May 8th ‘BYOB’ Referendum Is Heating Up Ocean City, NJ
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By David Madden
OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) — With less than a week to go before voters go to the polls in Ocean City, NJ, the town’s “BYOB” referendum is causing some serious tensions in the normally quiet beach community.
Supporters of the change that would allow people to bring their own wine and beer to restaurants off the boardwalk are holding their third and final informational meeting tonight.
Restaurant owner Patricia Davis says she will be there, hoping to sway the feelings of fellow residents still on the fence.
“At last week’s meeting there were several people that had a lot of questions, and they had misconceptions, and I think by the time they left the meeting they pretty much understood,” she told KYW Newsradio today.
But businessman Andrew Fasy chairs a group opposed to the proposed change.
“The issue about maintaining the image, the identity, that Ocean City has built over the years and our quality of life,” he says.
Some have called for boycotting businesses that support the change, and Davis, the restaurant owner, says she fears possible retribution.
“We’re just trying to pay our bills, feed our families. And to have people call for boycotts of our businesses is just… it’s horrible,” she said.
Fasy attributes the call for boycotts to “illogical extreme” elements distorting things on both sides, and says he’ll be glad when this battle is over and everyone can focus on the tourists again.