Thoughts From The Publisher's Desk
Regarding Mitch Scott’s unexpected passing last weekend, I think Steve Pappas of Greene Turtle fame summed up his buddy best when he said, “he was the most misunderstood guy in Ocean City.”
While there are many positives, one negative aspect of a small community such as Ocean City is people often pass judgment on others before they even meet or get to know a person. I assume this happens everywhere, but it seems to particularly resonate around these parts. It’s unfortunate because the perception of a person is often not consistent with reality, and it’s particularly disturbing if you are on the receiving end of unfair judgments. On many levels, that was the case with Mitch Scott, who to many was a mysterious character because he chose to work as a security man at Fager’s Island when he surely did not need to do it for financial security. Many questioned why the owner of multiple radio stations in the area would choose to work in the nightlife industry. His motives were questioned by many over the years, and Pappas, who calls Scott his closest friend, touched on the topic this week and acknowledged Scott’s gruff exterior often gave the wrong impression of what lied inside -- a huge and giving heart.
“Here he is with all this money and what does he do as a profession? He works the door at Fager’s. There was so much more to Mitch that people didn’t realize, and it even goes beyond his extreme generosity, which he demonstrated every day privately,” Pappas said. “He was a unique person. God broke the mold on Mitch. Believe me, there’s not two of him anywhere. When I introduced him to some friends of mine, I always told them in advance, ‘Look Mitch isn’t a normal guy, when you meet him, don’t get taken aback by him. It’s just the way he is.’ After they got to know him, they all loved him. You just couldn’t help but love the guy behind what some thought was a gruff exterior.”
An unfortunate bill pertaining to unions and teachers looks like it’s going to soon become law. What this means is teachers who are presently not members of the local teachers association, which is basically a union, will be forced to pay dues regardless of whether they want to be a union member or not.
The bill “requires each local board of education and the employee organizations representing either certificated or noncertificated public school employees in the State to negotiate a reasonable service or representation fee to be charged to nonmembers of the employee organizations.”
The bill, obviously rooted in unions lobbying for greater financial contributions, easily passed the House in a 95-43 vote and is expected to get through the Senate as well.
Although it’s probably going to be perceived in a different light by some, Ocean City tourism officials should continue to advertise the resort in northern markets, including prospective vacationers from New Jersey.
Some think going after New Jersey residents is foul play, considering the scope of the damage endured along that state’s shoreline. However, that conclusion is unfair when considering all the facts. Ocean City has long sought prospective vacationers in New York and New Jersey because they were viewed as potential growth areas for local tourism. It’s a simple business model -- target areas that traditionally have not been appealed to in the past.
This week the decision on whether to continue those city’s marketing efforts in those areas was discussed, and Ocean City decided the hurricane damage in the area should not lead to a change in the town’s marketing strategies. Of course, the unique opportunity the damage along the shoreline in New Jersey creates was also broached, albeit cautiously as to not look like cruel predators. The idea is it will not be business as usual for many seaside towns this summer as they rebuild from last October’s devastation. In many resorts, hotels, motels and restaurants will simply not be functioning. That means many Jersey shore vacationers will have to change their traditional plans.
Andy Malis, president of MGH Advertising, the town’s contracted marketing firm, addressed the topic well this week.
“… This event has given an unprecedented opportunity to reach people who didn’t hear us before,” Malis said. “We have advertised heavily for five years now in Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey, and you can see by the number of cars on the road in the summer that we have reached those people, and they are becoming regular visitors but a big chunk of those people have never heard our advertising message. They have no interest whatsoever in changing their habit in where they would regularly go. This year they may hear us. They may not hear us again in a year, and so it is important that we are heard without taking advantage of using any particular marketing messages that would look like we are taking advantage of the situation … despite what people may think of my profession, we do have ethics and I would not advertise tobacco or furs, and I certainly would not want to take advantage by doing something particularly different but there is no reason not to continue what we have been doing and to make sure our message is heard.”