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


John Viola’s frustration was understandable

As an unpaid volunteer, John Viola, Ocean Pines’ chief financial officer, appears to be getting a little weary of trying to explain there’s no such thing as a free lunch, while also fending off crazy accusations about people taking advantage of the system.

That would be anyone’s take on Viola’s rant Saturday that covered a multitude of topics, including golf course management, cutting expenditures and people who don’t exist on the payroll.

With regard to the latter, the budget and finance committee chairman advised the board of directors that he had been told repeatedly that the aquatics department had “ghost employees” on the payroll, even though no evidence of that exists. Still he and the staff, apparently, had to check it out.

Taking care of the budget and overseeing the association’s finances is difficult enough without having to deal with things like that. Neither does he need to be the pivot man in arguments over whether the golf course would be better or worse off with private management (again), when it falls to him to explain why that twice-failed approach shouldn’t be exhumed for another round.

It is also understandable that he’s somewhat frustrated by discussions of cost-cutting or improvements, offerings and upgrades that never seem to get around to weighing the impact on the budget.

By his own admission, the finance department has bigger fish to fry to become the operation it should be, and he needs time to get that done.

Fortunately, he has a board he can work with, and his wide-ranging treasurer’s report was just a matter of letting off a little steam and saying, in essence, “I can get this done if I’m not being peppered constantly with the little stuff.”