A new council member stepped onto Millville Town Council dais this month, as Ronald “Ron” Belinko took the oath as the newest member of the Millville Town Council.
Although he has not served on a town council before, Belinko brings years of similar experience as a retired coach, teacher and athletic administrator. His 46-year career included about 20 years as athletic coordinator of Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS), overseeing 50 secondary schools and more than 1,600 coaches.
“Education is public service,” he said. “When you were president of the [Maryland] state athletic association, that’s all public service to the students of Baltimore County. Since retirement, you always want to be involved with community, and this is an opportunity of moving into Millville and wanting to make a difference in the town.”
Having become athletic coordinator, soon he was teaching leadership courses to other athletic administrators across the country. Belinko has served and led a variety of athletic committees, helping to write state rules, run tournaments, improve training and increase participation.
His many professional awards include this winter’s induction to the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Hall of Fame.
That experience includes management, budgets and managing tax dollars. Those skills and interests fit with his new assignment to Millville’s Parks & Recreation Committee.
“What I have to do is listen to folks, the residents, listen to some of their concerns in a growing community, keeping in mind it is very difficult to manage when you’re in a resort area because you have a lot of part-time folks, weekend folks, and they don’t understand how the local government works. So it’s very important to educate and keep that segment of the population informed, because, let’s face it, they pay taxes,” Belinko said.
He said he hopes to keep Millville a safe place to live, while growth continues, with Millville’s own history and tradition.
“We’ve got to keep an eye on the growth, make sure it’s planned and we get the right businesses in this area. Beebe Healthcare’s going to have a tremendous impact on the growth of Millville,” Belinko said of the incoming emergency department and cancer treatment center on Route 17.
Previously, Belinko had told the Coastal Point that leadership isn’t about being an expert. It’s about sharing experience with others and hiring people whose knowledge counters his own shortcomings.
He moved to Millville fulltime in the spring of 2015 with his wife, Donna, also an educator. He said he still enjoys watching and playing sports locally.
His life has been centered around the Baltimore region, growing up in a blue-collar family, graduating from University of Baltimore in 1966 and later earning a master’s degree at Morgan State University.
Belinko takes the council seat formerly held by Valerie Faden, who did not run for a second term. The election was canceled when another candidate exited the race early, so Belinko and incumbent Steve Maneri went unchallenged for the two available seats. Their two-year terms began on March 13. Both live in major housing developments in town, Belinko in Bishop’s Landing and Maneri in Millville By the Sea.