(Dec. 5, 2014) Chip Bertino, Diana Purnell, Ted Elder and Joe Mitrecic were sworn in as County Commissioners Tuesday, replacing Judy Boggs, Jim Purnell, Virgil Shockley and Louise Gulyas respectively.
The new commissioners said they were ready to cut their teeth on the county’s FY2016 budget, the formulation of which will take up a goodly portion of the first part of 2015.
“Of course I’m humbled by the opportunity to serve the community of Ocean Pines,” Chip Bertino said, “And I’m looking forward to the 2016 budget with very much interest. I want to ensure going forward we’re not budgeting on stabilization funds. I think we can work toward balance without those funds.”
Some were looking farther down the road while still remaining in the present.
“We’re going to have a $12 million shortfall in three years,” Ted Elder said, “I’d like to address it early.”
Elder said he wanted to start working on several things right away, but the budget was far and away his greatest concern.
Diana Purnell was excited by the new experience.
“The new learning curve is ready to start,” she continued, “as soon as I sign my name on the dotted line that’s going to be it.”
Purnell said she, along with the six other commissioners, will need to work together to improve the state of the county even more than what has already been achieved by her predecessors, immediate and otherwise.
“At budget time I’d like to see a more equitable formula for Ocean City and the north end of Worcester County, while looking at the budget as a whole.” Joe Mitrecic said.
Mitrecic said he was eager to get the commissioner’s meetings taped and broadcast “at least on the Internet if not through cable channels,” he said, while making the time to “get settled and get my bearings.”