Tight Vote Gives Jim Hall President’s Chair

OCEAN CITY – The Mayor and City Council gathered last week for an organizational meeting to swear in the returning incumbents and welcomed Brent Ashley.

Former Councilman Joe Mitrecic sat in the chair of council president one last time and called the meeting to order. He took the time to thank all those who have supported him in the last eight years, including his family, colleagues, other fallen candidates and the residents of Ocean City.

“I would like to thank my colleagues both past and present, who may have disagreed on issues but maintained to keep a civil tongue with each other,” he said.

Mitrecic partnered with Councilman Lloyd Martin and worked with Mayor Rick Meehan during his re-election campaign.

“I would like to thank council member Lloyd Martin,” Mitrecic said. “We came to the council together eight years ago and have spent many hours discussing issues and bouncing ideas off of each other since and I value our friendship.”

Mitrecic added, “I would like to thank the mayor, who has set the level of professionalism, honesty and integrity as a council member, as a council president, and now as mayor that I have always strived to maintain and I hope my successor strives to maintain that same way.”

During Mitrecic’s time spent on the council, he said he always carried goals in the best interest of Ocean City’s work force.

“I would like to thank the employees of Ocean City who work very hard to keep Ocean City a safe and clean place for the residents and visitors,” Mitrecic said.

Before he closed his speech, Mitrecic added a concern that resulted from the total numbers of votes in this year’s election and a possible task for the council in the future.

“I will say the fact that so few voters made the decision for so many residents is troubling,” Mitrecic said. “I had voted to keep the election separate from the national election but after being out and campaigning, and being out on election day, I think the council should re-visit that decision, now that there’s two years between elections.”

In conclusion, Mitrecic said he was late for his fishing trip and said goodbye to his colleagues and the public as he simply walked out the door.

Martin moved into Mitrecic’s seat, and Ashley joined the council. Meehan and returning incumbents Martin and Pillas as well as newcomer Ashley pledged their oath to the city.

To follow on the agenda was the decision on who would be elected council president and council secretary.

Councilwoman Mary Knight, supported by Councilman Doug Cymek, voted for Martin as council president. Councilman Joe Hall nominated Jim Hall as council president. Jim Hall gained his seat as council president with a vote of 4-3.

Pillas supported by Ashley nominated Joe Hall as council secretary. Mary Knight, supported by Cymek, elected Martin to remain council secretary. A tie vote resulted and because Martin had previously served as council secretary and held superiority over Hall he gained his position once again.