City Council Candidate Profile: Tony Wilson
In the May 8 election, the incumbent is running for re-election in the Third Ward.
The municipal election on May 8 will decide the four ward seats on the seven-member City Council. The winners will serve four-year terms.
Ocean City Patch asked each candidate to complete a questionnaire outlining biographical information, their platform and their stands on a handful of issues.
The questionnaire is presented here in the same format it was given to the candidates. There were no further instructions, and none of the responses has been edited (beyond basic proofreading and formatting). Readers can make their own judgments on how the candidates did or didn't answer the questions.
The candidates are as follows:
THIRD WARD (south side of 12th Street to north side of 26th Street): Steve Fenichel, Tony Wilson (see below)
Name: Tony Wilson
Address: 15th Street
Education: Ocean City High School Class of 1988; La Salle University Class of 1992 bachelor of science degree in organizational behavior.
No of years in Ocean City: 42 years
- Mother and father, Leo and Donna Wilson, also Ocean City residents
- Wife of 16 years: Melissa
- Children: Tony (12) and Julia (9)
Occupation: Owner of C. Leo Wilson Plumbing, Heating, and A/C, a family-owned and family-operated local business for 40 years.
- Third Ward Councilman on City Council
- Member of the Ocean City Exchange Club
- Member of the Inlet Navigation Committee
What issues do you see as critical for the next four years?
Following through on the five-year capital plan that is in place — with an emphasis on infrastructure, i.e. roads, drainage, dredging, boardwalk and beach replenishment.
What do you see as the biggest accomplishments and shortcomings of the existing City Council and city administration in the past four years?
- Accomplishments: I am proud that our City Council, even when there are disagreements, still functions as a true cross-section of the citizens of Ocean City. There are all sorts of people sitting with me at the table, and I have to say, that is a good feeling. Council talks freely, and the dialogue is open.
- Shortcomings: Red tape, for lack of a better word, can be tough. When something is going to get voted on, then I would like it to be done. I am excited to be there and make a difference, and I feel that we could accomplish so much more if we could act on issues in a more timely fashion — not to rush through, but to accomplish more. I spoke in the above question about the open dialogue in council. Well, as far as I am concerned, there could also ALWAYS be room for improvement there.
What do you want voters to know about you and what you’ll bring to the table?
I want my consituents to know that I am bringing THEM to the table. I want them to feel like they are all sitting there with me. I am open and available to hear ideas and questions, so that when I attend a City Council meeting, I am a true REPRESENTATIVE. I am not pushing any personal agenda. I will research and do my homework on every issue that comes to the table and then make a decision that I feel truly is in the best interest of my constituents. They are me and I am them. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
YES-OR-NO QUESTIONS (one-word answers only, please):
I support allowing BYOB restaurants in Ocean City: No
I support 2 percent annual salary increases for police, firefighters and public employees: Yes
I support continued borrowing (bond ordinances) to pave more streets, improve drainage, dredge more channels and improve more parts of the city's infrastructure — even if it means the city and taxpayers will pay more in debt service: Yes
I support the continuation of a local volunteer Ethics Board with broad powers to conduct investigations and pass judgment on city employees: Yes
YES-OR-NO QUESTIONS (explanations … go ahead and provide rationale here, if you wish):
BYOB: I said no because that is my personal feeling, but, all Ocean City residents have their personal feelings. I voted at the March 14 City Council meeting for our citizens to express those feelings. Just because I am on Council doesn’t give my vote any more clout on this issue than the guy down the street from me. I truly hope that the voters of Ocean City understand this. Everyone get out and vote on this! Putting it on the ballot on May 8 gave YOU the power to decide this, not City Council. It is too divisive for seven people to determine.
Salary Increases: However this should be done on a case-by-case basis with regard to performance.
Borrowing for capital improvements: Right now, we have an extremely high bond rating, and the cost of borrowing money is at an all-time low. Therefore, if there was a priority capital improvement, I wouldn’t be opposed to looking into it right now.
Ethics Board: Now that we have a quorum, we need to put in place a process for selecting board members in the future. I would like to see a selection process that will ultimately determine the best possible candidates. Providing each identified candidate with all possible training and education to best represent the city.