Governor O’Malley Declares Pocomoke City Maryland's 'Capital for a Day'
POCOMOKE CITY, MD (August 21, 2008) – Today, Governor Martin O’Malley spent the day in Pocomoke City with members of his Executive Cabinet, declaring that city Maryland’s “Capital for a Day.” The monthly program launched by Governor O’Malley brings the State Capital to every corner of Maryland through a series of events across a diverse selection of Maryland cities, towns and communities.
The Governor began the day hearing from local leaders, including Pocomoke City Mayor Mike McDermott and Worcester County President Virgil Shockley, each of whom discussed with the group the challenges and opportunities facing Pocomoke City and surrounding areas.
Throughout the day, Governor O’Malley met with local elected, community, business, and tourism officials during this fourth in a series of “Capital for a Day” declarations across the State. The Governor’s activities, as well as those of his Executive Cabinet, focused on the ongoing local, county, and state partnerships necessary to achieve real and steady progress for the people of Worcester County.
“I am proud to officially proclaim Pocomoke City Maryland’s ‘Capital for a Day,’” said Governor O’Malley, making his announcement at the Pocomoke City drawbridge on Thursday. “Since the cornerstone of our progress is an ability to work beyond the confines of the State House with local partners throughout our One Maryland, we’re proud to bring the State Capital to the people of Maryland where they live and work. Strengthening our local partnerships where they already exist, and establishing those partnerships where they have lapsed, is absolutely critical to the progress of areas like Pocomoke City.”
Worcester County has experienced a significant increase in education funding under the O’Malley / Brown Administration. Direct K-12 funding has increased by $213,000 compared to the same period four years ago, and community college funding has increased more than six percent over the same period. In addition, school construction funding since 2006 for Worcester County, totaling $13.7 million, exceeds the four-year total of the preceding administration by over $4 million. This funding includes $3.7 million to renovate and expand Pocomoke High School, adding13 new classrooms to the 1958 facility, and $1.8 million to the Worcester Career and Technology Center.
“This is a great opportunity for Pocomoke City to shine,” noted Mayor Mike McDermott. “We are excited for the opportunity to meet face to face with the Governor and the members of the Executive Cabinet to demonstrate that the State of Maryland has deep partnerships with this region. We want to not only recognize the successes of the past, but also look forward to future successes.”
“I’m very pleased that Governor O’Malley and his Cabinet members have taken the time to recognize Worcester County, and particularly Pocomoke City, in this way,” said Worcester County Commission President Virgil Shockley. “Pocomoke City is known as the friendliest town on the Eastern Shore, with a reputation for good food and good fellowship. As business interests of the community now come to the forefront, we look forward to working with Governor and the Department of Business and Economic Development on improving job opportunities here in Worcester County.”
As part of the “Capital for a Day” declaration, Governor O’Malley ceremoniously planted a tree along with the captains of the three Pocomoke City High School 2007-2008 State Championship teams, Soccer, Field Hockey, and Girls’ Basketball. Planting a tree is an activity performed at each “Capital for a Day,” and is designed to illustrate the State’s commitment to a more sustainable future for all Marylanders. Joining the Governor were State Senator J. Lowell Stoltzfus, Delegate James Mathias, and Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Delegate Norman Conway.
“On behalf of my colleagues in the General Assembly representing the people of Worcester County, I’m so proud that Governor O’Malley has declared Pocomoke City Maryland’s ‘Capital for a Day’ today,” said Del. Norman Conway. “Today’s series of events illustrates the vital partnerships throughout the city, county, and state that will continue to improve the local economy and build jobs in this region.”
Following the Governor’s announcement, he shared lunch with local elected and tourism officials at the Delmarva Discovery Center, a facility located in downtown Pocomoke City which, when completed, will provide a location where visitors to the area can view the physical attractions and traditions associated with the Pocomoke River. Following lunch, the Governor presented a $500,000 conditional grant to the museum to assist with a portion of the costs to construct a 4,000 square foot shell building, which will serve as a restaurant for the facility when completed.
Later, Governor O’Malley joined Business and Economic Development Secretary David Edgerley and George Tunis, III, CEO of Hardwire, LLC, to tour the Pocomoke City testing center and corporate offices which will soon be completed. Hardwire, LLC develops composite technologies that add value to a number of industries, including military, security, structural, concrete, automotive, and alternative energy industries. The current expansion will have a significant economic development impact on Worcester County by providing high quality employment to the region.
As the Governor’s final event of the day, he joined Agriculture Secretary Roger Richardson at the opening ceremonies of the Great Pocomoke Fair, an event established in 1901, which features a variety of family activities, agricultural exhibits, and unique contests.
“Capital for a Day,” a program launched by Governor O’Malley during his first term, brings the State Capital to every corner of Maryland through a series of monthly events across a diverse selection of Maryland cities, towns and communities. Four more such events are planned for the remainder of 2008 in areas including Maryland’s port towns, Cumberland, Gaithersburg, and Ellicott City.