The events of the pass weekend clearly show that the Ocean City Mayor and City Council’s plan of expanding and increasing traffic fines along with high impound cost for the H2Oi participants turned out to be an epic failure.
Mayor [Rick] Meehan is quoted as saying, “We put a plan in place to make sure we could keep our town safe and the plan worked.”
While the mayor is attempting to put a positive spin on the events of last weekend, I see a different picture when we look at the facts.
There is no question that at certain times during the weekend chaos reigned in certain areas of the city.
Additional law enforcement personnel from other areas of the Eastern Shore were call in Saturday night to assist the already massive police presence in Ocean City because of people acting unruly.
In town, traffic was at gridlock because hundreds of the participants walked in the streets yelling obscenities to have the bus service stopped on Saturday to protect the drivers, [which] shows how the H2Oi participants were overcoming the massive police presence that was working in Ocean City.
Because of the disturbances, southbound traffic on Saturday at 62nd Street and Route 90 was stopped and [directed] away from going in town.
A drive down Coastal Highway found many areas of burnt rubber from spinning wheels.
While about 270 people were arrested during the weekend, only 78 arrests, or about 30 percent, involved exhibition driving charges.
Other examples of the disruptive actions can be found on various YouTube internet sites under H2O 2020.
If the Mayor and [City] Council believes Ocean City was safe this weekend, it is clear that [it] missed our police officers being injured or the illegal fireworks that [were] being set off that could cause serious injury or property damage.
I expect to hear the council’s next step is to call for the National Guard to patrol Ocean City at next year’s H2Oi event.
It is clear that Ocean City needs councilmembers with fresh ideas to handle the large-scale motor events and other [events such as early June activities].
Fortunately, elections are coming up in November for four seats on the Ocean City Council.
Voters need to elect individuals who will bring innovative solutions to H2Oi and related problems since the current Council’s approach of just passing laws that are more stringent has failed to provide a safe and secure environment for Ocean City residents and visitors.