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Directors looking for replacement for Tuttle’s seat

By Greg Ellison

Names considered besides other candidate in election

(Oct. 15, 2020) After selling his home in barely a week’s time, Director Steve Tuttle told the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors last week he would resign after the group’s next meeting on Oct. 17.

OPA President Larry Perrone said selecting a replacement for Tuttle, who was elected in 2018 and is up for reelection in 2021, would take place just after the next regularly scheduled board meeting on Oct. 17.

“I’ll have to schedule a closed session meeting … so we can have those discussions and then make a decision,” he said. “It won’t be until after the October meeting.”

Perrone said it was still premature to talk about potential candidates to fill the seat.

“I’m assuming different members of the board will bring forward individuals that they would like to have considered then we’ll vote on it,” he said.

Perrone said with Tuttle seated as a director until next weekend, ample time remained to find a new member.

“His letter said his resignation is effective after the board meeting on [Oct.] 17,” he said. “We have to have candidates that are interested in completing Steve’s term.”

The final vote totals from the board election this August favored incumbents Doug Parks (2,206) and Dr. Colette Horn (1,801) over Stuart Lakernick (1,149) for a pair of openings.

When asked if Lakernick would be an obvious next in line selection, Perrone said the question remains open.

“There’s quite a bit of precedent,” he said. “There have been replacements quite often, but there’s no requirement for us to put that third person on the board.”

Board member Frank Daly concurred with that sentiment.

“There is no requirement that you consider or take the next highest number of votes in the election to fill a vacancy,” he said.

While Lakernick is under consideration, other, yet unnamed, candidates have been proposed.

“Stuart sent a letter to the board and said he was interested in filling the vacancy,” he said. “There are, that I am personally aware of, three other people that would be interested in filling the vacancy.”

From his perspective, Daly said the replacement candidate selection process boils down to two core questions.

“The first question is what do you know, what is your level of support and what is your ability to work on current initiatives in front of the board,” he said.

Daly said among the current top topics are short-term rental regulations, annual budget planning, succession planning for the general manager and drainage improvements.

“The second question is what initiatives would you put before the board if you’re named to the board,” he said. “It boils down to continuity of working on these initiatives and bringing up new initiatives.”

Daly said the largely unnamed pool of candidates should provide a suitable interim director.

“They all have impeccable credentials,” he said. “You couldn’t make a bad choice in terms of someone who is intelligent and can help the community.”