OCEAN CITY — As Ocean City continues to tip-toe the line between street performer regulations and First Amendment rights, a line clearly defined by the courts on at least two occasions, an impassioned plea for the rights of others trying to enjoy the Boardwalk came from an unlikely source this week.
During the public comment period at Tuesday’s meeting, Worcester County Commissioner and former Ocean City Councilman Joe Mitrecic implored the current Mayor and Council to continue to find a way to rein in some of the busker activity on the Boardwalk after a personal experience last weekend. Mitrecic, who made it clear he was speaking as a citizen and not as the Worcester County Commissioner who represents Ocean City in Snow Hill, said he went to the Boardwalk on a recent Sunday to enjoy the Sandfest sculptures and came away with increased disdain for at least some of the street performers.
Mitrecic said he and his wife walked along and looked at the sand sculptures during the daylight hours, then went to have dinner at a Boardwalk restaurant with a plan to return afterwards to view the sculptures illuminated at night. However, Mitrecic said the couple’s dining experience was marred by the loud music he characterized as noise from an electric violin plugged into an amplifier nearby.
“Up until the time we sat down to eat, it was a great night,” he said. “I’ve sat where you all sit and I know what you’re up against it, but something has to be done with the street performers.”