The Ocean Pines Association should see relatively calm seas in the year ahead, if the last tenure of Doug Parks as president in 2019 is any indication.
Judging from his performance then, most people would conclude that Parks’ last go-round in the OPA’s top post will take a decidedly moderate approach.
And why shouldn’t it? Unlike when he was appointed to the board of directors in 2016 to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Pat Renaud, the association is in excellent financial shape. It also has an established game plan to follow and a solid general manager in John Viola to administer it.
Of course, things can always go wrong, given the balancing act the directors must perform when weighing constituents’ needs versus their wants, and reconciling that with the budgetary restraints the association members demand.
But even in volatile circumstances, Parks has shown that he’s averse to conflict and clearly prefers to talk things out rather than engage in the bomb-throwing exercise for which various other boards were known. Some might argue that he could be a little more aggressive in certain circumstances, but that just isn’t his style and, backed up as he is by what appears to be a majority of the directors, there’s no real need for that to change.
The one truly interesting aspect of this new board is that two board members who had a tough time even getting elected this year now have leadership roles. Vice President Rick Farr battled the previous board in court for months over its assertion that he wasn’t even eligible to run for office before a judge ordered an end to that straw-grasping exercise in January.
Board Secretary Stuart Lakernick also had to endure all manner of blatant smears of his household to prevail in this summer’s election.
But those struggles are over now and the job at hand requires putting aside any lingering grievances and going to work for the community. If Parks presides the way he has in the past, there’s no reason that won’t happen.