These are the top 10 reader-submitted suggestions for what the Ocean City government should set as its New Year's resolution!Around this time of year, people tend to set a New Year's resolution to try and make themselves better. Some promise to exercise more, others commit to quitting drinking or smoking. That got us thinking. Why not expand this principle to Ocean City as well? Ocean City isn't perfect, we all know that. There is always room for improvement. We turned to Ocean City residents and visitors alike and asked what they think Ocean City's government should set for its New Year's resolution. We got a TON of responses, some humorous and others brutally honest. We compiled the top 10 into this list of things Ocean City should seriously consider setting for its 2018 New Year's resolution!
Actually punish violent criminals who are arrested.Dennis Doyle wrote that Ocean City should commit to "punish violent crime instead of reprimanding violent thugs and releasing them." Obviously this is more geared towards Worcester County prosecutors, but it also applies to Ocean City Police. By all means, crack down on the stupid tourists who get drunk and ruin other people's vacations. That has to stop in 2018 if Ocean City wants to remain a family friendly resort town. Freddie Baker Jr. also wrote that Ocean City should "get hard on criminals! Families and safety first!"
Clean up the trash (not talking literal garbage).
Mary Wilkins wrote that Ocean City should commit to:
This is routinely a complaint, especially from people looking for Ocean City to remain a "family resort." The craziness that used to be limited to Seacrets has been spreading out into Ocean City proper.
"get rid of trash. Foul language on the beach. Foul music on the beach. Clean the beach of trouble . Ocean city was a family beach . I wish you would bring it back. Not sure we are coming back"
Deal with actual trash.Ocean City desperately needs to reform its trash collection programs. Chris Swolensky wrote that Ocean City should resolve to "put a recycling plan in place in the beach district, every hotel and gas station as well as cans on the board walk . It’s 2018 it’s beyond time . Check with Virginia Beach on what they do and how they do it." No one really knows why Ocean City doesn't have a modern recycling policy in place. Every year, families who come to Ocean City on vacation are left with a choice at the end of their trip: toss their recyclables in the trash or haul them back home. That's ridiculous. It's 2018, set up a real recycling program!
Let all property owners vote.This one was really interesting. Tusha M. Dobry wrote that Ocean City should change the law to allow all property owners to vote in local elections. Currently, you need to be registered to vote in Ocean City in order to participate in these elections. Since many properties are owned as second homes or vacation houses, these people can't vote in local elections. But, the policies implemented by the Ocean City town council affect them just the same. Definitely an interesting suggestion...
Crack down on vehicle-themed weeks.It seems like during any given week in Ocean City, there are people gathering to celebrate the vehicles they drive. OC Jeep Week tends to be one of the more respectful gatherings, but a lot of people wrote that Ocean City should resolve to crack down on other celebrations like bike week and H2Oi. Nick Walsch wrote that Ocean City should ban H2Oi from ever taking place again. This is a two-day car rally celebrating heavily modified Volkswagons and Audis. The event this year in Ocean City was officially cancelled, but car owners decided to gather unofficially anyway. Waters, the Ocean City Communications Director, said at the time that she was disappointed to see "see grown adults play like that, to come in and have zero respect for people who live here" and condemned how H2Oi participants disrespected law enforcement. It would be very hard to enforce bans on people visiting Ocean City in certain cars. Doug Evans and others suggested that the Ocean City crack down on these vehicle events by strictly enforcing noise ordinances. Since a lot of these vehicles have modified mufflers, they are much louder than local ordinances allow.
Stop nickel-and-diming visitors.Ocean City only has half a year to bring in practically a year's worth of revenue. So, it is not surprising that they fully take advantage of the peak season. However, for people just looking for an affordable vacation, this can really hurt their pocketbooks. Kathie Rumbley wrote that Ocean City should:
"give visitors a break on parking and try not to nickel n dime them on everything. Things in OC are so expensive these days you can go on a cruise cheaper than a week at the beach. Do the guys at City Hall really care about the tourists or do they just want people’s money? And are you keeping the areas safe when you have the wild special events????"Lorraine Ecker Gebhart agreed, writing that OC should "give people a break on parking!! Those fees during the summer are outrageous!!" Not a lot of visitors know this, but there is a park-n-ride in West Ocean City which includes all-day shuttles into the city for just a few bucks.
Invest in infrastructure.During the winter off-season months, just 30,000 people call Ocean City home. But during the summer? That weekend population soars to over 300,000 people. And the infrastructure really isn't designed to handle this many people. Frank Cathcart wants Ocean City set a New Year's resolution to build a new bridge into the town. Yes, really. While that might sound excessive, there are only two bridges into the town and they're not getting any younger. A new bridge might be a little difficult to manage, the city should invest into updating them.
Crack down on beach smoking.It is against town ordinances to smoke on the beach. Most beach smokers get caught, or scolded by others, but Denise Del Vecchio Gelbaugh thinks the town should hire more seasonal employees just to enforce the smoking ban.
"Enforce the non smoking laws on our beaches and boardwalk to protect the 83% of our people that don’t smoke. Auxiliary summer hires are needed to police these areas daily and actually start the fines so it becomes a “real” ordinance"