Officials Recognize Longtime Commission Members in OC

OCEAN CITY— Continuing a recent experience-draining trend, resort officials this week feted three long-time volunteers with a combined 56 years of service to the town on various boards and commissions.

During Monday’s meeting, the Mayor and Council recognized three long-time public servants, including Alfred Harrison, who has served on the town’s Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) for 23 years; Peck Miller, who served on the Ocean City Planning Commission for 19 years, and Chris Shanahan, who served on the Ocean City Planning Commission for 14 years.

Each has played an integral role in the development and redevelopment of the resort. The BZA hears and approves a variety of cases related to development including special exceptions, for example. The planning commission is the hearing body for the Mayor and Council and reviews site plans for new development projects and helps direct code changes related to development, among other things. Mayor Rick Meehan recognized Harrison, Miller and Shanahan on Monday.

“We have three recognitions tonight,” he said. “Thanks to your long commitment to Ocean City. All of our boards in Ocean City are so important.”

Meehan said each of those recognized on Monday for their long service have handled their collective responsibilities with aplomb.

“They are there to listen to applicants, often long hours into the night,” he said. “They are very important to the development of Ocean City and they each act in the best interest of the town and its citizens. They hear testimony from applicants and concerns from citizens. They have the ability to listen respectfully to all who want to speak.”

Meehan recognized Harrison for his 23 years as a member of the board of zoning appeals.

“Al has been on the BZA for 23 years and the chair for the last 10,” he said. “That’s a tremendous responsibility. He’s here every other Thursday, often for hours on end. He has a great understanding of the town, but particularly the downtown area.”

Next, Meehan recognized Miller for his nearly two decades on the planning commission.

“The planning commission is the hearing body for the Mayor and Council,” he said. “They’re the ones from which we receive pages and pages of transcripts. Peck has been in the retail business, the real estate business and development. He has a great understanding of Ocean City and he has made a true commitment to the town over the last 19 years.”

For his part, Miller said the planning commission during his tenure has relied on strong partnerships with the staff, the elected officials and the citizenry.

“I’d just like to thank the past and present staff, the Mayor and Council and the citizens of Ocean City,” he said. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to work with all of you.”

Finally, Meehan recognized Shanahan for his 14 years of volunteer service on the planning commission.

“This another one of those bittersweet evenings,” he said. “Chris has been with the planning commission for 14 years. He’s busy man with his businesses, and it’s a huge commitment. It can be difficult, but you have made tough decisions based on what is the right thing to do.”

Shanahan praised the staff for the diligent work they do in advance of site plan presentations and public hearing to best prepare the commission for the tough decisions they often have to make.

“I just have to say I really appreciate the staff over the years,” he said. “I also appreciate the opportunity to do this for 14 years. It has been an honor and a privilege.”

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.