Friday, April 23–Councilwoman Pillas Opts For Re-Election Bid

OCEAN CITY — Councilwoman Margaret Pillas has officially changed her mind on retiring from the City Council.

This fall’s municipal election in Ocean City had presumably been set to see at least one new member elected to the council as Margaret Pillas was expected to opt against re-election, as her four-year term, along with Councilman Lloyd Martin and Council President Joe Mitrecic, was coming to an end.

Yet, this week, Pillas officially announced that her plans have changed and she will run for re-election this fall.

“When I campaigned in 2006, I went door-to-door and told everyone that I would be serving one four-year term, as my husband and I were planning on selling our store and retiring in 2010, but when the economy went south, so did our retirement plan, so we won’t be selling the shop and we won’t be retiring just yet,” she said this week.

Pillas said that she plans to file for re-election in July, but felt it was prudent to make the announcement now after mentions of her previous retirement intentions in a recent “Between The Lines” column sparked a public response.

“I’ve been getting stopped on the street and fielding emails about people thinking that I’m retiring after what they’ve read in the paper,” said Pillas. “I have always wanted my views and my intentions to be totally transparent so I wanted to get that on record that I will not be retiring.”

In the 2006 election, Pillas came in third in voting behind Martin and Mitrecic. As a result, all three held four-year terms, with the fourth elected council member that year, being elected to a two-year term.

The winner of that fourth spot, by a mere handful of votes, was Councilwoman Mary Knight, who successfully defended her seat in a re-election bid in 2008. Ironically, two of the four candidates that Knight beat out for the fourth spot were current Councilmen Doug Cymek and Joe Hall, who won seats on the council in 2008.

Although Pillas’ decision surprised few in the town’s hierarchy, it’s notable that she has at least publicly stated her intentions and she said she hopes to continue to fight to keep the lines of communication open between the taxpayers and government.

“People need to keep asking questions and calling out their elected officials,” said Pillas. “With all the cuts we made this year, and this budget coming up, I’m looking forward to serving the people of Ocean City and bringing up some more ideas to save the taxpayers money, so I just don’t think I’m ready to give up just yet.”