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Editorial

Support PIA update

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Lisa Kershner, the state’s public access ombudsman, and Maryland Public Information Act Compliance Board Chairman John “Butch” West, issued a joint statement last week declaring their support for legislation that would strengthen the state’s public information law. Since the law was instituted 50 years ago, most government documents have been available for inspection by any… Read more »

Spray irrigation all about land, money

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Of the many questions regarding the application of wastewater spray irrigation for Ocean Pines or any other area, the least critical is whether public health will be adversely affected. Strict environmental regulation and monitoring of effluent used in spray irrigation have eliminated the public health concern, as has been evidenced all across the Eastern Shore…. Read more »

OPA members invited to aid budget process

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Not only will members of the Ocean Pines Association have their first opportunity to learn about the new budget at next Wednesday’s board of directors session, they have been encouraged to attend and find out more about it. The budget process doesn’t get any more open than that, and kudos go to board President Doug… Read more »

Fill out census forms, get your money back

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The importance of the decennial headcount conducted by the Census Bureau can’t be overestimated, considering that each uncounted person is worth, theoretically, $18,000 per decade ($1,800 per year) in state and federal grants. That would mean, using rate of participation data provided by the Census Bureau to the Maryland Department of Planning, that Worcester County… Read more »

Berlin walks fine edge on short-term rentals

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Short-term rentals have become a long-term headache for elected officials across the country, as they weigh the interests of their constituents in residential neighborhoods and the property rights of vacation rental investors. The absence of irrefutable arguments on either side of the debate has resulted a situation so complex that no one has produced a… Read more »

It’s budget time, so please pay attention

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It’s budget time for all the local governing authorities, so it will be all about the money from now until spring. That’s when council members, county commissioners and members of the board of directors will declare their financial plans are as good as they’re going to get. They’re never even close to perfect, because taxpayers… Read more »

Williams mentions idea of Wor. tax differential

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Maybe it was an offhand remark or a subtle political jab, but Berlin Mayor Gee Williams’ comment this week about seeking a county tax differential for the town was one of the waning year’s most surprising endings. For county residents who haven’t been following Ocean City’s decades-long pursuit of a better tax deal with Worces-… Read more »

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays

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Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas? Is this country going to hell in a secular handcart? No, and it’s because the annual “war on Christmas” argument is humbug. For a real war on Christmas, go to 1789, when the French Revo- lutionary government banned it as a religious celebration. Coinci- dentally, or not, our nation’s… Read more »

Viola extension brings about little discussion

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The absence of discussion before the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors’ voted last week to extend General Manager John Viola’s contract was a powerful endorsement of his performance over the last six months. Although it is a given that the GM and the board did talk privately about the terms of his two-and-a-half-year contract… Read more »

Berlin audit shows warts-and-all books

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When auditors issue an “unmodified opinion,” as PKS & Company did after its analysis of Berlin’s books for the last fiscal year, it is not an indicator of financial seaworthiness. All it means is that the financial statements the auditors examined were clean and accurate, and matched the firm’s own findings. In short, the auditors… Read more »