Bayside Gazette 10031 Old Ocean City Blvd.
Berlin, MD 21811
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Editorial

Editorial - Articles


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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Regs need reassessment

Posted On: 4/27/17
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The Worcester County Developmental Center, like every other vocational training center for adults with intellectual disabilities, is not necessarily looking forward to the future. Because of changes to federal regulations via a 2015 rule on “Home and Community-Based Services,” the developmental center and others like it will no longer be able to provide jobs for disabled people who may not be able to function in a traditional workplace. The revised regulations issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services focused on a couple of things: wages at in-house workshops that are below the minimum and the desire to integrate developmentally disabled adults into community workplace. States that fail to bring its centers into compliance face losing the federal money that supports these enterprises and other services. As the developmental center’s executive director, Jack Ferry, told the Berlin mayor and council this week, the center has about three years until it...
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Pines waters still murky

Posted On: 4/20/17
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Although many in the community came out Thursday evening to make their views clear on the issue of the Family Fun Day on Sundays at the adult pool during the summer, they also addressed the more important issue of how the decision process should work in such instances. In last year’s election, voters sent a pretty clear message they wanted more input and elected those who promised to do so. Most disappointing was the response by board member and acting General Manager Mr. Hill along with board President Herrick, who were voted onto the board with just that promise. Rather than hear the public outcry as one addressing a valid issue, Hill and Herrick instead chose to lash out publicly at other board members, who acted promptly when they learned of the decision made without their or the community’s input by calling for a public meeting to address those concerns. Their response of blaming the board for acting politically and revolting against them caused an unfortunate rift...
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OPA GM needs oversight

Posted On: 4/13/17
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In recent months a number of decisions have been made by acting Ocean Pines General Manager Brett Hill that have seemingly caught most board members – along with the community – by surprise. The latest example is opening up the previously adults-only Oasis/Yacht Club pool to families on Sunday afternoons during the summer season. The only notice to board members and the community was a note in the recently published Activities Guide under aquatics pool hours, which lists the pool as adult-only (except Sundays 2-6 p.m. June 4 – September 3). While this move certainly deserves further discussion on its own, more concerning is how one person can make changes of such impact in the community without input or oversight. The general manager of the organization, whether a permanent hire or acting in the role temporarily, should not have the authority to unilaterally make any substantial changes without consulting the board, which is elected by the community to approve th...
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