By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(Aug. 9, 2018) While the Worcester County Commissioners yet to comment on a Town of Berlin request for new tattoo regulations, Worcester Public Information Officer Kim Moses confirmed on Friday that county officials are reviewing their formal response.
The Berlin Town Council voted 3-1 in May to send a letter of support on behalf of its tattoo ordinance committee to the commissioners. The committee is asking for an amendment in the county code to allow the county health department to handle inspections of any potential new Berlin tattoo businesses.
The letter was sent on May 25, according to Town Administrator Laura Allen, but as of last week, officials were still awaiting a reply.
Moses, in an email Friday, said, “The county received the letter from Berlin officials to amend existing tattoo regulations and has been reviewing all aspects of such changes. The town’s letter and recommendations from local and state health experts will be presented to the commissioners for their consideration in the near future.”
The proposed tattoo amendment, which committee members said would only affect Berlin, was not on the Worcester County Commissioners’ meeting agenda on Tuesday.
Berlin Mayor Gee Williams also emailed a statement on the subject last Friday.
“The Mayor and Council (are) looking forward to the county commissioner’s response to our request to amend Worcester’s tattoo ordinance solely for our town,” Williams said. “We are not asking for a change in the tattoo regulations that would impact any other municipality or the non-incorporated areas of our county. I trust everyone recognizes this recommendation was made after several months of an open and thoughtful process in our town.
“As with many other aspects of life in our community, we ask that Berlin be allowed to be Berlin and the same consideration be given to any other town in Worcester County to live its own unique style and standards within the laws of Maryland,” Williams said.
During the tattoo committee’s July 31 meeting, Berlin Town Attorney David Gaskill said he would contact County Attorney Maureen Howarth to provide her with a copy of the proposed ordinance and try to arrange a meeting.
“I just think if the county commissioners are even remotely interested in this we’ll get a hearing. If they’re not, we won’t,” Gaskill said at the time.
The committee is scheduled to meet again on Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. in Town Hall.