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Editorial

Editorial - Articles


OPA, Bailey get fresh start

Posted On: 9/14/17
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A fresh start, that’s what new Ocean Pines General Manager John Bailey promises to deliver to the community, even if he has not and probably would not say such a thing. It’s good form, generally speaking, for anyone about to asåsume responsibility in new managerial circumstance to respond to well wishers and congratulatory comments with a degree of humility. The last thing any new manager needs, as he or she gets settled into that role, is to encourage unreasonable expectations. It’s always better to pledge to be diligent, cooperative, concerned and open so the public and the staff can feel good about whatever changes may be in the offing. That, more or less, is what Bailey did during his first meeting with the staff and at his public appearance in Ocean Pines Monday evening before a large crowd of residents. What he said was more of an assurance that he and his family earnestly want to be where they are and want to stay for the duration. That suggests an abs...
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Wishing Bailey the best

Posted On: 9/7/17
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 The only thing that needs to be said with regard to new Ocean Pines Association General Manager John Bailey is, “good luck.” And that’s a sincere wish, with not one iota of sarcasm attached. Everyone, regardless of his or her specific interests, wants Bailey to do well and act as a calming influence on the board of directors by getting the job done efficiently and quietly and without any agenda other than what the board majority establishes for him. What Ocean Pines needs in this job is a steady hand on the tiller, as opposed to the lightning rod type that, because of the clash between management’s vision and the viewpoints of some board members, often made the conflict between them seem more important than the job itself. Most Ocean Pines residents just want to go about their lives in a relatively quiet, well-run community that meets their needs without having to suffer undue financial stress to get it. Obviously, the disposition of major issues by th...
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Help for hurricane victims

Posted On: 8/31/17
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As is the custom in these parts when tragedy strikes elsewhere, northern Worcester County residents are preparing to do what they can to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Following this tradition is one of the few times when it is perfectly acceptable to say, “That’s how we’ve always done it.” One reason for our propensity for charitable giving following weather-related disasters is that, as coastal residents ourselves, we know we might one day be on the receiving end of a similar calamity. Giving, however, can be confusing because the rise of so many fund drives and appeals in the aftermath of these tragedies make it difficult to discern where our contributions are actually going. To that end, Charity Navigator at www.charitynavigator.org can help. It rates thousands of charities, and has established a Hurricane Harvey section that lists multiple legitimate ways to give. Among them, obviously, are the American Red Cross, the United Way, the Hurricane Ha...
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Yacht club conundrum

Posted On: 8/24/17
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The Ocean Pines Association financial report for the last month isn’t good, as the numbers posted for the Beach Club and Yacht Club show a steep and continued decline from last year. While the multitude of changes to the facilities and staff this year made for a financial mess, the reality is every new board comes in with a different plan and new changes that just don’t work. The Beach Club can easily be righted by simply going back to what has worked in the past.  The larger is issue is what to do with the Mumford’s Landing Yacht Club. Judging from the many comments over the years about the inconsistency of the food, unreasonable prices and poor service, these things must improve if the club is to have even moderate success. Assuming that can be accomplished, the directors’ first order of business should be to decide if they should even be in the business of running a restaurant. There has been talk over the years of leasing the facility to an exper...
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Let’s change the subject

Posted On: 8/17/17
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The inclination to veer away from angry circumstances and volatile topics is strong this week and therefore lands us in Berlin, where, if all is far from perfect, its officials and residents at least continue to strive for a rare level of community harmony and attractiveness. And what could be more harmonious than an excellent bike path or two connecting various parts of town. The establishment of plans for one to run from the Berlin Falls park to downtown and the consideration of another for the east side of town are not what anyone would call culturally or industrially pivotal projects. Yet, they represent the town’s continuing commitment to do the little things where and when it can to make life more enjoyable for everyone. Even though these are small steps, they join any number of other improvements that also wouldn’t register on Richter scale of wondrous developments to form an increasingly attractive package that has been built layer by layer. More significantly, ...
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Waiting on transparency

