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Ocean Pines BOD candidates clash at annual forum

Posted On: 6/30/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(June 30, 2016) Eleven of the 12 candidates for Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors met last Wednesday evening during the only association-sponsored forum of the election season. While no one candidate scored what could be considered a knockout blow, several did differentiate themselves in terms of the issues and their approach to governance, as well as their overall view of Ocean Pines. Newcomer George Simon, for instance, addressed the perception of dysfunction amongst the current directors and juxtaposed that with his experience in construction.   “I’ve seen dysfunction. We may have some issues with the board where they may not get along, but I can tell you – this is not dysfunction,” he said. “If you want dysfunction you can go … into Ocean City. “We have a good plan here. We have a good general manager. We just need a board that can work together and get the things done in this community and save us money. That’s a...
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Berlin to temporarily halt credit pay

Posted On: 6/30/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(June 30, 2016) The Town of Berlin is sending out about 2,000 letters to its utility customers this week, hoping to spread the word that credit card payments will not be able to be processed by the town for a two-to-three week period, starting July 4. The lapse will be caused by an upgrade to the town’s billing software, as it switches over from Logic Solutions to Tyler Technologies. The Town Council approved the change last May. “Because we’re changing the utility billing system – which means we’re also changing credit card companies – we’re going to need to suspend, for two-to-three weeks, our ability to accept credit cards,” Town Administrator Laura Allen said. “This will affect all of our transactions – not just utility billing customers, but anybody who comes to town who wants to pay for, say, a building permit by credit card.  “Unfortunately, it’s a little inconvenient for our customers, so we’...
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Truck, tractor pull fills air and seats in Pocomoke, Sat.

Posted On: 6/30/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

Truck, tractor pull fills air and seats in Pocomoke, Sat. (June 30, 2016) Making a return after last year’s event was cancelled because of poor weather, the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League truck and tractor pull brought more than 1,000 spectators, crew and participants to the fairgrounds in Pocomoke City on Saturday. The stars of the show were, according to organizer Gloria Smith, the weather, the track, the participants and the 36 pieces of equipment all working together to make for an exciting, family-friendly event. Clear sunny skies with an occasional breeze marked the event, keeping the shade cool and the motors hot as they strove to drag a 40,000-pound sled 300 feet in the shortest amount of time. Last year, rainy conditions all but ruined the track at the fairgrounds, which would make the pulling difficult and both the audience and participants unhappy. “The people who know dirt work understand — the track came together beautifully,” Smith said. When dealing with high horsepower and high performance machin...
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SH museum presents ‘Heritage Days’

Posted On: 6/30/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(June 30, 2016) Focusing on the Victorian lineage of both the town and the museum’s collection, the Julia Purnell museum in Snow Hill will start the popular Heritage Days events for children this Wednesday and will continue each week until early August. “It’s our most popular program,” Executive Director Dr. Cindy Byrd said. “Grandparents bring their grandkids, or sometimes one adult rounds up all the neighborhood children and brings them down.” Heritage days are free for children, so long as they are accompanied by at least one paying adult. Adult admission is $3. There is no need to preregister, and the program is available between 1-3 p.m. Wednesdays until Aug. 10. “It’s a drop-in event. People come and go,” she said. This week’s theme is clothespin people, which will be used to explore the Victorian fascination with miniatures. Next week is origami, or paper folding art, followed by a bird program, a presentation ...
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Snow Hill hosts solar co-op meeting, draws few attendees

Posted On: 6/30/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(June 30, 2016) While only a few people attended the meeting with a representative of MD Sun in Snow Hill last week, it was not a prerequisite for joining or attempting to organize a solar cooperative in Worcester County. Following the process laid out by Corey Ramsden, Maryland project manager for the nonprofit dedicated to assisting communities form cooperatives, the important part is filling out an online form found at www.mdsun.org/worcester. The form asks for information such as the address where solar panels are to be located, a recent utility bill and asks users to rank several factors used in selecting a solar installer. Taking these data in bulk, MD Sun generates a big picture summary of what is, and what isn’t important to potential solar customers and uses it to identify potential installers, Ramsden said. The idea behind a cooperative arrangement is for a large group of potential customers to band together to leverage the best deal on installation costs —...
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Lack of quorum cancels Berlin council mtg.

