Four candidates have thrown their hats into the ring for the April election for District 4 councilperson in Ocean View. Carol Bodine, a Wedgefield resident, hopes to win the seat, currently held by Councilman Bob Lawless, who is term-limited.
“Six years ago, there was chaos on the council… It was all over the newspaper. I attended a meeting, and one of the councilmen threatened to call the police if anyone talked. It said on the agenda that the citizens could speak. We all left, and I thought, ‘This is ridiculous,’” she recalled.
Bodine, along with other community members, urged Lawless to run for office, and she served as his campaign manager.
“With his term ending, he came to me and said, ‘I think you should take my place,’” she explained. “It’s a well-organized, calm council now. You go to the meetings and speak any time — they’re just wonderful, and I want to keep it that way.”
A proponent of low taxes and open government, Bodine said she believes she would be a good fit on the council.
“I just want the efficiency of the council and the calmness, openness of the council and the low taxes to remain.”
With Lawless acting as her campaign manager this time around, Bodine said she has been attending council meetings and workshops to learn more about what is facing the town. She also believes that in doing so, if she is elected, the knowledge she has gained will help make the transition an easy one.
“The other thing I saw [while attending meetings]… The last female that was on the council was Michele Steffens. Prior to her, I don’t know of any females serving on the council,” she said. “I think it would be nice to have a female perspective on things.”
Bodine, who was born in Washington, D.C., and spent most of her life in Maryland, became a permanent Ocean View resident in 2004.
“It was just out of the clear blue. I knew Ocean City from the time I was a teenager, but I didn’t know about the Bethany area. Someone just told me about it. I was trying to find a place that made me comfortable. I have lots of friends here and am very comfortable here.
“Everybody in this area is just the friendliest, nicest people. I felt so comfortable down here. It didn’t take me long to get to know people.”
When she first moved to the area, Bodine said, there was a difference in pace from the city, but it was a welcome change.
“When I first moved down here, I was used to a fast pace because I lived in Maryland and D.C. I go in the grocery store and people are talking to the checkout lady and I’m going, ‘Oh, I gotta get out of here.’ And then I became one of the people talking at the checkout! There’s a slower pace down here, and it’s very friendly, and I don’t plan on moving again.”
Bodine is a retired registered nurse who received her diploma degree from Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, Md. She has worked at the National Institutes of Health and Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Md., and ran a nursing agency with her sister.
“I was 13 years old, and that’s what I knew I wanted to do. I worked at Providence Hospital since I was 14 years old until I graduated from high school so I would have the money to pay for my education. I didn’t mind working, because I knew what I wanted.”
Her daughter, Rita Meadows, followed in her footsteps, and is currently a nurse practitioner at Georgetown Medical Health, as well as working toward her doctorate.
Bodine said she’s happy to have her daughter close by and is able to help care for her granddaughter, who has some medical conditions.
Apart from helping care for her granddaughter, Bodine is an active member of St. Ann’s Catholic Church, singing in the choir and performing in the bell choir.
“Everywhere you go, you should be part of that town, community or city. You get to know people that way. You make sure things are done right. And I believe in service. I don’t just attend church; I perform a service at church.”
Bodine also serves as State Secretary for the Republican Party, which she said makes her an ideal candidate to serve Ocean View.
“I have worked on many campaigns, and have worked for the party up and down the state,” she said. “I know that the council is bipartisan, and I intent to keep it that way,” she added.
Bodine plans to begin campaigning this month, by going door to door to meet fellow District 4 residents. She will also have signs and cards to hand out.
Of issues facing the town, Bodine said she knows drainage has been an ongoing issue and would work with council to continue to address concerns.
“I definitely support the police department. They’re great. They’ll come through your neighborhood and wave. They get to know the neighborhoods and the people. I believe in low taxes and open government,” she said. “I want my town to be family-friendly. That’s one of the reasons why I like this area — Bethany Beach and Ocean View — it’s a family-friendly area.”
The municipal election in the Town of Ocean View will be held Saturday, April 11, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at town hall.