Posted On: 8/10/17
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The core issue in Ocean Pines isn’t really one of nondisclosures, questionable decisions or projects that have gone awry, but one of trust. Early on, many on the board made a pact to close ranks, deter comments to the media and show blind loyalty to one another. However, as happens when information, both good and bad, is not communicated, that approach caused suspicion, rumor and an overall cynicism by the community at large. By taking cover in too many closed meetings, hoping issues of concern would just go away and creating diversion by blaming those who speak out, it made the community wonder what there is to hide, as it is human nature to be wary when direct, honest communication is lacking. A better approach would have been to disclose any possible conflicts of interests upfront, even if there is no requirement to do so, and to provide clear, complete information on changes big and small that impact the community, along with the reasoning behind those decisions. A new ...
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Miller became a symbol

Posted On: 8/3/17
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The board of directors’ skirmish this week over an attempt to remove Gary Miller from his assignments on the clubs and aquatics committees is the product of the turmoil that has enveloped the board in recent months. Ordinarily, no one would blame any elected body for removing one of its appointees after he or she publicly attacked its decisions and strategies. In the business world, First Amendment or no, that’s a firing offense and the same principle applies in government, as the current national situation has repeatedly demonstrated. While Mr. Miller’s frustrations with aspects of the Ocean Pines Association’s operations are understandable — especially as he witnessed the frenzied comings and goings of clubs division employees — he remains accountable to the people who gave him the advisory post. When an advisor turns against the advisees, well, unpleasant things generally happen. Considering that, the board’s disagreement Friday had les...
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Voters’ buyer’s remorse

Posted On: 7/27/17
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 Not to be redundant, as we seem to write a similar editorial each year going into Ocean Pines elections, but it is always with the hope the incoming board members will remember their campaign promises once they take their seats at the table. Elections of late, unfortunately, have brought a winner-take-all philosophy. Sides are drawn and those who oppose or question any issue being debated are immediately accused of making an attack or having a personal agenda. All the promises made last year sounded great to voters, who elected candidates who campaigned for greater transparency, increased community input, a desire for independent thinking, and more cordial dealings with one another. This past year, however, brought more behind-closed-doors meetings with little other than accusations made public, scant input considered from the many community committees whose role now seems all but marginalized, and in-fighting like elementary school-age gangs protecting their turf. Propert...
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Hill can take it or resign

Posted On: 7/20/17
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Were it not for its potential to inflict harm on the community, one might excuse the laughable nature of the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors’ possible vote on whether to expel one of its members. The directors, after all, aren’t debating nuclear disarmament or the ability of North Korea to strike American soil, but the somewhat less weighty matter of how to govern a mid-sized community. They ought to be embarrassed, but probably won’t be because of the self-importance that sometimes attaches to elected officials, who then believe the public won’t, doesn’t and can’t understand. As it is, the decision whether Director Slobodan Trendic should be removed from the board for alleged breaches of confidentiality and meddling should not take place for one indisputable reason: the huge conflict of interest on the part of his chief accuser, interim general manager and Director Brett Hill. He has no business voting, much less making the motion to ...
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OPA fatigue contagious

Posted On: 7/13/17
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Ocean Pines is exhausting. It’s exhausting, as a news outlet, to cover, and this week the majority of the Board of Directors indicated it’s exhausting to govern. Imagine how the homeowners and residents must feel. At a Sunday public meeting during what was otherwise a picturesque and sunny beach day, interim General Manager Brett Hill, the board president and vice president essentially said two other directors were engaged in a conspiracy to undermine Hill. Two other directors, countering that Hill was creating chaos among his employees, fought to install a local human resources consultant to deal with what they said were a multitude of complaints. Those aforementioned men and women involved in the contentious debate, accounting for five of the seven people who govern Ocean Pines, sparred for nearly two hours and engaged in numerous personal attacks, but never came to a consensus on what should be done to correct the problems. At one point, Director Slobodan Trendic ...
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