Rick Meehan won a landslide re-election victory as mayor of Ocean City, Maryland, 2,238-629 in Tuesday’s voting.
Four council members were elected:
- Dennis Dare, 1,952
- Mary Knight, 1,853
- Joe Mitrecic, 1,778
- Doug Cymek, 1,680
Two council incumbents, Jim Hall (929) and Joe Hall (806), were defeated, trailing Cymek by a 3-2 margin, and Dare by 2-1. No elected representative who has given countless hours to serving the public for virtually no compensation deserves that kind of thanks for their service. Unfortunately, democracy has to run by the numbers, and it’s the best system we have. After the sting of defeat has time to lessen, perhaps the town will find a way to properly recognize their long service.
The proposal to authorize the town’s general employees to form a union was defeated, 1,723-931. If the newly elected council treats town employees fairly and with respect, as I expect will happen, the union issue may not return for many years.
The popularity of Dennis Dare, former city manager, came as no surprise.
Joe Mitrecic, the former Council chairman who was defeated two years ago, returns to the Council with a strong endorsement from the voters. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Council choose Mitrecic to be chairman once again. He was always well-prepared and ran meetings in a respectful and orderly fashion.
Turnout in the Ocean City town election was more than twice the turnout in 2010. For example, Mayor Meehan was the leading vote-getter in 2010, with 954. In 2012, he still led the way, but with 2,238 votes. For the first time this year, the Ocean City town election was held on the same day and in the same place — the Convention Center — as the Maryland General Election. That, plus the increasingly contentious division on the Council in the past two years, explains the increased voter turnout. The voters want the town’s government to work together efficiently, with a minimum of friction and more consensus.
Among the four candidates who have not previously held council office, Bob Baker (842) ran strongest. The other three trailed the leaders by margins of 3-1 or greater.
The new and old councils, and the mayor, will hold an organizational meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012.
— John Hayden