(Jan. 25, 2019) Worcester County Commissioner Bud Church made a last-minute proposal not listed on the agenda for the commissioners’ Tuesday meeting – to provide monetary aid for meals to the 37 members of the U.S. Coast Guard in Ocean City impacted by the federal government partial shutdown.
It was unanimously approved.
Church said Bob Jester, a friend who previously served in the U.S. Coast Guard, first approached him and told him, “The 37 personnel … stationed there are not being fed.”
The shutdown began on Dec. 22 and federal employees have yet to receive a paycheck.
When asked where the funds would need to go, Commissioner Joseph Mitrecic said a check would have to be made out to the Coast Guard Master Chief. In this case, Nathan Beach is in charge of the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Ocean City.
“For  personnel for $20, I think the county can afford to make a good gesture,” Church said.
Chief Administrative Officer Harold Higgins said he wanted to clarify that the endeavor would be considered an over expenditure because, “We don’t anything in the current budget for that.”
“Well, you can find money for that one,” Commissioner Chip Bertino said in response.
Church made the motion for the commissioners to allocate $20 for meals for 37 service members for “at least for one meal for them per day.” Commissioner Joshua Nordstrom seconded the motion.
Some local businesses have also pledged help. The Dough Roller offered a free meal to Coast Guard members and other government employees for every week that the government is shut down, according to a Facebook post. For more information, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DoughRollerRestaurants.