Ocean City town council member Brent Ashley just can't let go of the pump.
Ashley, a staunch supporter for the idea of giving away $100,000 in free gas to Ocean City visitors, now says he will give part of his town council salary to fund the effort. He has also created a Facebook page to drum up support.
Working with other members of the OC business community, Ashley said he is spearheading a grass roots effort to make good on at least some of what he feels was pledged to guests of the resort town.
"I take my word to heart,." Ashley said. "I had made a promise to do this promotion. I voted for it…[and now] it appears to be a publicity stunt and I don’t like that."
Ashley makes $10,000 for his work on the council.
"I get paid by the city. That’s taxpayer’s money, and part of my job is to promote OC. So I’m going to use part of my salary," he said.
In addition, Ashley is getting donations and funding from others in the community, but he said the contributors did not want to be mentioned by name.
He also said the amount of money to be spent matters much less than the attempt to show appreciation to visitors. Ashley calls it a "Thank You" campaign.
"It’s basically going to be me going around thanking visitors individually. A one-on-one campaign."
He said visitors might see him pumping free gas one day or handing out wristbands that simply say "thank you."
"We have the same intent to show our appreciation to our visitors…because I feel like a promise has been made," said Ashley. "I’m an honest man. I don’t like going back on what I said."