Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – December 23, 2016

Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – December 23, 2016

This is the fun time of year I get to look back and see how my predictions were that I made at the end of 2015 for the year ahead. This was one of my better prediction years, but there were still plenty of instances when I had proverbial egg on my face. Next week I will take at what will make news in 2017,

On The Money

•It was the right call to state Ocean City’s proposed median fence would not be in place for the summer of 2016. That’s looking like it will be the case in 2017, however.

•Although it looked doubtful until the day of the filing deadline, I was correct when I predicted, “at least one newcomer will be elected to serve on the Ocean City Council in November.” That was John Gehrig, who ran away with the council election as the top vote getter.

•I was right with the guess that Mayor Rick Meehan would again be unopposed in his re-election bid.

•Once again, Worcester County was the only school system in Maryland to begin after Labor Day. We know that will not be the case next year, however, due to Gov. Larry Hogan.

•I was right when I said post-Labor Day school start legislation would fail in the Maryland General Assembly. That’s what led to the governor’s decision during the summer to mandate school systems start after the holiday.

•As I guessed, the Casino at Ocean Downs did break ground on its expansion to allow for table games. The building can be seen under construction from Route 589.

•Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen won Barbara Mikulski’s U.S. Senate seat in easy fashion, as I predicted.

•I was correct when I predicted there would be no official decision on the proposed sports arena proposal for northern Worcester County.

•Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown was successful, as I thought he would be, in his bid to win a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Maryland’s fourth district.

•All indications are my estimation that Worcester County will be out of the wholesale and retail liquor business altogether by the summer of 2017 will be accurate.

Way Off The Mark

•I stumbled out of the gates with my first prediction last year that stated Ocean City would announce in February its new city manager from South Carolina. It happened in January and Doug Miller came to the resort from La Plata, Md.

•Former City Manager David Recor was not named the city manager of a coastal town in Florida as I predicted. Instead, he was appointed to the position of Strategic Performance Manager of Pompano Beach, Fla., which is a coastal Florida municipality.

•Unleaded gasoline prices did not surpass $3 a gallon in 2016 as I predicted.

•Unfortunately I was wrong on the beach ball water tower when I wrote, “Ocean City officials will confirm they are sane and abandon a plan to put a beach ball design on the new water tower at 1st Street.”

•A prominent Town of Ocean City department head did not retire in 2016 as I thought.

•The former site of the Superfresh in the Tanger Outlets has not become home to additional national retail stores, at least as of yet.

•Ocean City did not formally announce plans to rebrand and redesign the bayside park at 3rd Street, including an expanded skate park, more playgrounds and better fields, as I thought.

•There was not a major assault case involving an Uber driver and a taxi driver in Ocean City as I thought may occur due to heightened tensions among the competitors.

•A national chain restaurant was not announced for one of the pad sites in front of Wal-Mart and Home Depot.

•Contrary to what I believed, funding was found to allow Worcester County to begin recording its government meetings and posting them online. It hasn’t happened yet but the effort is underway.

•Worcester County did grant raises for its employees in 2016.

•I got the Super Bowl wrong again for the 12th straight year. Arizona did not defeat the Denver Broncos as I thought. It was the Broncos winning over the Carolina Panthers. For what it’s worth, I got the college football championship right when I predicted Alabama would win it.

Still In Limbo

•It’s unclear at this point whether any talks have taken place between the private sector and the Town of Ocean City on forming a non-profit arts foundation in charge of booking musical acts for the Performing Arts Center. I thought there would be some traction on that effort one year ago.

•Ocean City has not, as of yet, initiated legal proceedings against Worcester County over the tax differential issue.

•I predicted a North Carolina train company was going to express an interest in operating the Newark-to-Berlin excursion train operation. That has not taken place as of yet.

•Local governments did not officially move ahead with any solar projects as I thought may occur.

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.