The Mayors of Ocean City
Mayor Harry W. Kelley, Jr. was a fifteen-year veteran of city government. He was the owner of the Beach Plaza Hotel and the Bo-Con Apartments. He served from 1970-1985. He is pictured here with the President of the United States Ronald Reagan in 1984. He liked to brag that when he was born he was so small his mother put him in a shoebox and placed him in the oven. That's why he claimed he was a fighter. Kelley was a colorful and controversial mayor. The people of Ocean City loved him; other politicians, county, state and federal, found him difficult to work with. A City Manager was employed in 1982 to help Mayor Kelley and the Council better supervise the explosion of growth and commerce within the town. Beach erosion was a major concern to Mayor Kelley. The placement of the first primitive stone groins along the beachfront was accomplished during his tenure. According to Mayor Kelley, his greatest achievement was to assure that all people have access to the entire beach, with no private sections. The Route 90 Bridge was opened under his administration.
The long awaited Convention Hall opened under Harry Kelley's administration in April of 1970.
During the 1970s construction flourished, and there were more than 10,000 condominium units built on the beach.
Granville D. Trimper, President of Windsor Resorts, Inc., as Council President, was the interim mayor after Kelley died in office.
Roland E. Powell was a Realtor and Ocean City businessman. He served eleven years as the town's mayor from 1985-1996. His easy, but firm, personality was an asset to Ocean City. He worked well with all levels of government, especially concerning funding large projects that would benefit the town.
Under the administration of Mayor Powell, Phase I of the Beach Replenishment and Hurricane Protection Project began in 1988. This was his most important contribution to the City. Note the width of the beach as it increased at High-Rise Row.
Under Powell's leadership the much-needed expansion of Convention Hall was completed. In 1997, the building was renamed the Roland E. Powell Convention Center.
James N. Mathias, a Boardwalk merchant, was mayor of Ocean City from 1996-2006. He was a highly visible and dynamic mayor during his administration. Mayor Mathias was instrumental in the decision to keep the historic City Hall from being replaced with a modern office building. The popular New Year's Day Open House started during his tenure.He had an unwavering commitment to public safety throughout his term.
In 2000 during Mathias' administration, revitalization of the Boardwalk included replacing the entire promenade from end to end entirely with wood.
The new improved Boardwalk continues to be well received by tourists and locals alike.
In 2001 Ocean City was named All America City, an award that recognizes communities whose citizens work together to identify and tackle community-wide challenges and achieves uncommon results.
Richard W. Meehan
The Twenty-Second Mayor
of Ocean City, Maryland
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