Thoughts From The Publisher's Desk
Last week it was thought the Worcester County Department of Liquor Control (DLC) was not going to have to deal with drastic repercussions from the purchase of alcohol from an Alabama control board, which did not have the required permit to sell booze in Maryland.
While it was illegal for the county to buy the liquor from the unlicensed out-of-state entity, the idea was it would not be something that resulted in a serious fine or suspension or anything of the like.
While it’s unclear if any of those sorts of punishments will be coming down the line, it was revealed this week the Comptroller’s Office has launched an official investigation into the transaction.
It was initially thought the county would be able to keep the $175,000 worth of alcohol in its warehouse until the Alabama control board applied and received the requisite permit. That also turned out not to be the case, as the county has been ordered to ship the liquor back to Alabama at its own expense presumably and to re-executive the terms of the transaction if and when the Alabama board scores the necessary permit.
Ocean City Councilman Doug Cymek became the first to file for the City Council election next year. In political terms, particularly in Ocean City, this is extremely early to file for council, but it could be indicative of things to come.
Ever since he was forced out of office in early September, there have been calls for former City Manager Dennis Dare to run for a council seat. While Dare is keeping mum on his exit, likely due to the fact there are still unresolved issues with the finalization of his terms of unemployment with the city, word is Dare is at least considering it.
Agree or disagree with how he was removed from his post, the fact is Dare is probably the most popular public official on the island these days. That much was certain after last week’s Grace Parker Breakfast, held monthly this time of year at the First Presbyterian Church.
For those who don’t know, it’s well known in the local political world the monthly Grace Parker Breakfasts offer the best way to rub elbows with the most voting constituents in one room. From what I hear, Dare was treated like a celebrity at last Wednesday’s breakfast.
The idea is whether you approve or disapprove of the way he did his job most agree the manner in which he was forced out was disrespectful and unnecessary, considering he was a city employee for almost three decades. That role of the victim, one Dare would most likely not be comfortable in, would unquestionably play out well in the local political world.
A lot can change in 11 months, but I’m already getting excited about the prospects of a crowded field of candidates next October, although I’m still holding out hope the council will reconsider merging its election with the November presidential election. That will guarantee a solid turnout.
It’s been almost 15 years since he was my soccer coach, and I still remember Tom Westcott’s way on the field and in the classroom. He’s one of the many teachers or coaches I can say honestly left a mark on me and that I still think of today with fondness.
Whether it was running the streets of Berlin, teaching the fundamentals of trapping and passing on the field, consoling the players after a tough loss, celebrating a great win, giving advice to a wayward pupil or teaching life science and biology in the classroom, Westcott was a master at balance.
Westcott retired from coaching soccer after 30 years this month but will continue to teach at Worcester Prep. To me, what makes “Wes” such an effective teacher and coach is he knows how to make it fun and demanding simultaneously. He takes coaching and teaching seriously, but he maintains through a lively and energetic personality a certain level of perspective that I respected at a young age. At an older age, and having gained the inevitable amount of life’s experiences that come as the years progress, I respect that even more now.
I feel fortunate to have been coached and taught by him, and I realize there are countless others in this area and elsewhere who feel the same. His coaching days may be over, but his impact will live on. The students at the school are fortunate that he will continue as a teacher, and I am thankful I had him as both.