OCEAN CITY — In the brief this week, a new director of human Resources was hired and approved by the Mayor and City Council, which also gave the nod for the purchase of 14 bulletproof vests for police officers and new “microwave” equipment. In addition, the council decided to move forward with the town’s comprehensive plan, which was written almost two decades ago.
Salisbury Native Hired
As New HR Director
Ironically, the town of Ocean City didn’t have to search too far for a new human resources director.
The resort’s extensive search to replace retiring Human Resources Director Roger Weseman ended this week when City Manager Dennis Dare introduced Salisbury native Wayne Evans to the council on Tuesday.
“Wayne has extensive experience in human resources and will help lead us through these very difficult times, and I feel very confident that he’ll do a great job for the town of Ocean City,” said Dare.
Evans, who was a former vice president of human resources at a 3,200-employee Georgetown, Del.-based food manufacturing organization and a former director of corporate human resources at Perdue Farms in Salisbury, told the council he was looking forward to the new job.
Weseman, who has served as the director for almost 13 years, will be stepping down, retiring and plans to move toward Washington state to be closer to family.
“Roger, we want to thank you for your fine service, and you will be missed,” said Mayor Rick Meehan. “You helped guide us through a lot of changes and challenging times.”
Weseman said his time at City Hall was a memorable one.
“It’s a great way to cap one’s career, working for a city like this,” said Weseman. “So there is a mutual admiration, and I feel indebted to you all.”
OCPD Gets More “Bulletproof”
The Ocean City Police Department received a unanimous vote to utilize federal grant money to purchase 14 new ballistic or bulletproof vests for officers in the field.
Chief Bernadette DiPino outlined to the council the department’s plans to “piggy back” off the purchasing deal received by Prince George’s County and will use the same sole source manufacturer of the vests.
“We have researched the pricing for these vests, and we are very confident that we are getting best deal around by piggy backing off the price that PG county gets,” said DiPino.
Each concealable ballistic vest on the department’s purchase order costs $754.56 for a grand total of more than $11,000 for the total sum that the department asked for.
The town will cover half of the expense as the federal grant money that is being used to purchase the vests is based on a 50/50 cost split.
Council Warms To New
The town will finish an upgrade to the town’s phone, radio and computer lines after the council approved a request to purchase new “microwave” equipment using Homestead Security grant money.
“What we are asking for is really the backbone of the town’s phone lines and radio lines and computer system,” said Emergency Services Director Joe Theobald. “The current system is more than 7 years old, and in the world of technology, that’s a long time.”
Theobald, speaking on behalf of the Electronic Services Division, received permission to use $54,000 in grant money to purchase an 11 GHz (gigahertz) 100 Mbp (data transfer rate), which even if the technical jargon is confusing to the general public, it’s substantially greater than the current system, which is only 5.3 GHz.
This new and more powerful equipment will link between the 65th Street radio tower and the Gorman Avenue water tower on 136th street.
Moves Ahead … Finally.
In May of 2008, the Planning and Zoning Commission held a public hearing to allow property owners and residents to comment on the changes to the town’s comprehensive plan when it came to residential development in commercial districts.
No one showed up to that hearing, nor did any one from the public at large speak on the matter when it was brought up again in April of last year, according to Director of Planning and Development Jesse Houston.
“We want to make sure that we don’t overdevelop residential properties in commercial districts because once you put a condo on commercial land, the commercial part of that land is gone forever,” he said.
Council President Joe Mitrecic said the plan has been seemingly hanging in limbo for the simple reason that he was trying to find a time to fit in on an agenda when people would be able to come and speak about it.
“People say they are too busy in the summer time to come and talk about it, so I’ve been trying to find the right time to put it on there, but the last two times we had the discussion and invited the public to come and speak about it, no one showed up,” said Mitrecic. “Prior to the last development boom we found that we didn’t have enough residential property, and no we are finding that maybe we have too much, so this plan will hopefully help protect commercial land in Ocean City.”