City Manager Praised During Final Council Meeting

City Manager Praised During Final Council Meeting
City Manager Doug Miller, pictured at his introductory press conference six years ago, worked his last council meeting this week. Photo by Chris Parypa

OCEAN CITY — Near the end of his last official council meeting in the city’s manager’s chair, outgoing City Manager Doug Miller on Tuesday was praised for his accomplishments in the position over the last six years.

In late December, Miller announced his resignation after managing the resort for the last six years. Miller made his announcement in the form of a memorandum to the Mayor and Council and other city staffers.

“After a good deal of reflection, I have decided to pursue other interests and, thus, hereby resign my position as City Manager for the Town of Ocean City,” the memo from Miller read. “I wish you all the best in guiding this wonderful city into its bright and promising future.”

In the weeks that followed, Miller has continued to run the city and all of the responsibilities the job entails. His resignation will take effect on January 31, making Tuesday’s meeting his last official as city manager. Also on Tuesday, City Engineer Terry McGean was announced as Miller’s replacement. Council President Matt James thanked Miller for his service near the close of Tuesday’s meeting.

“I’d like to thank the city manager for the last six years,” he said. “This will be his last council meeting. Good luck. We will miss you.”

Miller was hired in 2016 after a nearly year-long recruiting and vetting process to replace then-City Manager David Recor, who resigned in 2015 during what was described at the time as a “mutual agreement.” On Tuesday, Councilman John Gehrig praised Miller for his dedicated service to the town during his six years in the position.

“Doug, thank you very much,” he said. “You’re the only city manager I’ve ever known since I’ve been up here. When people move on in their careers, it’s good to assess where you started and where the organization is when you leave. That’s an indicator of how well you did.”

Gehrig said Miller will be remembered for his many accomplishments as city manager, but perhaps more importantly, for being a stand-up guy in his position.

“Ocean City is lucky to have you,” he said. “When you speak to people, the one phrase that always comes out is ‘Doug Miller, he’s a nice guy.’ That’s the first thing I do when I hire someone. He’s a nice guy. That’s the greatest of all human traits. Thank you for what you’ve done for Ocean City.”

Mayor Rick Meehan pointed out Miller was able to help shepherd the town through the ongoing pandemic with the ever-changing restrictions and guidelines, beach and Boardwalk closures in the early days and the steady, rapid recovery.

“Doug, you brought professionalism, dignity and experience to the office,” he said. “You’ve been here during several of our most difficult times any of us can imagine over the last three years and helped navigate through a pandemic.”

Meehan also praised Miller for leaving the town in such a solid fiscal situation. Earlier on Tuesday, for example, the council debated a proposed measure to increase the town’s minimum fund balance threshold.

“You leave us in a financial position that I think most municipalities are envious of,” he said. “That’s no small task. You worked with eight people up here and given directions like this sometimes, but you were able to put things together and always articulated what you wanted to say.”

Finally, Meehan echoed Gehrig’s sentiments about Miller being an overall nice guy and praised his accomplishments.

“You are well-respected in the community,” he said. “Everybody always says ‘That Doug Miller is a good man.’ We’re very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish during your time here as city manager and you should be very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish and what you’ve been able to accomplish.”

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.