OCEAN CITY – Changes in sub-committees were made at Monday evenings Mayor and Council meeting, resulting in new appointments to the Police Commission and Tourism Commission, with the latter resulting in a split decision among the council.
Councilman Lloyd Martin made the motion to appoint Mayor Rick Meehan to the Tourism Commission as a voting member. Martin said that the mayor should be a part of the important tourism decisions made during the meetings.
“The decisions that come out of the tourism board really end up in the mayor’s lap,” Councilman Jim Hall said.
Councilwoman Margaret Pillas noted that she would be voting against the motion, noting specific objection to the fact that Meehan would be a voting member. Pillas pointed out that it was up to the council and not the mayor to cast votes on issues.
“The Mayor’s job is a PR job,” she said, maintaining that it should not warrant a voting position.
Councilwoman Nancy Howard also opposed the idea.
“It has nothing to do with personalities,” said Howard, pointing out the mayor has no voting rights at council meetings and therefore should have no voting rights at tourism meetings.
Council President Joe Mitrecic pointed out that the council is currently out-voted at the tourism meetings and that at this point the council could not add another council member to the board.
“He needs to have his voice heard as well as anyone else’s,” said Martin, maintaining that the mayor should be a voting member of the Tourism Commission.
Pillas noted that due to complications, the meeting would not be televised this week, suggesting that officials table the decision until the public could view the discussion.
The council voted 5-2, with Pillas and Howard in opposition, to vote on the issue that night.
As for the original motion, the council voted 5-2 to add the mayor to the Tourism Commission as a voting member with Pillas and Howard opposing.
Changes were also made in the Police Commission. After being informed that due to scheduling conflicts, Council President Joe Mitrecic would no longer be on the Police Commission, a motion was made to have Councilman Jim Hall fill the void. Hall was selected based on his past experience with the Police Commission. He served for more than a decade as chair of the commission.