Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

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In the last issue of every year, I make some predictions for the year ahead. It’s time this week to see how I fared. After reviewing what I thought would occur in 2012 and what in fact happened, I give myself this year a “B-”, a major improvement from last year’s “D+”. Here’s a look:

On The Money

I was correct when I predicted Ocean City would hire an administrator working in Florida as its next city manager, replacing Dennis Dare. Current City Manager David Recor was working in Fort Pierce, Fla. before coming here.

I predicted, “Due to a number of delays in the process, the new city manager will not be in place until the summer.” Recor’s first day on the job was in June.

I had a Nostradamus moment when I predicted there would be a major change “at the top of a local law enforcement agency.” Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette DiPino has retired and is heading south to Sarasota, Fla. to be the coastal town’s new chief.

I was right when I predicted the Dew Tour would return to Ocean City in August of 2011 due to the Summer Olympics.

A stop light was not erected at the intersection of Routes 113 and 12 as I figured.

I nailed it when I predicted two incumbents would lose their Ocean City Mayor and Council seats in the 2012 election. Dennis Dare and Joe Mitrecic were elected along with incumbents Doug Cymek and Mary Knight, while Jim Hall and Joe Hall lost their re-election bids.

President Obama was easily re-elected as predicted.

No significant progress has been made on a proposed offshore wind farm.

Ocean City did vote to allow horseback riding on the beach.

Salisbury did finally agree on a new towing ordinance.

Public school teachers did get a slight raise in Worcester County.

Still In Doubt

Another year went  by without major improvements to the intersection of Routes 346 and 818 in Berlin, but the old building that once housed the likes of Bowden’s and the Neon Moon Grill was razed and the site at least cleaned up.

I predicted Worcester County would approve a funding plan for the reconstruction of Snow Hill High School. It’s on that path, but there are no guarantees.

What Was I Thinking?

I was incorrect when I surmised that Ocean City would look to Florida for its next convention center director. Larry Noccolino came to Ocean City from Pennsylvania. However, he did work in Florida for a time, for what it’s worth.

The Worcester County Board of Education did not promote internally to replace retiring Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jon Andes as I suspected. Andes’ successor, Dr. Jerry Wilson, came here from Colorado.

A recall petition never materialized as I thought it would in Ocean City.

Adele did not appear in Ocean City at the first-ever High-Tide Music Festival. In fact, that festival never took place this year and organizers reported this fall it has been delayed until 2014.

I was wrong in predicting the Beach Boys would be appearing in Ocean City this summer as part of a 50th Anniversary tour.

A Cracker Barrel did not sign one for any of the open parcels near the new Super Wal-Mart.

There was no formal announcement from Seacrets regarding its first franchise, which I suspected would occur in 2012 and would be located in Baltimore.

Salisbury did not move to seven election districts

Contrary to what I thought initially, the Salisbury-Orlando flights did not work out well at the Salisbury-Wicomico-Ocean City Regional Airport.

I figured by the end of 2012 there would be four “slots-sinos” open in Maryland. There are only three currently.

While the Maryland General Assembly did pass legislation authorizing a referendum on allowing table games such as poker and blackjack, I was wrong when I predicted the referendum would take place in 2014. That passed as a referendum last month.

Senator Barbara Mikulski did not announce this would be her last term. I thought she might so Gov. Martin O’Malley could seek her seat in 2014. Instead, she has been tapped as the first female to chair the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Comptroller Peter Franchot surprised me this month when he announced he would not be running for governor in 2014. I predicted this time last year that he and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown would be official candidates. Brown has not made any announcement either.

Ocean City did not retain Pepsi as its official soft drink as I thought it would.

I was wrong that no tropical activity would affect the shore this year. Hurricane Sandy left her mark on many areas of the shore.

Maryland did not legalize medicinal marijuana. However, in my defense, I wasn’t crazy, as legislators have shown interest. In the last session, the legislation weakened some of the penalties for pot depending on specific circumstances.

The Ravens did not beat the Saints in the Super Bowl. That turned out to be Giants over the Patriots, and it’s still terribly painful.

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