OCEAN CITY – Council President Lloyd Martin and Council Secretary Mary Knight were re-appointed during the Mayor and City Council Organizational Meeting held last Thursday night.
Worcester County Chair of the Board of Elections Mary Adeline Bradford read into the record the results of this year’s election at the meeting. There were 2,212 citizens that cast their ballot in person while 144 turned in absentee ballots, eight of which were disqualified, totaling 2,348 voted in the 2014 municipal election.
In this year’s election, the mayor’s seat and four council seats were to be filled. Council President Lloyd Martin was the only council incumbent to file. Former Councilwoman Margaret Pillas and former Councilman Brent Ashley did not file to be re-elected. Amid his four-year term, Councilman Joe Mitrecic ran unopposed to represent Ocean City on the Worcester County Commission.
In this year’s election, the unopposed Mayor Rick Meehan received 1,838 votes. Matthew James was elected to council with 1,666 votes, Wayne Hartman was elected to council with 1,345, Martin was re-elected with 1,342 votes, and Tony DeLuca was elected to council with 1,287 votes. DeLuca will serve a two-year term by coming in fourth place, filling out Mitrecic’s term.
The remainder of the candidates were Chris Rudolf, who received 1,075 votes, Joe Hall received 775 votes and Joe Cryer received 446 votes.
Knight made a motion to approve the 2014 Municipal Election results, and the former council voted 5-0 to approve with Ashley and Pillas absent.
Next, Clerk of Circuit Court for Worcester County Stephen Hales asked Meehan and the newly elected council members to come forward to be sworn in. Once the newly elected council had taken their seats, Councilman Doug Cymek nominated Martin to return as council president. Councilman Dennis Dare seconded the motion.
“I have become accustomed to referring to Lloyd Martin as the president and I would like to have the distinct honor in nominating him again to continue to serve as our council president,” Cymek said.
The Mayor and City Council voted unanimously to approve Martin as the council president.
“Like Councilman Cymek, I have gotten use to Councilwoman Mary Knight being the secretary of council. She has done a fine job, and I would be honored to nominate her,” Dare said. The motion was seconded by Cymek.
The Mayor and City Council voted unanimously to approve Knight as council secretary. No other council members were nominated to serve as council president or secretary.
After that business was conducted, the candidates had a chance to make some remarks.
“I would like to thank my family and friends, everybody who has supported me over the past two months, and I would like to thank the voters of Ocean City,” James said.
For his part, DeLuca said, “As I look at the City Council up here I think that we’re all very like minded, but as you look at all of us there is such difference up here, and I just think that is one of the things that is going to make us great. The difference up here is an absolute strength,” he said. “We are going to have spirited discussions that are healthy, and that is important, but at the end of the day I guarantee you that I am going to be committed. Team work is what is going to drive this city to be as great as it is, and make it better.”
Along with thanking his family and supporters, Hartman also thanked Campaign Treasurer Louise Gulyas.
“It is a great town, and I am very proud to be sitting in a position to serve,” he said.
Martin recognized a lively spirit among the new council that evening.
“In past years, we have worked as a broken council. Now we can put it back together to work with employees and everybody the best we can,” he said.
The standing council members also took the opportunity to give thanks.
“I am so excited to sit here again for another two years. It is inspiring to have new members on the council. We will do everything we can do for the citizens and the tourists, everybody who calls Ocean City their home, and every single employee who works for this town. We will work hard to support everybody,” Knight said.
Cymek was happy to see who the voters had chosen, he stated.
“I am really looking forward to working with them to continue to take the town in the direction we have been going for the last few years,” he said.
Dare acknowledged the candidates and their work they put forward to run a campaign.
“The voters of Ocean City have spoken, and I look forward to working as a team,” he said.
Meehan recognized Gulyas was in attendance, who received a standing ovation, as the mayor also recognized the attendance of Worcester County Commissioner-elect Joe Mitrecic, who will be taking Gulyas seat as she retires.
Also in attendance was Clerk of Circuit Court for Worcester County elect Susan Braniecki, who will be taking Hales’ seat.
“It is an honor to serve as the Mayor of Ocean City. I want to thank the voters for coming out and voting for me. It truly is an honor, and something that I take very seriously,” he said. “I also want to thank everyone who ran in the election. Unfortunately, not everybody wins, but we had a great group of candidates who put in a lot of hours and really campaigned very well. One of them is with us tonight, and I want to recognize Chris Rudolf for a great campaign.”
The mayor also thanked the Board of Election Supervisors who are all volunteers appointed by the Mayor and City Council.
“There is a lot of excitement in Ocean City with some great new council people. It is the first time I can remember that we have had three new council members elected at one time. I see everybody has a positive outlook on Ocean City. We have a can-do council that looks at things from a very positive perspective. Everybody realizes all of the good things that we have, some of the challenges that we face, and are prepared to meet those challenges to continue to make Ocean City an even better place than it is today,” Mayor Meehan said.
Before the meeting was adjourned, one unscheduled agenda item was brought forward, the recognition of Hales, who is retiring this year.
“Steve has served as the Clerk of Circuit Court for Worcester County for 16 years. He was the Register of Wills for 12 years before that, so he has certainly served the citizens of Ocean City for a long time, and really served them well. He has been here so many times to swear in the Mayor and City Council to take our seats. It will be different not seeing Mr. Hales,” the mayor said, as he presented Hales with a Key to the City.