On: 5/11/17
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It doesn’t get more blunt than Berlin Mayor Gee Williams was Monday night, when he addressed rumors that a quiet deal had been reached between the Carl M. Freeman Companies and the town on the redevelopment of the Bay Club. “Whoever is saying that doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about,” Williams said, leaving little for anyone to dig through in the hope of finding some deeper meaning in his words. He’s right for two reasons, the first of which is because of how the zoning processes work. Even if Berlin’s elected officials do have opinions on the possibility of converting the golf club into a campground, that would have nothing to do with the developer’s need to obtain a special exception for a campground from the county board of zoning appeals in a public meeting. In another public meeting, the owner then would have to produce a detailed development plan that would pass muster with the county planning commission. That undou...
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Blame sport – not town

Posted On: 5/4/17
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Winters Quarters Golf Course, a staple of the Pocomoke City landscape for more than 80 years, hasn’t failed the city and neither has the city failed the golf course. The sport’s lackluster growth in recent years along with the inevitable increase in expenses is the biggest problem here and in hundreds of other locations across the country. While the question of whether to continue to operate Winter Quarters and absorb some level of losses is a purely local matter, a multitude of cities, communities and private club owners have found themselves facing that same dilemma. “America’s Golf Courses are Burning” was the headline of an article last year by Bloomberg, which reported that more than 800 golf courses have closed in the last decade because of declining interest in the game and an eruption of competition in the late 1990s and early 2000s. That’s when golf seemingly hit its peak. As of 2005, for instance, golfers from or visiting Worcester Coun...
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