The Gross Mendelsohn accounting firm’s report of its forensic audit of Ocean Pines’ food and beverage operation and the public works department should be required reading for all property owners who plan to vote in this summer’s election.
In addition to the report’s compilation of numbers and its explanations of how the Beach Club and Yacht Club became big drains on the budget, its underlying theme is that the results aren’t good when a board distracted by competing agendas is coupled with a freewheeling administration that’s not held to accounts.
That’s the only explanation for that board majority’s willingness in 2017/18 to buy into illogical budgeting and pie-in-the-sky revenue projections that only compounded the problems that members wanted desperately to fix.
The lack of accountability to the board and more oversight of management by the board were, Gross Mendelsohn found, the root of the problem.
Much of that, however, has been dealt with, and the current board (including members who resigned earlier this year for personal reasons) has stayed on track by agreeing to disagree at times without the level of conflict that bedeviled some of its predecessors.
When members of the board are suspicious of each other, or refuse to compromise in the pursuit of their own agendas, the odds of getting anything done of consequence are diminished.
As Interim General Manager John Viola observed when he agreed to stay on another six months, the current administration — aided by the board — has accomplished a great deal.
That’s what voters should consider as they assess the various candidacies in this year’s elections. There’s no good reason, at this juncture, to change directions or to “shake things up.” What the board needs in its three new members are thoughtful, independent people, who aren’t afraid to speak up, but who also are willing to accept that no one is right all the time.