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Five Things to Know About Thursday's Council Meeting

An ordinance concerning oceanfront bulkheads was introduced and Patch issues correction concerning Scott Ping story.

Ocean City Council met Thursday night at the library. Here are some topics of interest that came out of their discussion:

1. Council approved three ordinances that allow the city to acquire three pieces of land that is unable to be developed. It isn’t possible to put any development in these areas, as they are all properties in the wetlands.

The owner was paying minimal taxes and he turned the land over to the city as a gift. Each piece of land is worth about $100.

2. On Monday Ocean City Patch reported Councilman Scott Ping will not run for re-election. As part of that story, Ping was quoted as saying he “wasn’t crazy about the current makeup of council.” On Thursday night, he clarified he said he wasn’t crazy about the possible future makeup of council following the May elections.

Patch regrets the error. 

3. City Council introduced an ordinance that would revise bulkhead ordinances so that they apply to all bulkheads. Previously, regulations only impacted bulkheads along the lagoons and bayfront. All bulkheads will be contiguous, and the minimum elevation for the top of the oceanfront bulkheads will be 11 feet, although it wasn’t immediately clear how that height was established Thursday night. Language was also updated to reflect the replacement of the Public Works Department with the Community Operations department.

4. The Bay Avenue drainage and improvement project is being delayed because of the multiple storms that hit Ocean City over the winter, Business Administrator Mike Dattilo said. He said work will not likely be complete before Memorial Day, but the area between 15th and 18th streets will be addressed first. He said it will be milled down to address the worst problems while the work continues. 

5. City officials approved a resolution adopting certain policies of the city’s policies and procedures manual. Councilman Peter Guinosso voiced concerns that certain aspects of the employee conduct portion of the policies weren’t worded strongly enough, particularly when it came to suspension vs. termination.

“Stealing, destruction of property; if a person has done that, they should be fired,” Guinosso said.

Items in this portion include use of alcohol at work, or showing up for work under the influence, possession of firearms, assault, theft and deliberate damage of city property, among other items.

The passage states the conduct is considered grave and is subject to disciplinary action, which may result in immediate suspension pending termination. Guinosso was concerned the suspension allowed for the possibility of the employee to return to work.

“We’re not saying that. We don’t want you to think that someone who steals will receive counseling,” Business Administrator Mike Dattilo said.

Two sections address employee discipline. The other addresses “serious” matters, with a total of 37 possible offenses.

Every offense in both sections may result in suspension or termination.

Eric Sauder March 15, 2014 at 11:26 AM
Next thing you know we'll be sued over the height of bulkheads blocking someone's view. What about ADA compliance? Is anyone thinking this thru?
vic March 15, 2014 at 11:33 AM
get over it, eric. it's only the 1st reading, which is used to introduce an issue. now, the members of council have an opportunity to research the ordinance and have any questions answered before it comes up for a final vote. while you bring up some good points, as a member of the audience at a council meeting, you are entitled to makes statements, but you are not entitled to ask questions and expect answers. you are correct that it is a problem to make decisions without have the correct information, however, no decision was made on this issue. it was only the first reading!
Mr. B March 17, 2014 at 10:34 AM
Agree totally Vic, isn't the first reading just that, a first reading? It allows a subject to be introduced, questions to be asked, research to be done BEFORE the second reading at which time it would be passed or put back. I think Eric may have been better answered at the Zoning meeting where the bulkhead design was probably discussed and open to public questions.

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