OCEAN CITY – Wayne Hartman filed to run for City Council on Monday morning, announcing his campaign platform that supports many of the city’s ongoing initiatives.
Currently three generations of the Hartman family reside in Ocean City. Hartman bought his first property in town at the age of 19 and now owns 11 properties totaling 45 units.
“If you look at the condition of those properties, you will see that I care about Ocean City, but even more, I care about people,” Hartman said. “My rental property business allows me the time to serve our community. In addition, it has allowed me to work with many of the departments in town and has given me the experience and knowledge to understand some of the basic functions of those departments. This business has also given me insight to a seasonal tourism as well as many housing issues that face our town.”
Over the past six years, Hartman has served the Town of Ocean City and Worcester County in many capacities. He was elected to the Board of the Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC) and was recently elected to serve on the executive committee as treasurer. Hartman is also active in several OCDC subcommittees as well as works with the Ocean City K-9 Unit by allowing them to train in several of his properties.
Hartman has served as vice chair of the Worcester County Planning Commission for the last years. As a commissioner, he has completed the required state training for this position and has served one-year on the Worcester County Technical Review Committee.
“It is something I wanted to do for a long time,” Hartman said of serving on City Council. “In my heart, I thought I was going to do it in the next two years. My son goes off to college next year, and in my own personal business I am transitioning where I am going to have more time. In the past year, the City Council has made great strides as far as making it a great place to live, and I want to be part of the Mayor and City Council. I want to learn from the experience.”
Over the next four years, Hartman would look to solidify Ocean City’s image as a resort and family town. Hartman believes Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro has made great strides in reducing crime over the past year, and the Mayor and City Council needs to prioritize supporting the police with the necessary tools and resources to adapt to the many issues that face the community.
“I applaud the current council’s initiative of zero tolerance for crime in June,” Hartman said. “It proved very successful.”
There are several ongoing council initiatives Hartman looks forward to jumping on board with starting with designating smoking areas on the beach and Boardwalk. However, he would be willing to vote for a complete smoking ban on the beach and Boardwalk.
Hartman welcomes the current issue being worked out between the Ocean City Planning and Zoning Commission and Mayor and City Council regarding noise and overcrowding of rental properties.
Also, Hartman applauds the town for hiring a law firm specializing in First Amendment rights to address problems arising with street performers on the Boardwalk.
“It is a great time for Ocean City. Things are moving forward and it is a good time to be a part of that,” he said.
A goal he looks forward to taking on is lowering the tax rate for Ocean City.
“If we are fortunate to see an increase in property values over the next four years, it will be a priority of mine to adhere to the constant yield rate. It is my intention to lower the tax rate in proportion with the increase of assessed property values in Ocean City,” he said. “I can promise you a strong work ethic and integrity in whatever I do. I can tell you that I will not have every answer to every question. However, I assure you that I will get the answer for you. It is my intention to offer a business approach to government and look at things with a new set of eyes. Everyone must agree that it is easy to be spoiled by the high level service that our town employees provide us as residents of Ocean City. I would hope to find more efficient ways to provide that same, if not better, level of service.”
In Hartman’s opinion following November’s municipal election, despite four seats being up for grabs, he thinks the council will move forward as a unified body.
“We live in a beautiful community made up of great people. I would like to be a part of your City Council and move our town forward,” he said. “Most of all I want to have a City Council that works together. Open dialogue and the more different walks of life that comes to the City Council, the more different views and best answer comes forward to benefit the residents.”
Hartman is supported by Ocean City-Worcester County Commissioner Louise Gulyas, as she is serving as his campaign treasurer.