OCEAN CITY – Gregory DeMarco, a city parks employee and a representative of the Ocean City Employee Coalition, came before the Mayor and City Council to thank those who led get the community through what he called “dark times”.
“The former council majority governed against the will of the people and the citizens constantly voiced their objections against the direction to which they were moving but their pleas were constrained or were continuously ignored,” DeMarco said. “It ushered in one of the darkest periods in our community and brought about the largest rebellion in city history.”
DeMarco singled out several officials, beginning with Joe Groves, spokesman for Citizens For Ocean City. DeMarco, who has worked on local, state and national campaigns since the age of 18, said he has never seen a better run or effective citizen advocacy campaign.
“You and your group are instrumental in bringing about the victory that was achieved and there are many citizens and employees and business owners that hope Citizens For Ocean City does not disband because it was so effective in protecting the community,” he said.
According to DeMarco, the most important example set in the past two years was done by Mayor Rick Meehan, starting with his decision to veto 11 ordinances involving general employee pay and benefits and continuing when former City Manager Dennis Dare was removed by the former council majority.
“There is so much to the story because the former majority regrouped after he used his veto power and fired Dennis Dare, and the mayor was powerless to stop this action,” he said. “This was done in such a malicious way because when they removed Dennis Dare the mayor assumed the position of city manager and the four walked away from their actions while all the work and responsibilities fell on Mayor Meehan.”
DeMarco acknowledged Council members Doug Cymek, Mary Knight and Lloyd Martin as well.
“When dark and chaotic times descend upon our city let us hope we have leaders at the helm of such high caliber as Mayor Meehan, Joe Groves, Doug Cymek, Lloyd Martin, and Mary Knight because it was that leadership that carried us through the dark times, and it was that leadership that won an overwhelmingly decisive victory in November along with Dennis Dare and Joe Mitrecic, and that is the kind of leadership that is worthy of this great town,” he said.