OCEAN CITY – The extreme rumble associated with recent vehicular-centered events in Ocean City continue to raise concerns from private citizens and public officials.
At last week’s Mayor and Council meeting, Ocean City resident Elle Diegelmann made suggestions in controlling the noise in residential neighborhoods caused by the visiting vehicles in town for Cruisin, Bike Week, Corvette weekend and the Volkswagon (VW) events.
“For whatever its worth, I just want to go on record with my concerns on the noise issues,” she said. “Since I was last up here about the Bike Week noise issues we have also had the VW show, the Cruisers, and the Corvettes. Of course, all of them have problem people that are going to create problems but my big concern is in the residential neighborhoods. They have just never been made to know what was the expected behavior, and I really think what can be made possible with all of these conventions is just be very clear and specific in letting them know residential areas are not acceptable in making noise,” she said.
Council President Jim Hall suggested requiring special event organizers to send a written notice to all event participants reminding them to be courteous in the residential neighborhoods.
“The structured events for all these conventions are extremely worthwhile but I think they just don’t get the message of where they can go to let their hair down and where they cannot,” Diegelmann said. “Elected officials, town staff, and the police department, I think they’re afraid to take a stand because they don’t want to be politically incorrect or confrontational and I think it could be extremely simple to have a task force and peacefully talk things out.
Jim Hall ensured Diegelmann that hundreds of tickets are issued over the course of the events and that message is received with a heavy fine.
Councilwoman Mary Knight pointed out that the VW convention is not an Ocean City-sanctioned event.
However, Councilwoman Margaret Pillas said Ocean City can still control the participants’ actions and bad behavior on the streets and in the neighborhoods.
“Something should be done in the residential areas,” she said. “I certainly want to see events here but we could post a police officer or a car … just at the entrance of some of the communities.”
Jim Hall offered to have a group of public safety officials come to the council with recommendations on how to keep the noise out of the residential neighborhoods during these events.
At last weeks AARP candidates forum, in response to a question regarding revitalization throughout Ocean City, Jim Hall responded that he is concerned that residents are being run out of town.
“It is noisy and we are getting complaints about it,” he said. “We are inviting millions of tourists to come sometimes at the expense of the folks that actually live here. It is a little bit too much sometimes on the weekends. Enough cars, enough motorcycles, there are enough people and enough parades.”
When a question was asked regarding what the candidates will do for full-time residents, candidate Bob Baker said, “There are a lot of benefits to having more residents in this town, and another thing we need to do that I have mentioned before, it is one of the four topics that I focus on, including gaining more residents, is getting control of the events. Nobody wants to come and live on a drag strip. I am not saying the events can’t be here but Coastal Highway becomes a drag strip and there is a lot of stuff that goes on around it that just shouldn’t go on.”