printed 05/08/2020


The Ocean City mayor has reached new heights in unilateral decision making, backpedaling, accepting pressures and being a scapegoat for the decisions that no one dares provides (no vote — no accountability).

Opening the Boardwalk and beaches to everyone and anyone is not a slow rollout. Slow rollout?

I live two minutes from the beach and could not park to view the ocean (inlet parking lot closed) or stroll the Boardwalk during this shutdown but neither could anyone else living in Worcester County.

Ostensibly, the beach has been closed for anyone not living on the “island” occupied by the “town.”

Where’s our county elected officials to weigh in on this? And where are these people going to stay when they arrive?

Flying by the politically expedient seat of the Ocean City officials’ lackluster decision making is ominous.

Mary Knight stipulating that “Ocean City would welcome out-of-towners who wanted to spend the day walking the beach as long as they adhered to the social distance guidelines. Masks will not be mandatory.”

Who made that policy decision? How many police will be deployed to enforce social distancing, when standing online anyway you choose is now seen as a “right.”

Take a look at how long the smoking ban took to make inroads – this might be a little more time-sensitive.

Masks are not mandatory, but if you are in any of the covid-19 liability categories or live, care for and have contact with anyone in the categories – don’t go out without one.

No, I take that back – don’t go out in this rollout.

As people descend from highly contagious areas in Maryland as well as New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania for a day (?) or maybe a holiday spectacular reunion (limited to 10 people?) we are the experimental population for the “right” to open any which way.

Can we really expect people from out of state to self-quarantine for 14 days – and where? While walking the Boardwalk?

Where are the policy makers planning a slow rollout and ensuring an understandable rollout is possible? Is there a task force with Worcester County?

Does a slow rollout for restaurants/hotels mean moving tables, wearing masks in the kitchen, closing bars, mitigating restaurant crowding, limiting alcohol consumption, providing extensive disinfection of public areas, easy testing access or providing sick leave pay for their “employees” when ill? Or will a slow rollout just mean a lottery system for who gets to open first?

Kind of doubtful a slow rollout in other categories will be thought through, especially reading how opening the Boardwalk and beaches by a decree is considered a “slow” rollout.

The Town of Ocean City has about 3,600 full-time households and about 2,300 are full-time senior residents. That’s about 30 percent of the overall full-time population (full-time population about 6,900). Oh, well.

What a travesty. A slow rollout and thought out policies as promised? Unfortunately, not here … yet!

Debra Heft

West Ocean City

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