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Ocean City Legislators Vote To Remove Parking Meters, Losing $1.4 Million

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In Maryland, months of public criticism and more than 1,600 signatures have convinced the Ocean City Council to remove paid parking meters put up earlier this summer.

They say small towns are very slow to embrace change—even when they need the change. At least one type of it, anyways.

The 1,648 citizen signatures were enough to move the parking meter issue to a referendum vote in the fall, but the Council decided not to let this debate, which has gotten quite nasty over the past few months, go any further. Instead, it reversed the decision by emergency vote. That means the additional parking meters on four selected streets around the resort will be taken offline.

Those meters are now covered with garbage bags and will be removed in the coming weeks.

And they may not be coming back either. Mayor Rick Meehan says he will veto any future ordinance for additional parking meters. Of course, the five Council members in favor of the meters only need one more vote to overturn Meehan's veto.

And while the future is uncertain, the present is very clear: those parking meters were supposed to help cover the projected $1.4 million budget shortfall in 2014. Now, the council is going to have to find that money somewhere else.

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