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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Berlin must make up for canceled meeting

Berlin Mayor Zack Tyndall’s late cancellation of a meeting last Friday with state officials interested in helping the town with its Heron Park financial problems requires a better explanation than he provided.

Citing a scheduling conflict, as he did, fails to answer a question residents and state and other local officials are asking: why couldn’t council members and staff have done the job and kept the meeting?

After all, Berlin government is the mayor and council,  and does not function exclusively according to the dictates of one office. Nevertheless, that’s how this cancellation comes across, and what a shame that is, considering the stakes were enough Program Open Space money to make Heron Park financially whole and the recreational jewel it was originally intended to be.

As it is, however, state officials were left to fume about what they apparently felt was a “thanks, but no thanks” snub. Further, their willingness to restart the conversation is in doubt now, especially without knowing the extent of the town’s commitment to working with the state to find a solution.

The fact is few people at all know what’s going on behind the scenes in Heron Park discussions, because it’s not being talked about extensively in public.

Meanwhile, the willingness of state Program Open Space administrators to become involved in major local projects is well known.

The DNR plunked down $4.2 million just last year to convert the former Bay Club golf course and another tract into a passive recreational area. That suggests it has money to spend.

To get some of it, however, will require town officials to make amends quickly for this Heron Park faux pas, if that’s what it was.

As it stands now, the town has come uncomfortably close to looking like there’s more than one plan for the park, with only one aimed at keeping it intact as public space.