(Dec. 21, 2012) The Ocean City Council discussed the following issues during its Dec. 17 session:
Off-island agents considered
Although council voted to put it on the books in its current form, City Manager David Recor asked that the revisions to the city’s noise control ordinance be tweaked before the start of the summer season to address the concerns of some property managers.
Part of the noise control changes would require that any property owner applying for a permit to rent to temporary tenants also submit contact information of a “rental agent” who lives within the city limits. Such an agent would be contacted by the city in case of an issue at the property.
Although such a measure has been taken by the city for some time, Noise Control Board Chairman Brett Wolf requested earlier this year that the city tighten up the rules due to the prevalence of property owners who falsely claimed they would be responsible for their own rentals, despite living nowhere near the resort during the summer.
However, Recor said, many frequently used property management companies are located outside the resort. He suggested that the city consider a statue for a radius or a response time to qualify agents. Council seemed to confer that a 30-mile distance would guarantee adequate responses.
OCPD Chief DiPino’s retirement recognized
The city formally recognized the retirement of Ocean City Police Department Chief Bernadette DiPino this week, presenting her with numerous commendations from both the municipal and state governments.
Maryland Delegate Mike McDermott presented DiPino with a proclamation from Annapolis. Having known DiPino since she arrived in Ocean City, McDermott said he was impressed by her ability to master a job that changed with the seasons, catering to a large tourist population in the summer and a small, close-knit community in the winter.
“Those are two different types of chiefs; to find somebody who can master both is quite a feat,” McDermott said. “In such a masculine-dominated field as police forces are, a lot of times it’s tough for a woman to break through. This woman has shattered that glass ceiling here in Ocean City.”
In October, DiPino was tapped to become the new chief of the Sarasota, Fla. Police Department. She will begin her Florida post on Jan. 1, 2013.
“The support of the citizens and business leaders that I’ve gotten in Ocean City. If I get half of that in Sarasota, I’ll be successful,” DiPino said.
Investment, bond contracts upcoming
City Finance Administrator Martha Bennett requested that the city keep one of its financial advisors and put the other service out to bid when the contracts renew at the end of the year.
Davenport & Company LLC is the city’s investment advisor, with whom Bennett recommended renewing the city’s contract. DLA Piper has been the city’s bond counsel, but Bennett recommended that the city take proposals for a new firm, since DLA Piper is moving into the international market and is less capable of securing municipalities.
“We find that our current bond counsel is not as focused on Maryland,” Bennett said. “The firm has become an international firm and is not as in turn with some of the projects that we have.”
OC Senior Center portions questioned
Berlin resident, Ocean City businessman and frequent street performer Al “Pop” Wendling appeared before council to advocate on behalf of the Ocean City Senior Center, as he has on a number of occasions, to push for better food service at the facility.
Wendling said that the Worcester County’s Commission on Aging, which runs the center, has been providing less and less out of its lunch program. Although food can be ordered for $2.25 per meal, Wendling said, the portions are so meager that only a handful of the center’s patrons use the program. Cooking facilities at the center are limited, Wendling said, and he would like to see the county invest in a more robust food offering for senior citizens.
Councilman Doug Cymek said he would look into the issue, and offered a $250 donation to jump-start the program if needed.