OCEAN CITY – With little ceremony or fanfare, long-time City Engineer Terry McGean was formally announced as city manager on Tuesday and will replace sitting City Manager Doug Miller, who announced his resignation late last month.
For the last week or so, it has been reported McGean would be tapped as the new city manager, and the town issued a press release late last week confirming the appointment. Prior to Tuesday’s open session, the Mayor and Council and key city staffers met with McGean in closed session to presumably iron out some final contract details.
During the Mayor and Council comment period of Tuesday’s open meeting, Council President Matt James made the formal announcement.
“I’d like to announce Terry McGean has officially accepted the appointment to become our next city manager,” he said. “We’re all very pleased with that and we look forward to working together.”
James pointed to McGean’s three decades-plus of experience as a catalyst for the appointment to the city manager’s position.
“The Mayor and Council are eager and excited to begin to work with Terry,” he said. “Terry’s efforts in the town have shown the dedication and commitment he has to run all operations as city manager.”
McGean has been City Engineer since 1990, or a span of about 31 years and eight months. He earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M University. He is a member of numerous civil engineering associations and organizations.
In his three decades-plus as city engineer, McGean has had his fingerprints all over Ocean City. He played an integral role in the development of the resort’s beach replenishment program and the various convention center expansion programs over the years, including one that is ongoing right now.
Other significant projects he is currently running point on include the Boardwalk re-decking project, the Baltimore Avenue corridor redevelopment program and the redevelopment of the downtown recreation complex, the new midtown firehouse plans and many others.
He also oversaw the Boardwalk access point hardening project, and the public boat ramp construction. He served as liaison for the parking revenue task force. McGean also oversees the town’s annual canal dredging project. In short, anything going on in the resort from an engineering standpoint has fallen under his purview.
In the town’s press release issued late last week, McGean said he was pleased to be appointed and take the next step in his career with the town.
“I am honored to be appointed to the position of City Manager,” he said. “It has been my privilege to work beside the employees of the town, and it is both a personal and professional highlight to serve in the capacity of city manager. I look forward to continuing to serve the residents and visitors of Ocean City.”
Reached for comment on Wednesday, McGean echoed those sentiments and praised his predecessor.
“It’s been a privilege to work with Doug for the past six years and he leaves some very big shoes to fill,” he said. “I think Ocean City has the best team of staff and elected officials in the country or I would not have taken on this challenge. I hope I can do as good a job as the last city engineer who became city manager.”
Under the town’s charter, Ocean City operates under a Mayor and Council-Manager form of government with the city manager acting as the chief executive officer (CEO) of sorts in what is essentially a business. While the city manager acts at the direction of the Mayor and Council, the position handles the daily operations of the town.
McGean will become the town’s sixth-ever city manager, which, over the long history of the resort does not seem like too many. It continues a pattern of change at the position that began with long-time city manager Tony Barrett, Joe Braun, who only served a brief stint, long-time city manager Dennis Dare, David Recor, and most recently, Miller. Mayor Rick Meehan on Tuesday said McGean’s formal appointment represents not a hello, but welcome to your new responsibilities.
“It’s not welcome, I guess, it’s stepping up to a different position,” he said. “Your track record with the city, again, you have the respect of everyone in this room and with all of the city employees.”
Meehan said with McGean’s experience and knowledge of the town, he was looking forward to the next chapter.
“Everyone is looking forward to the time you take over and where you will take us,” he said. “I think we’re all in good hands, and we’ve been in good hands. Thank you for stepping up.”