Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – March 2, 2018

Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – March 2, 2018

From the beginning, the promoters of the fall and spring Cruisin events have been looking to be a part of the solution with the problems caused by these wheeled events in Ocean City. That included having Team Productions’ Bob Rothermel testifying before a Maryland Senate committee this week.

“It seems counterintuitive for someone from the private sector to stand here and say we want more legislation for automotive events, but that’s exactly what we’re here for,” he told the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. “We’re here to advocate for increased fines and increased tools in the tool chest for public safety to curtail some of that extracurricular activity. I promote some of these events, but I’m also a resident of the town.”

Also this week, on its Facebook page, the event posted a statement about the ongoing process to calm the weekends these motorized events are held in town.

“Cruisin Ocean City has always held safety as our number one priority. … While most are in town to enjoy the event and all of the exciting things Ocean City has to offer, unfortunately over the past few years we have found an ever increasing number of people and their unaffiliated cars coming to the resort with only mayhem on their agenda. The event does not tolerate unlawful activities or the disrespect of Ocean City,” the post read. “The event has been given the opportunity to work with the Mayor and City Council, along with the OC Police Department, business community and residents to come up with solutions. One of the solutions is the implementation of new legislation that will increase fines and or impoundment for those breaking the law. This legislation is intended to deter those that come to Ocean City for the sole purpose of breaking the law. We support passing the new legislation and feel that it will give the OCPD and it’s allied agencies the tools they need to keep Ocean City safe for residents, visitors and event participants.”



There were no major surprises on the local election front once the candidate filing deadline passed, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few things to worthy of some water cooler talk. Here are some of my thoughts:

•With Delegate Mary Beth Carozza looking to move over to the Senate with a challenge of incumbent Senator Jim Mathias, who would file to vie for her seat in the House was a contest to watch for me.

It was a mild surprise that not one Democrat filed for the seat. While it would be an uphill battle for any Democrat to win this seat due to the district’s massive Republican leanings, I still expected someone to sign up.

Since that never materialized, the seat will be decided in the June primary. The favorite in the race would have to be Ocean City Councilman Wayne Hartman, despite the fact he’s only in his first term. When compared to his three challengers, he has more political experience, however.

At a recent event, it was interesting to hear how at least one of his opponents will be looking to combat his slight edge in experience. The candidate introduced himself and wanted everyone in attendance at a recent community event to be aware he was not the candidate suing you. That was a direct reference to the Town of Ocean City’s petition in Worcester County Circuit Court for declaratory judgment against Worcester County over the tax differential matter.

I don’t expect this to be a major hot potato in this election, but it’s an interesting jab to note.

•Three Worcester County Commissioners were essentially re-elected Tuesday. While there’s a chance a write-in candidate could become eligible before the election Commissioners Jim Bunting, Diana Purnell and Joe Mitrecic have more than likely retained their seats for another term.

Incumbent Commissioners Merrill Lockfaw, Bud Church, Ted Elder and Chip Bertino will face challengers.

•Four Republicans will square off in June for the Worcester County Sheriff’s seat, which is up for grabs due to Reggie Mason’s retirement.

This should prove to be an interesting contest. Looking for internal promotions of sorts are Sheriff’s Office Drug Abuse Resistance Educator Matt Crisafulli, who has been campaigning hard on social media and local events for many months, and Sheriff’s Office Commander Mike McDermott, who has been in law enforcement since 1981 and is a former member of the House of Delegates. Rounding out the Sheriff’s card are former Ocean City Police detective Scott Bernal, who worked the famous Sifrit case among many others in Ocean City, and George Truitt, who worked in law enforcement for three decades.

McDermott has clearly partnered with State’s Attorney Bill McDermott in a similar fashion to how Beau Oglesby and Mason teamed up four years ago. This sort of criminal partnership was successful in 2014 and the McDermott tag team seems to be playing well in some circles.

The two were seen walking the streets of Berlin last weekend campaigning, and motorists surely have seen their neighboring signs along roadways throughout the county over the last couple months.

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.