Ocean City News In Brief

OCEAN CITY — In the brief this week, former Ocean City Mayor and current Delegate Jim Mathias stepped back into the council chambers to see his wife, Kathy, officially appointed to the city clerk’s position and the infamous Sea Rocket has found a new dock to call its home.

Delegate Back At City Hall

The always animated and charismatic former mayor of Ocean City returned to the council chambers at City Hall for the first time since his 2006 resignation and thanked the council for their hard work and dedication in getting some important legislation passed in Annapolis, and put on a little pre-campaign charm for the audience.

“It’s a pleasure and an honor to be back here, and I just want to say God bless you all and the work that you’ve done over the past few years in keeping Ocean City one of the best places to be on earth,” said Mathias to the Mayor and Council. “The salvia bill that you pushed so hard for and had the vision to pass here in Ocean City as well as the predator bill that we worked so hard on which have both passed through in Annapolis, is a great step at keeping our children safe, which I believe is our most important task as politicians.” 

Mathias, who served as mayor as well as councilman in Ocean City before running for delegate after long-time Annapolis stalwart Bennett Bozman’s death, awarded proclamations to the winners of the Good Sports Awards from the town’s Recreation and Parks Department, which usually are presented in Annapolis, but a February snowstorm prevented the presentation.

Mathias also was in attendance as his wife Kathy was officially appointed as city clerk and thanked the town staff and council for “working so closely with Kathy through all the hard times for all these years.”

Mathias was welcomed back with several bursts of applause and seemingly shook every hand in the room, perhaps practicing for campaign trail for his Senate run in the next election.

Kathy Mathias Officially Promoted To City Clerk

Although everyone knew that the appointment was coming, it didn’t take away from the moment, as longtime Assistant to the City Manger Kathy Mathias was officially appointed as the city clerk for the town of Ocean City.

After Carol Jacobs announced several months ago that she would be taking the town’s recent retirement incentive plan after three decades of service to the town, City Manager Dennis Dare said that Mathias was the “easy choice” to become the town’s new clerk and replacement for Jacobs.

“She is a consummate professional and has handled anything that I’ve put on her desk with the great professionalism and efficiency,” said Dare. “She’s dealt with literally hundreds of big issues that face the town, and she always presents them to the council and to the public in the clearest and most concise manner possible.”

Dare credits Mathias as one of the main reasons that the town was awarded the “All-America City” award in 2001, as she headed up the committee to put the campaign together, and more recently, took the lead in gaining information and research for the taxi medallion franchise change that became one of the more controversial topics this year.

“Some things are going to change as far as her duties, but she will continue to be a great liaison between the public and the council, and will continue to handle what gets on the council’s agenda and will continue to handle Ocean City University as well,” Dare said.

Since its inception, Mathias has led Ocean City University. It teaches interested citizens the ins and outs of government and the role the Mayor and Council plays within it. Each year, dozens of residents graduate from the course and receive diplomas from the council.

Mathias, as always, was very understated in her appointment, simply saying that it was “an honor” and chose to merely smile as the entire Mayor and Council and town officials applauded her on Monday night.

Delegate Jim Mathias praised Jacobs’ tremendous service to the city and called her retirement a “historic night.”

Sea Rocket Finds New Home

The council voted unanimously to allow for the temporary new home for the popular Sea Rocket as it will be docked at the end of Philadelphia Avenue near the Inlet for the upcoming summer.

Town officials said that Sea Rocket Adventures, which has operated for 17 years in Ocean City, planned to improve a parking lot there with 34 new spaces and would lay gravel to enhance the space.

In addition, customers would access the massive 66-ton, 65-foot vessel on a 150-foot dock stretching into the bay.

“We’ll be watching that property as it’s been an issue for sometime, but I think this is a good spot for the Sea Rocket for this year,” said Councilman Jim Hall.

Previously, the Sea Rocket’s home had been on the bay at Wicomico Street near Bahama Mamas.