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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Berlin in budget heaven, while others are in, well …

Oh, to live and budget in the Town of Berlin, which is one of the few places these days where government budgeting it not the jaw-clinching process it has become elsewhere.
Locally, both Ocean City and Worcester County governments are staring at dreary revenue forecasts that don’t support all their financial commitments, much less all the things they need to do but have delayed until the good times roll again.
The Ocean Pines Association, while in good shape financially, still struggled during its budget process to decide whether to ramp up its assessments or to eliminate certain allocations.
And then there’s Berlin, which last year increased its spending 15 percent to improve the town and is aiming high again in its new budget as it considers buying the former Tysons property to convert into a public park.
Wow. And to think that it wasn’t that many years ago that Berlin, unlike these other entities at the time, was wallowing in its own red ink with what appeared to be no palatable solution. To say that financial disaster was a possibility back then would not be an exaggeration.
Of course, it can – and probably will – be argued that Berlin’s total budget package is more manageable because it’s smaller than the county’s or Ocean City’s, but it’s all relative, as its tax base is just as small by comparison.
Berlin’s elected officials and staff had to take drastic steps and do all sorts of fiscal finagling over an extended period to free the town from its difficulties, but they did what they had to do to get them to their current enviable position.
Other areas should take note of that and not necessarily dwell on how less-than-wonderful financial circumstances came to be, but what they will do now to solve the problem and move forward.
It won’t be enjoyable, but as Berlin is demonstrating, there’s plenty of enjoyment to be had once the problem is fixed.