OCEAN CITY – Councilman Joe Mitrecic submitted his resignation notice this week from the City Council, while the number of candidates seeking elected office nearly doubled.

At the conclusion of Tuesday afternoon’s Mayor and City Council work session, Mitrecic submitted his letter of resignation to Council President Lloyd Martin who read it into the record.

“With this letter I hereby submit my resignation as a council member of the Town of Ocean City as of Nov. 1, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. This will allow my seat on the council to be filled in the next general election thus saving the town the cost of a special election,” the letter stated.

Mitrecic, who is in the middle of his four-year term, is running unopposed for the Worcester County Commission and had stated previously his intention was to resign from his council seat whether he faced competition for the county post or not.

“I think that you can’t enter into an election half-heartily. In the past, we have had council members who had run for a county commissioner seat and remained on the council. I don’t believe that your heart can be in either one if you’re still tied to the council seat,” Mitrecic said. “I have felt that since day one I was going to resign. It has been brought up many times how I didn’t need to resign but in my mind I was always going to.”

Ocean City’s municipal election will be held on Nov. 4 this year. If Mitrecic were to remain on the council until he was sworn in as a commissioner on Dec. 2 that would leave a six-person council for nearly two years until the next election, forcing the town to hold a special election to fill the seat.

Mitrecic’ resignation opens four seats on the council to be filled in the upcoming election. Councilwoman Margaret Pillas will not be seeking another term on the council, leaving Martin and Councilman Brent Ashley the only potential incumbents in this year’s race.

To date, seven men have filed to run in this year’s municipal election. Prior to this week, Anthony “Tony” DeLuca, Christopher Rudolf, Joseph “Joe” Brian Cryer and Philip Ufholz had filed to run. On Monday morning, Wayne Hartman and Matthew James were added to the list, and on Tuesday morning, Martin filed. Councilman Brent Ashley has yet to file. The filing deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 7.