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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Gazette Editorial: OPA Board’s turnover makes it hard to govern

It’s tough to manage the affairs of a community when the governing board is effective for only about six months of the year. But that’s how it is in Ocean Pines, where annual elections deprive the board of directors of long-term effectiveness.

Director Ted Moroney touched on that during last week’s discussion of whether to replace the association’s failing financial management software with a new program, as was recommended two years ago by a technical review committee, or hire an outside contractor to run the association’s numbers.

“Let’s knock the damned thing out and get it done,” he said. “Otherwise, in six months … there’s going to be another board and you’re going to go back through this again.”

He’s right, and the advocates of the contractor approach know it. Directors Slobodon Trendic and Frank Daly, who don’t have the votes to make that move, want to delay a decision via another review of options and, possibly, get a more agreeable board next summer.

Whether they are right or wrong is not the point. It’s how the system works, but fails the community.

General Manager John Bailey said last week a decision should be made within 45 days so whatever the board decides could be implemented before the beginning of the fiscal year.

But if another review were to drag things out, election season will have arrived, thus postponing a decision. With a seven-member board, and elections that generally rotate between two and three seats each year, it’s a wonder anything is accomplished.

If it takes three months for a new director to settle in, and the campaign season starts in late spring, that leaves only the winter when the board can get work done before the next group arrives and restarts the process.

No management staff can work with that, and residents, who are being short-changed by this process, should demand some changes. Perhaps the board will study it.