Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – December 23, 2022

Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – December 23, 2022

It’s the week in the year to take a few moments and look back at the predictions I made for the news in 2022. Here’s how I fared:

Right On The Mark

  • It was the right call when I predicted Worcester County Public Schools would not follow other school systems and start the new year virtual due to rising case numbers over the holidays.
  • At the close of 2021, it looked like the Margaritaville redevelopment project was on the rocks after plans were tabled. I surmised the project would return in 2022 for consideration. It did and appears to be on track.
  • I hit big on my prediction Ocean City would not conduct a national search for its next city manager after Doug Miller announced his resignation. I suggested the city would promote a current department head to the position, thinking it would be Public Works Director Hal Adkins or City Engineer Terry McGean. It turned out to be McGean who was named in January.
  • On the election front, I was right when I suggested two new individuals would be elected to the Ocean City Mayor and Council after Councilman Lloyd Martin retired after 20 years. New Council members sworn in last month were Carol Proctor and Will Savage, who replaced Martin and Mark Paddack.
  • Also, in election news, I predicted one new face would join the Berlin town council in 2022. The new person turned out to be me as I was unopposed. Re-elected to the council were Dean Burrell, who defeated Tony Weeg by two votes, and Jay Knerr, who was unopposed.
  • In other election happenings, I was right four individuals would file for the seat held by retiring County Commissioner Bud Church. I thought it would be three Republicans and a Democrat, but it turned out to be four Republicans battling out in the primary with Eric Fiori elected in a tight race.
  • A major snowstorm did hit the area for the first time in several years. My timing was off, however. I thought it would be mid-February. It turned out to be late January when a foot of snow dropped.
  • Former County Commissioner Virgil Shockley did file for the District 4 Commissioner seat, but he and two others lost to incumbent Ted Elder in the primary.
  • Commissioner Joe Mitrecic, who represents Ocean City, was unopposed for his seat.
  • State Senator Mary Beth Carozza and Delegate Wayne Hartman were both unopposed in their primaries, but only Carozza was opposed in the general election. I thought Carozza and Hartman would face opposition in the general election. It turned out Hartman was unopposed for his re-election bid, while Carozza defeated Salisbury Council member Michele Gregory in November.
  • I was on the money when I predicted a local developer would “submit a purchase offer for Heron Park.” A proposal by Palmer Gillis has in fact been identified as the favored project, but negotiations continue.

Way Off The Mark

  • I was wrong when I suggested Worcester County would purchase land on Route 50 for a sports complex. In fact, earlier this month, the county officially ended the real estate contract for land along the highway west of the high school.
  • Saturday mail service was not nixed by the United States Postal Service as I predicted.
  • I completely missed on the governor’s race in Maryland. I had Democrat Peter Franchot defeating Republican Kelly Schulz. In fact, neither survived the July primary. It was Democrat Wes Moore winning the primary and then easily defeating Republican Dan Cox with 65% of the vote.
  • I thought booming assessments coupled with an election year might lead the Worcester County Commissioners to lower the property tax rate. It stayed the same.
  • I wrongly thought 2022 would be the year development plans move forward at the intersection of Route 50 and Main Street in Berlin. Nothing has materialized.
  • It was predicted Ocean City would finalize the specifics of the Baltimore Avenue reconstruction project with a timeline in place for 2023 construction. It appears soaring costs have it on the backburner for now.
  • While Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan did file for re-election, he did not announce any intention for it to be his final two-year term. He has said candidly he still enjoys the work after 37 years in elected office.
  • The Big Wheel did return to Trimper Rides this summer, proving me wrong as I thought it would not be around.
  • Contrary to what I predicted, there was no talk between State Highway Administration and Berlin officials about making Main Street in the downtown area a pedestrian-only plaza.
  • I predicted Berlin and Ocean Pines would pass short-term rental ordinances in 2022. Only Berlin did over the last year.
  • Only twice in 20-plus years of making these predictions have I gotten the Super Bowl right. Last year I whiffed again, picking the Packers to beat the Chiefs. It was the Rams who downed the Bengals.
  • The Royal Farms planned for Route 589 did not open this year, but construction is underway.
  • Because a date had not been announced for the annual fall event this time last year, I predicted Sunfest would be held the last weekend of September. Due to the Oceans Calling Festival, the event was pushed back a month to Oct. 20-23.

Remains In Limbo

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  • It’s unknown if Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan will opt against a presidency run and instead go for a Senate seat.

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.