If it’s true as Ocean City Councilman Dennis Dare maintains that demoflush is no longer an apples-to-apples comparison, then there is no reason to tabulate it any longer.
Nobody has ever known if demoflush is an accurate representation of Ocean City’s head count. After all, it’s calculated on wastewater flow but can be heavily swayed by rainfall history tells us. My feeling all along was it’s useful for a comparison’s sake when judging crowd sizes from year to year.
Now it appears technological advancements have altered the accuracy of the formula from a comparison standpoint. If that’s the case, Ocean City has no business giving these numbers any validity and should not stop calculating it altogether.
It’s no surprise that the Ocean City Mayor and Council is a divided group. It’s been this way for several years and continues today.
The current split on most matters of consequence is a 5-2 division with Council members Brent Ashley and Margaret Pillas siding with each other on most topics and Council members Doug Cymek, Dennis Dare, Mary Knight, Lloyd Martin and Joe Mitrecic and Mayor Rick Meehan on the other side of most issues.
The division is particularly noticeable when it comes to anything to do with tourism. Ashley and Pillas believe tourism in Ocean City is down and crime is up and there is a connection between the two. Ashley wants the “thugs” out of Ocean City and will tell any media outlet that asks him about it. A recent The Washington Post article along with several other radio interviews, including one when Ashley openly talked about his belief that gangs are present in Ocean City, angered all other members of the Mayor and Council, except Pillas presumably, and agitated some leading business owners to the point they are planning to go after Ashley’s character next summer in advance of the 2014 election if he chooses to seek re-election. That should prove interesting.
What’s also interesting is Ashley and Pillas have a support group backing them up in the taxpayer for social justice folks. Both Ashley and Pillas are aligned from a philosophical perspective, at least, with group founder Tony Christ, and Pillas specifically was actively involved in the parking meter petition from a clerical perspective.
On the flip side, last year, the then-minority comprised of Meehan, Cymek, Martin and Knight had the Citizens for Ocean City group advocating for them. Since the election last fall, that group has been largely silent, but I am hearing whispers they are quietly organizing again.
I may be old school, but my favorite special event of the year in the Ocean City area is still the White Marlin Open, which is held the first full week in August each year.
Special things often happen at this event, and this year has been no different. It has been long on drama and surprises and full of intrigue on several fronts. Look no further than the white marlin division for proof.
Going into Wednesday, the “Billfisher” and its local roots was the story of the tourney with a 77-pound white caught on Tuesday. Less than 24 hours later, the fish was bumped out of the money altogether, personifying the emotional roller coaster participants ride during this week.
Wednesday evening was a memorable night at the Open and one of the more frenetic I can ever remember in 20 years of covering this event. At one point, after two white marlin were unloaded, there was a three-way tie for first place with three, 77-pound white marlin sitting atop the division, leading many to immediately question what happens in that case to the prize money. I am not exactly clear what would have happened, but word was it would come down to added entry levels and then which fish was gaffed and which was not.
All that discourse quickly evaporated when the “OdinSpear” rolled up to the dock with an 83-pound white marlin hooked by Tommy Jones, a member of the “Kingfisher” boat team that had mechanical issues that led to them fishing on the “OdinSpear” on Wednesday. Larger white marlin have been caught in the Open and nothing is safe until Friday night.
What made Wednesday night’s turn of events so special was the celebration and gathering of friends under the scale. It’s always special when a boat full of locals or locally-known individuals win the tournament and claim big bucks ($980,000 is riding on it after three days of fishing), and the celebration that took place that night only served to underscore the spontaneity and enthusiasm that many adore about this event.