By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(July 14, 2018) Ocean Pines Director Slobodan Trendic expressed concern last week that a possible conflict of interest exists where members of association committees have posted yard signs supporting candidates for the board of directors.
At an elections committee meeting last Friday, Trendic said the practice could violate a section of Resolution B-05, which in states, “Directors, officers, employees, and committee members shall be alert to, and sensitive to, any appearance of a conflict of interest and shall avoid such appearances.”
“This policy applies not only to the directors, but also to the committee members,” Trendic said. “What I intend to do is express my concern and to the committee chairs.”
Trendic said he would also ask the bylaws and resolutions committee to “weigh in on the subject and provide their recommendation to the board.”
“In the meantime, I would like to ask every committee member to exercise his or her judgment on this subject voluntarily,” he said. “We have to be very cognizant of the situation, make sure that there is no undue influence of the election in anyway, and I can see a perception being created if certain signs are posted in the properties of members of, say, the elections committee or the search committee.”
The search committee recruits board candidates each year.
“This is purely an observation – my own – as a sitting director,” Trendic said. “I will be bringing this to the attention of the board, and bylaws and resolutions committee for their thoughts.”
During an elections committee meeting last month, Chairman Steve Habeger said he and his wife decided they would not display candidate signs on their property.
“There’s no prohibition. It’s our right to support anyone that we want, but we have decided it’s just not appropriate for me in my position,” he said at the time.
Committee member Rick Turner said he would follow suit.
“Since I’m on this committee, and I take my responsibilities here to be available and fair to all the candidates, and my wife is on the search committee … we are going to take a similar position to Steve,” Turner said.
Turner added that he election could be “I think the most contentious in the 20 years I’ve been here.”