Savvy politicians know how to use the adage “never let a good crisis go to waste.”
Ocean City Council Member Dennis Dare, who I believe is a savvy politician, recognizes that the covid-19 crisis is a way to make changes that he wants in how the council conducts its meetings.
During a recent Council meeting a discussion took place about resuming in-person meetings between the council members and the public.
Council member Dare did not believe the council should rush back to having in-person meetings.
He went on to say that, “Unless it is under certain conditions, I will not be attending in person” and that “I have been told if I don’t feel safe, I don’t have to come.”
He also said that the council should take measures that would make the meeting participants safe from not only covid-19 but also the seasonal flu and the common cold.
Mr. Dare wants the wearing of masks to continue even when covid-19 abates. He also suggested that the heating and ventilation system at City Hall needs to be upgraded to perform seven air changes every hour and be installed with air filters.
He wants permanent “virus mitigation protocols” implemented including a redesign of the council’s meeting chambers.
Of course, these changes would cost money but if we know one thing from Council member Dare’s history, he always finds it easy to spend taxpayers’ money.
If Council member Dare feels unsafe with the in-person meetings of the council he has two options: one he can continue, with the other council members permission, to attend the meetings remotely or two he can resign his position.
In my view, the council should have in-person meetings, with necessary precautions, so that the current issues, challenges and opportunities affecting Ocean City are given the maximum exposure between the council members and the public.