Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – November 3, 2017

There was supposed to be a lot of beach replenishment taking place in our area this fall and winter. Ocean City’s project began this week and should be completed after about two months, working from north to south. A similar project for southern Delaware was to begin shortly thereafter in early 2018.

It was learned this week that will not be happening. The news of a significant delay came out of Fenwick Island’s council meeting last Friday. The contractor will reportedly not be started the planned replenishment project until the early spring now and that means the completion date could push into June. The big question mark will be the weather.

Fenwick Island has been here before and officials worried about a repeat of a recent replenishment year when crews were seen on the beach during the summer months. Officials and local business owners find that to be unacceptable. They are right.

There’s a lot of controversy involving the merits of beach replenishment, its impact on shore break and the huge amount of funding involved with it. That will probably persist forever, but one thing that brings everyone together on this matter is the timing. It should not place after Memorial Day weekend, but there’s a chance that could be the case again.

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This upcoming week marks the one-year mark before next year’s General Election when Marylanders will have several choices to make at the ballot box.

The top of the ballot will feature Gov. Larry Hogan’s re-election bid. Hogan is sure to not face any serious opposition from his Republican Party colleagues but he will surely be targeted by the Democrats. Several existing county executives across the state are planning to seek the Democratic Party’s nod and the chance to challenge the popular Hogan in November.

On the local front, the political winds are blowing hard these days and most eyes these days are following Delegate Mary Beth Carozza’s decision on whether to seek a second term in the House of Delegates or to challenge incumbent Senator Jim Mathias. An announcement date has been set by Carozza for Nov. 19 at Ocean City Elementary School “to announce her plans for the 2018 election,” according to a media advisory released this week.

All indications are Carozza will be giving up her delegate’s post to challenge Mathias, who was elected to his Senate seat in 2010 after serving as a delegate and previously mayor of Ocean City. That’s a move designed at trying to cut into the Democratic Party’s stranglehold on the state’s elected leadership. While there is that obvious statewide ramification, Carozza’s decision will have considerable fallout locally.

My guess is Carozza will not be challenged in the June 26, 2018 primary so she can save campaign funds for a robust effort to unseat Mathias, who has never lost an election. It will likely be an entirely different story for the seat she will leave vacant as multiple Republicans – including at least a couple existing elected officials in the area — will surely line up for the party’s nod to advance to the general election in November.

Bottom line is a lot is riding locally and regionally on Carozza’s announcement later this month.

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.