OC Council News In Brief

OCEAN CITY – A relatively short Monday night City Council meeting included a brief appearance by a Thunderbird and a few other notable blips on the proverbial “newsworthy” radar.

City Council Introduced To Thunderbird Pilot

The momentary roar over the Ocean City “skyline” on Monday afternoon was essentially a small preview of this summer’s aerial main event, as the red, white, and blue F-16 flown by Thunderbird Advance Pilot Major Anthony B. Mulhare zipped through the airspace that will be used during the 2nd Annual Ocean City Air Show this summer.

Mulhare was introduced to the council as part of a two-day planning and promotion mission for the scheduled June 13-14 event in the downtown area. OC Air Show Event Organizer Brian Lilley met Major Mulhare at his Wallops Island landing point, and brought him to City Hall where he thanked the Mayor and City Council for the opportunity.

“As Thunderbirds, we have two primary missions that drives our existence as a squad,” said Mulhare. “The first is to represent the over 700,000 men and women that serve in the active duty, the Air National Guard, the Air Reserves, and the civilian component of the Air Force. The second is recruiting. The military relies on a constant stream of young men and women that will raise their hand for a life of service, and those two things we can’t do without air shows and without city’s around the country that will host an air show. We are very grateful for your support of this air show and allowing us to use your city as our venue.”

Mayor Rick Meehan thanked the pilot for the Thunderbirds’ involvement in this year’s show and extended a verbal red carpet welcome.

“The air show was fabulous last year, and it’s growing and will be even better, said Meehan, “but [the Thunderbirds] commitment has raised it to a whole new level. If we can play a role in helping you with your recruiting to further enhance the US Air Force, it is a privilege and an honor for the town of Ocean City.”

Need Work? Call The Census.

Unemployment rates may be at an all-time high, but those who want at least a part-time respite from the unemployment lines may have timing on their side.

The majority of Americans know that the United States conducts a Census every 10 years so that they can not only count all the people in the country, but also allot funds or appropriations based on population, and adjust the number of congressional seats in each district based on the country’s largest headcount. According to Ken Turner of the US Census Bureau, who visited City Hall on a “recruitment by way of awareness” mission, the bureau has already started to recruit part time employees for the arduous task of counting the country’s estimated 310 million people.

Twelve regional offices are set up around the country (Ocean City’s regional office is Philadelphia) and numerous small/local offices will be set up to help distribute the short questionnaires that will be used to count the people of this area. The closest office to Ocean City will be in either Cambridge or Easton, said Turner.

The Census Bureau will be testing applicants and provide massive local training from March 30-April 3rd and mentioned that they need 200-300 “listers” as well as crew leaders, supervisors, assistants, and office personnel. Turner said the bureau is in the process of seeking out donated space to hold the training seminars, which will host over 100 trainees at a time.

“Counting 310 million people is certainly something that you have to plan for, said Mayor Rick Meehan, “and any way the Town of Ocean City can do to supply help or assist you further, please let us know.”

Turner said that the questionnaire has been shortened for the 2010 Census to “increase mail back response”, and noted that the packet should only take “about 10 minutes to complete.”

The official census day is April 1, 2010, and based on a US Census/Department of Commerce report in 2006, the 2000 US Census cost the federal government $4.5 billion, or essentially $15.99 per person.  In comparison, the 1950 US census cost the federal government $91.4 million or just over 60 cents per person.

The population of the United States in 1950 was over 151 million versus the 281 million that were counted in 2000.

Council President Joe Mitrecic, in a rare tongue-in-cheek moment, hinted that maybe the count should be done when Ocean City is bursting at the seams with people.

“I hope you reconsider Mayor Michael McDermott of Pocomoke’s idea to do the census count on the Fourth of July here in Ocean City,” Mitrecic said.

City To “Hold The Line” On Water, Sewer Rates

The first resolution of 2009 saw the Mayor and City Council unanimously vote to keep water and wastewater rates exactly the same as they have been.

Public Works Director Hal Adkins said the council had voted in a five-year plan that would have allowed for a raise in the rates, but Adkins amended the plan and thought it better to “hold the line” on the rates and freeze them for a year.

“I just want to make sure that nothing is changing on this, and that the rates will be identical,” said Councilman Jim Hall. “If that’s the case, then I’m fine with this.”