Posted On: 6/30/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(June 30, 2016) A Berlin Town Council meeting scheduled for Monday, June 27 was canceled because of a lack of a quorum. Mayor Gee Williams said he and several members of the council and town staff were taking part in the Maryland Municipal League meetings this week in Ocean City. “That’s the primary reason we couldn’t get a quorum,” he said. “There’s so many key staff members – department heads, but not exclusively department heads – taking part, and most of the council participates. “Quite frankly, just having passed the budget and gotten so much done, I think a little bit of just having a chance to catch our breath is probably the best thing we could do right now,” Williams added. Town Administrator Laura Allen said the agenda was not yet set for the next meeting, although the town confirmed in a press release that a public hearing on changes to the dog leash laws, scheduled for June 27, would be held during the next t...
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Pines passes pair of capital purchases; food truck MIA

Posted On: 6/30/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(June 30, 2016) About a month after two tie votes stalled a pair of capital purchases related to the Ocean Pines Association golf course, the board of directors met again in special session and passed both by separate 4-2 votes. Another item, a motion to approve the purchase of a food truck, was not on the agenda despite also previously meeting with a tie vote.   In a seeming game of musical chairs, Vice President Cheryl Jacobs was absent during the previous vote, but present during the special meeting last Thursday, while Director Dave Stevens was present the first time, but absent the second. That was enough to swing the vote. The directors approved three Toro fairway mowers, from Turf Equipment Supply for $44,633.34 each, or roughly $26,000 less than what was approved in the budget. Turf also won the bid on a Toro sprayer for $68,224.29, about $8,000 more than what was budgeted. Tom Herrick and Jack Collins voted against both purchases, suggesting golf management compan...
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Calvin B. Taylor bank makes application for new location

Posted On: 6/30/16
Written By:

(June 30, 2016) Raymond M. Thompson, President and CEO of Calvin B. Taylor Bankshares, Inc. and Calvin B. Taylor Banking Company, has announced that the bank has made application with the Maryland Division of Financial Regulation, the Virginia Bureau of Financial Institutions, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to establish a new branch location at 4116 Main St., Tax Map 30A5-A-462, Parcel 030A5A000046200, located east side of Main Street, within the town limits of Chincoteague, Virginia. The proposed full-service branch will provide general banking services to residents and businesses located in the Chincoteague and northern Accomack County, Virginia areas. Any person wishing to comment on this application may file his or her comments in writing with Mr. John Vogel, Regional Director, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1300, New York, New York 10118.  Comments are due not later than July 1. The nonconfidential portions of the applicatio...
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OPA directors weigh in on candidate forum

Posted On: 6/30/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(June 30, 2016) With 11 of the 12 candidates for Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors in one room last Wednesday for the annual candidate forum, many of the current directors watched for clues as to which three will join the board in August – and what their ideas and temperaments may be.   Asked to comment, several board members agreed to weigh in on the forum, held in the community center and attended by about 75 people. It was also recorded and streamed live on the internet. Director Tom Herrick said he was impressed with the variety of candidates – and ideas – in this year’s race. “Whatever you want as a voter, you will have that option this year,” he said. “I thought it was phenomenal. I think the [elections] committee did an unbelievable job. It was well run, coming at just under two hours, so I think the audience was captivated by that and we had some great responses.” President Pat Renaud was less enthused. ̶...
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Exit interview with OPA Director Tom Terry

Posted On: 6/30/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(June 30, 2016) The next board of directors, which will be decided when votes are counted and revealed in August, will be without something no board has gone without in six years – two-term Director Tom Terry. Terry, who cannot run this year because of term limits, served as president several times during his tenure, and had a major impact on the association. When he joined the board in 2010, there was already “great turmoil” because the previous board had fired its general manager, and tapped sitting-director Bob Thompson for the job. “As a newly elected board member and the new president, it was my job to keep the board and community focused on the future,” Terry said. “I had an advantage in that my company, Terry and Unitas Associates, had just finished a pro-bono organizational and marketing study for the previous GM. This activity gave my company the opportunity to meet and interview all the department heads, to see their current situation...
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