Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

When he was first elected to the Ocean City Mayor and Council in 2002, Joe Mitrecic was known for keeping his proverbial cards close to his chest. He was quiet and rarely spoke at the meetings. Over time, that changed, particularly when he ascended to the leadership position of council president.

Now a first-year County Commissioner, representing Ocean City, Mitrecic is outspoken and has grown into a formidable elected representative with strong beliefs and the knowledge and research to back up what he says. He has firm opinions but it’s clear after speaking with him he has formed his stance after doing his homework. That’s not something that can be said about every elected official.

Of the several issues he is currently watching closely in Worcester County is the future of the Department of Liquor Control, which he thinks should be abolished. He seems to have support on the commission to do just that, but it will take some time. In an interview this week, while standing true to his beliefs the county needs to get out of the liquor business, Mitrecic acknowledged a smart “exit strategy” must be followed.

“… I believe there will be a time where we’ll have to bleed off inventory, and there will be a time where hopefully we can get legislation that will enable us to have these packaged goods stores in the future, and we’ll have to dissolve or sell off the stores that we have now. I’d say at the very least, from the time that it’s set in stone that it’s going away until it finally goes away it will be a year or year and a half. I would hope not but I would think that it would be a fair time to put on it,” he said. “We have employees there that I would like to see moved to other posts in the county if possible or to even be bought out in early retirement if necessary. I’m not interested in putting anyone out on the street. I’m really not. I’m just interested in something that the county shouldn’t be in the business of anymore. It’s an archaic system that needs to go away.”

The Town of Berlin’s new welcome signs from the south on Route 113 and west on Libertytown Road have a double meaning. Along with touting the America’s Coolest Small Town designation, the signs also feature the message, “Slow Down In Our Town,” which can be perceived two different ways.

The literal interpretation of that would be motorists should reduce their speed when driving through town. That seems appropriate as citizens have of late been expressing concerns about vehicles cruising through town at a high rate of speed.

I think the message is more than that just that, however. I like the idea that the message refers to easing up on the pace of life while visiting Berlin. I think the “Slow Down In Our Town” message encourages people to kick back, relax and take it easy in the historic town. I could be wrong, though.

October, otherwise known as automotive month in Ocean City, is wrapping up, and I have to admit I was wrong about it. Back in the spring, I expected all of the car events — H2Oi, Cruisin and the corvettes — on the heels of each other to be problematic for the town, particularly if a lot of H2Oi participants were here at the same time as the Cruisin attractants.

Back in February, I wrote, among other things, “In all actuality, the H2Oi and Crusin’ events have evolved into week-long special events, despite the actual organized events not taking place until the weekend in H2Oi’s case and Thursday-Sunday for Cruisin’. It will be interesting to see if there is some overlap between the event attendees. For that reason, I have been envisioning images of an Audi with rear cambr and a Chevy with custom exhaust squaring off at stoplights on Coastal Highway. Here’s to hoping that’s not a negative thing.”

While I stand by most of what I wrote that week, the reality is most of the people who come here for these events arrive early before organized activities but do not stay behind them. That’s why there was not much overlap between the Volkswagon and Audi crowd (and all the other little vehicles) with the muscle cars from a different generation. I still have concerns about these events converging but it appears the first year was not a big deal.

Despite campaign emails painting a different picture (as well as trying to sell “O’M” hoodies), it’s looking more and more like former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s only chance of making it to the White House next year will be as vice president.

There were a couple odd situations this week that give pause to the statement about there being no such thing as bad publicity. First was the Saturday Night Live skit that painted O’Malley as a buffoon who was just happy to be on national television during the Democratic presidential debate. Additionally, there was the embarrassing appearance on “The View” when he awkwardly sang “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift while strumming his guitar. I watched the YouTube video of it and figured that would doom his already struggling campaign.

However, apparently everyone has different tastes because within minutes of watching it I received an email from his campaign touting the appearance “everyone is talking about” with a link to the little ditty while asking for a donation to support his campaign.