SNOW HILL – The news the Town of Ocean City selected one of Worcester County’s top department heads for a new position in the resort took county leaders by surprise this week.
Ocean City officials on Monday night confirmed Tom Perlozzo, currently Worcester County’s director of recreation and parks, tourism and economic development, as the resort’s new tourism and business development director. Perlozzo’s upcoming departure wasn’t discussed at this week’s meeting of the Worcester County Commissioners, however, because most on Tuesday were not aware Perlozzo would be leaving his current role.
“Most of the commissioners did not find out until today,” Commissioner Joe Mitrecic said Tuesday afternoon. “It has not been discussed.”
Perlozzo, who was hired by the county in 2018, worked previously as Ocean City’s head of recreation and parks and also spent time as an entrepreneur and sales representative. Perlozzo launched efforts to expand the county’s sports marketing as soon as he was hired as recreation and parks director in 2018 and was promoted a year later to lead recreation and parks as well as tourism and economic development.
Though the commissioners haven’t addressed the issue yet, Mitrecic said he was hopeful they’d consider finding someone else to take on leadership of all three departments as Perlozzo had.
“I’d hope we’d put somebody else in that position,” he said. “I think he’s shown how beneficial that position has been, revenue wise and for the good of the county.”
Commissioner Chip Bertino, who voted against the consolidation of those leadership roles in 2019, offered a different point of view.
“That position was created specifically for Tom,” he said. “That was personality driven not responsibility driven. I think we need to evaluate that.”
Bertino acknowledged that the situation would need to be reviewed, as the commissioners hadn’t been aware Ocean City was hiring Perlozzo until they saw it in an article on The Dispatch’s Facebook page Tuesday.
“I wish Tom well but it was disappointing that we the county — the commissioners and staff — were not given the courtesy of being told,” he said. “We found out via social media when we’d just met with him a few minutes before.”
Commissioner Bud Church, who said he was shocked by the news, is sorry to see Perlozzo leave.
“Tom was very efficient at his job,” he said. “In my opinion, he was one of the top 10 employees in the county. I’m sorry to hear he’s leaving but I understand why he’s leaving.”
Though Church wouldn’t elaborate, Mitrecic said Perlozzo was leaving because of frustration at the county.
“Maybe he sees more opportunity with the city than he thinks is possible with the county,” he said.
Perlozzo simply said he was looking forward to a new opportunity.
“Really, the decision included an amazing run in Worcester County with a new beginning in Ocean City,” he said in an email. “So thankful for the opportunity and confidence the City Manager, Mayor and Council have expressed. I am extremely excited to work with a very talented and seasoned staff to allow Ocean City to continue to be the East Coast No. 1 family destination.”