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


Hill can take it or resign

Were it not for its potential to inflict harm on the community, one might excuse the laughable nature of the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors’ possible vote on whether to expel one of its members.
The directors, after all, aren’t debating nuclear disarmament or the ability of North Korea to strike American soil, but the somewhat less weighty matter of how to govern a mid-sized community.
They ought to be embarrassed, but probably won’t be because of the self-importance that sometimes attaches to elected officials, who then believe the public won’t, doesn’t and can’t understand.
As it is, the decision whether Director Slobodan Trendic should be removed from the board for alleged breaches of confidentiality and meddling should not take place for one indisputable reason: the huge conflict of interest on the part of his chief accuser, interim general manager and Director Brett Hill.
He has no business voting, much less making the motion to oust Trendic, who has established himself as the primary antagonist of Hill in his general manager role.
That’s where the conflict of interest arises. Practically speaking, there are two Brett Hills — Hill the employee as interim general manager and Hill the director — with one coming to the defense of the other.
Trendic has gone after Hill the employee with an acute level of gusto, as opposed to the previous board’s chronically long but equally determined crusade to depose then GM Bob Thompson.
The critical difference, however, is that employee Hill then becomes Director Hill to call for his tormenter’s removal. The fact is, Hill the employee has the same two options as the OPA staffers who work or have worked for him — he can take it or he can resign.
Anyone with reasonable intelligence can see that this role-switching constitutes an indefensible conflict of interest. Should the directors choose to ignore this conflict, allow Hill to vote and then proceed to kick out Trendic, not only will that marginalize the past and upcoming elections and allow the majority to stack the board via an appointment, but it also will stink like a fish factory.
Ocean Pines residents and voters, who understand more than the directors give them credit for, should stand up and tell them no.