To the Editor:
I see that the BYOB issue is again surfacing in discussions throughout the community. Again, I write to emphasize a personal point of view that I believe is not being fully acknowledged
I believe that the issue of changing the BYOB laws in Ocean City should be placed before the voters. Regardless of a person’s position on the issue, I believe that all property owners and residents should be able to vote on the issue.
I am very pleased to see that the wording in the proposed new ordinance does exclude the Boardwalk venues, although I candidly am not sure how that is legal – to exclude one group of restaurant owners.
I remain opposed to permitting BYOB on the Boardwalk, but am sympathetic to giving off-boardwalk restaurants the option.
I also must comment on the controversy surrounding the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce website. I find it disingenuous to post pictures of receptions at the Flanders where alcohol is served while opposing the efforts of in-town restaurant owners to have BYOB privileges.
If you really believe in a “dry town,” then eliminate the exception to serve alcohol at private functions as well and relocate city sponsored social events to Somers Point!
As for “change,” one of our prominent business owners was supposedly instrumental in changing the Blue Laws. And today we have zoning proposals that would change the sacred height of buildings along our beachfront. Change is inevitable, but in our small town resort community, it apparently is only acceptable when advocated by certain individuals.
Finally, I take exception to the reaction among certain groups in town that opinions that supporting the BYOB referendum is in any way anti-Christian or anti-Ocean City. People of good faith can disagree on issues without having their character impugned.
I reiterate that all Ocean City residents should have the right to be able to vote on this issue. I believe even the Lake Brothers would support that Constitutional safeguard and imperative.
Stephen Gring, Ed.D.