Five Things You Need to Know From Thursday’s Council Meeting
City Council tackles shade tree rules and West Avenue roadwork, while pausing to remember a lifelong resident who recently died.
The big news from the Feb. 23 City Council meeting was a decision to table reappointing an Ethics Board member. That effectively stopped the Ethics Board’s work, as it doesn’t have enough members to take action.
Here are five other notable actions that came out of the meeting:
1. Council moved a step closer to having a traffic light installed at the intersection of 5th Street and West Avenue by authorizing advertisements for a contract. Councilman Keith Hartzell reported several residents have questioned the light, as there is another light a block away. But Mayor Jay Gillian said an additional traffic light is necessary for public safety, specifically for Ocean City Primary School students who cross at the intersection. West Avenue is so wide that it “just becomes a raceway” and the light should slow traffic in the area, the mayor said.
2. City Council voted 6-0 (with Karen Bergman absent) to introduce an ordinance amending the city’s shade tree regulations. The ordinance combines two existing city codes and cleans up language on rules for shade trees’ planting and maintenance. The ordinance comes up for a public hearing and adoption vote on April 12.
3. Council paid tribute to Louis "GG" Mazzarella, a lifelong Ocean City resident who ran GG’s Cleaners for 50 years. Mazzarella died Feb. 19 at age 85. Mazzarella served in World War II before returning to Ocean City and spending a lifetime giving back to the community, including serving as an Ocean City school board member, starting the city’s Little League and working with the town’s VFW. Read Mazzarella’s full obituary here.
4. Work is starting soon at 34th Street and West Avenue to bump out curbs along West in an effort to slow down traffic and make it easier for pedestrians to cross the wide road. The 34th Street roadway won’t be narrowed, so oversized vehicles should not have a problem turning onto or from the street. Parking won’t be eliminated because of the project either.
5. Speak up! That’s the message some residents are relaying through Councilman Hartzell, who noted that the taped City Council meetings can be hard to understand because members and the public don’t speak directly into the microphones. New microphones that pick up sound better are included in the coming year’s budget draft, however.