Brooks Davis, who owns Wainright’s Tire Center in Berlin, doesn’t want to be the Grinch who stole the town’s many downtown festivals and events. That’s why he more or less threw up his hands and gave up Monday, when he admonished town officials for not keeping its end of a post-event clean-up agreement deal for his property, yet pledged to keep his lot open to the public during downtown gatherings, despite the litter they generate.
One can sympathize with Davis, who knows that blocking access to his corner during events, would make him appear to be the town grump. But he also knows that it’s a pain in the dumpster to have to pick up after the crowds once they have departed, especially since he and the town agreed in January that town workers would take care of that chore.
As a result, he did the only thing he could do — express his disappointment about the town’s apparent failure, but promise not to take it out on the public.
Good for him, but also good for the mayor and council for recognizing that, yes, they had agreed to tidy up his lot after downtown events and, yes, they had inadvertently dropped the ball because of an oversight.
The real problem, however, isn’t that the town didn’t do its job, but that people tend to think more about the revelry taking place, than they do about respecting the place where revelry occurs.
That’s always the downside of parades, rallies and large public gatherings of any kind —the trash-strewn aftermath. Someone has to clean it up and that’s not necessarily what anyone would consider to be a cause to celebrate.
Few, if any, towns on the Eastern Shore have more public parties and entertaining outdoor events than Berlin. It’s good for business, it’s good for the community and it gives Berlin that little spark that helps it stand out from the crowd of ho-hum municipalities that dot the map.
Yet, people who attend these shindigs need to be a little more respectful of both public and private property and not leave a trail of trash — paper, cigarette butts, discarded cups and containers — behind them.
The idea is for people to have fun, but to pick up after themselves. That way, no one has to complain about a job not done and no one has to apologize for not having done it.