On the one-month anniversary of his first day on the job, City Manager David Recor faced his first true political firestorm of sorts.
Last Wednesday, July 11 (his first day on the job was Monday, June 11), all hell broke loose in the local surf community upon what appeared to be the sudden enforcement by the Ocean City Beach Patrol of an antiquated section of the code regarding body board lengths.
Exact circumstances of how the ban on boards exceeding 42 inches became to be instilled are unknown, but most in the know are saying it was a result of some beach-goers being injured in the surf and expressing concerns to nearby lifeguards. That’s likely the case, as it’s no secret some folks are reckless in the ocean and oblivious to others.
Nonetheless, contrary to what some in Fort Pierce, Fla. would have had us believe prior to his stint here, Recor showed he stays cool under the collar under pressure and diligently went about researching the matter, discussing it with relevant staff and quickly instructed lifeguards to allow the body boards last Thursday morning and over the weekend, pending further discussion at Monday’s meeting.
All involved said he handled the situation well, and there’s no question it was the quick action by the city to lift the ban within 24 hours that quieted the building uproar among kids, parents and surf shop owners.
Make no mistake it was a firestorm of controversy for a short time, as at least one local surf shop reported having to refund money to a customer for a couple beater boards purchased the day prior to the ban being enforced. Store management was even alleged to have conspired against the customer, as he believed the store was aware of the ban but sold the product without informing him. At that time, the store was not cognizant of the move, but that’s how significant this issue was for a short period of time last week.
I love fishing tournaments because they often come down to dumb luck and carry with them tremendous suspense.
The latest example on the drama side came last Sunday during the waning minutes of the 25th Annual Ocean City Tuna Tournament, which featured 79 registered boats, lots of big fish and surprises.
There’s nothing like the last day of a fishing tournament, assuming a large block of the fleet is heading out in search of the fish that’s going to get them the big prize money. That was the case on Sunday and the suspense built throughout the day and early evening right up until the 7 p.m. deadline.
The crew aboard the “Absolute Pleasure” hooked a giant big-eye (later found to weigh 257 pounds) around 2 p.m. With the crew keeping an eye on their watches, it took the crew about two hours to boat the beast, meaning they needed to cover a lot of open ocean in a few short hours to get back to the Ocean City Fishing Center before the scales closed.
It turns out they made it in time and stunned the large crowds and those sitting on the leaderboard when they unpacked and unveiled a massive big-eye that took home the biggest prize of them all — $224,116.
With this week’s decision to allocate $100,000 to the independent movie seeking to film in Ocean City this fall, Worcester County has put the pressure on the Ocean City Mayor and Council. The offer to funnel $100,000 through the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce comes with a string — the Mayor and Council must fund at least the same amount.
Word is the Tourism Advisory Board (TAB) recently discussed supporting the movie and voted to use as much as $100,000 of its budget to help with production. The Mayor and Council are expected to be presented with that support as well as a creative package outlining the specifics of the allocation at the end of the month.
With $300,000 the local fundraising goal as outlined by the producers last month, it’s going to be interesting to see if the council will go beyond what TAB has in mind or even if the officials will even give their blessing to that decision.