Resort Employees Score Surprise Day Off

OCEAN CITY – About a month after general employees aired their grievances and announced plans to form a union, the Mayor and Council voted Tuesday to grant an additional holiday for this year, Random Acts Of Kindness Day.

Last week, Mayor Rick Meehan presented Councilman Brent Ashley with a Proclamation designating April 6 as Random Acts of Kindness Day in Ocean City.

According to the proclamation, “random acts of kindness are means by which we make deliberate attempts to brighten another person’s day by doing something thoughtful, nice and caring for them. Kindness is a way of showing others that they count and that even in the face of hostility and selfishness, you’re making a stand for kindness.”

April 6 will be a day for the entire community to be challenged to do something kind for a friend or stranger for no reason, the proclamation reads.

Some examples of random acts of kindness suggested by the city include personally thanking a police officer, EMT, fireman, veteran or city employee for their service, sending a handwritten note to someone that has made a difference in your life, sending an e-card saying the same, pay the tab for the person behind you, taping quarters to a drink machine, or taking flowers to the hospital or nursing home.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Council President Jim Hall proposed an idea of a way the city can participate with an expression of kindness.

“Due to the fact that the city has really pushed the employees and have asked them to work double duty, we haven’t been able to give a raise in a couple of years and things are not getting much better on the financial front yet, but hopefully they will in the near future,” he said. “I have an idea to consider April 6 as a holiday for the Town of Ocean City employees and consider it a personal day and allow City Hall to be closed that day.”

Jim Hall added that April 6 is the Friday before Easter, Good Friday, and it would allow city employees to have a long weekend.

He said the council will instruct emergency personal supervisors to give police, fire, and EMT an equal amount of time off so that if they are scheduled to work that day they are provided an additional day off in the future.

“I don’t think we can do anymore than to give everybody a breather and say thanks to the employees because they have carried the load for us for a few years,” Jim Hall said. “That would make for a great Easter weekend.”

Councilwoman Margaret Pillas said she wished she would have come up with the idea herself as she set a motion to approve April 6, Random Acts of Kindness Day, as a day off for city employees.

“I think that is wonderful,” Ashley said. “Since I have proposed this idea, I have been trying to come up with some thought process on how we can thank our great employees with some kind of random act of kindness so I think this is a terrific idea.”

The council approved the idea in an unanimous vote.

On Wednesday, Jim Hall followed the vote by asking all city employees to “pay it forward.”

“We are doing this for the employees, whom we think really deserve it, and we ask for them to also pay it forward and do something nice for somebody else,” he said.