It was an interesting week of politics at City Hall in Ocean City.
Last Thursday, Councilman Joe Hall tried, at least temporarily unsuccessfully, to jam through his desire to eliminate all of the town’s subcommittees. Hall has not been shy about his distaste for these committees meetings, dating back to his earlier terms in office. He believes too much is discussed at these gatherings and that the entire council should hear all of the city’s business. Hall seems to have the votes to do away with these subcommittees, as Jim Hall, Margaret Pillas and Brent Ashley were on his side, but a formal vote was delayed till next month.
The tenor of that meeting raised a lot of concerns among many in Ocean City that the new four-person majority voting block would steamroll every issue. That may still be the case, in general, but not on every matter it was learned on Tuesday, as Council President Jim Hall showed an independent streak when he sided with what is believed to be the minority block on most issues – Doug Cymek, Mary Knight and Lloyd Martin – on the beach photo franchise issue.
If we learned anything from the new council’s first week, it’s that it’s going to be an interesting two years until the next election.
Once the election has come and gone next week, Ocean City should give serious consideration to combining its traditional October election with the general election in November. As Joe Mitrecic mentioned at City Hall last week, there’s confusion among some citizens as to when they actually vote for the local council people. The council should give it a try in two years and see what happens to voter turnout. Something has to change because a consistent string of pathetic turnouts (just one-fifth of the electorate has turned over the last few elections) needs to be addressed.
This election will prove interesting for the future of Maryland’s Democratic Party, which controls all aspects of politics in the state.
If Gov. Martin O’Malley wins as expected, he will be elected to his second term, the maximum for the governor’s mansion thanks to term limits, which I think it a good thing.
I have it on good authority the left’s long-range plans is for O’Malley to succeed Mikulski in six years or earlier if health issues arise or impact her ability to legislate and for Brown to bump up to a run at governor. As for the future for O’Malley beyond the Senate if the master plan plays out as expected, higher office beyond that may be the goal.
On a side note, it’s my hope once the election takes place on Tuesday that the various candidates immediately get out into the field and remove their campaign signs. Please do it and do it soon. Enough is enough, and I know I am not alone with my self-diagnosed election malaise.