Ocean City Today

Bertino wants to continue Worcester commissioner story

By Brian Gilliland | Mar 22, 2018
Chip Bertino

(March 23, 2018) It came down to the wire, but a near-deadline filing by Judy Butler made the race for Ocean Pines’ representative on the Board of Worcester County Commissioners a contested one, which first-term incumbent Commissioner Chip Bertino intends on winning.

Bertino replaced Commissioner Judy Boggs literally and figuratively, as he occupies the same chair she did before she retired, and, like her, he asks the greatest number of questions about the items the commissioners hear during their regular meetings.

“Four years ago, the county gave me a wonderful gift, and I continue to say thank you by working hard and continuing to get things done for the Ocean Pines District and the taxpayers of Worcester County,” he said.

During the five years before seeking a seat on the board, Bertino said he covered the commissioners himself, or sent reporters to cover the issues for his newspaper, The Courier, where he is the editor/publisher.

“I thought I had a pretty good idea of the issues, but not until having sat in the seat do I have more appreciation and understanding of the ins and outs of being a county commissioner,” Bertino said. “Attending the meetings is about 20 percent of the responsibilities.”

Indeed, Bertino is present at events all around the county, not just within his district, and can be spotted just about anywhere local officials are present.

That behavior will continue, he promised, as well as continuing his regular town hall meetings.

“The town meetings will continue to let people know what’s going on, because they’re paying for it,” he said. “They allow me to tell the story we’ve been working on the past few years — and we have a good story to tell. I’m looking forward to telling it, and I want to continue to tell it.”

Bertino said he would like to see the replacement Showell Elementary School built, would like to keep the county budget “in line” and sustain the improved relations between the county and the Worcester County Board of Education.

He said he was looking forward to maintaining the support of fire and emergency services professionals in the area, and was pleased the county is almost out of the liquor business.

“I don’t think county government belongs in the liquor business,” he said.

Bertino said he appreciated the talks he has with county staff, and not just the department heads, which are the ones usually in the spotlight during the regular biweekly meetings on Tuesday mornings, but the rank and file as well.

“I believe the taxpayers are getting their money’s worth out of the county employees,” he said.

Most of all, Bertino said he believes the experience he’s gained during his first term will enable him to be equally effective during his second.

“I have a much greater appreciation for the machinations of government — I learned an awful lot,” he said. “I have a much greater appreciation for the details needed in order to drill down to get to the bigger thing that’s coming. Asking why is the biggest question to ask.”

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