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


Letters to the Editor

‘New majority’
To say I was shocked when the “new majority” (oh yes, there’s always going to be a split) moved so quickly to fire the GM, particularly without doing their due diligence, is an understatement.
Rather than exercising the option to renegotiate the GM’s contract, which his contract permitted, and using the time to put a more well thought out plan in place, instead the “new majority” used the clause to fire the GM for “convenience” (an interesting term).
In their haste, was it simply more convenient for them, costing Ocean Pines a great deal of money, rather than taking the time to do it right? This was an interesting choice given that the “new majority” had the votes to force the GM, who serves at their pleasure, to do their bidding.
This “new majority” seems intent on bending/breaking the rules to suit themselves, as evidenced by not posting agendas to the public in a timely manner and making declarations, as opposed to voting. There were/are differing opinions about Mr. Thompson as the GM, but no matter on which side of that opinion you fall, the community deserved the option that could have saved money to have been explored.
During my past first year on the Board, I have been in favor of and worked toward getting things accomplished (which didn’t always make some people happy).
Certain members of the “new majority” seem to be like-minded; for that, I welcome the company. There are others, however, who have a tendency to want to “throw the baby out with the bath water” and start everything over again and then drag things on and on to the point that nothing gets done. Funds are expended for studies by experts and then put on a shelf, never to be utilized.
I am very interested in seeing how this “new majority” will tackle what they will identify as the problems in Ocean Pines, about which many complain.
At the first meeting, I urged the Board to start working on the new budget as soon as possible. At the second meeting, I suggested the Board jointly prepare a list of priorities to be accomplished this year, which feeds into development of the budget.
I provided a list of possible topics for consideration such as: completion of the Capital Improvement Plan and Reserve Study for the coming year as well as a 5-10 year plan; decision on whether to refurbish or replace the Country Club based on the updated engineering study and financial considerations; Beach Club Bathrooms; Manklin Meadows project completion; Yacht Club improvements; and, development of a better working relationship with Worcester County.
These were just suggestions for a starting point of a road map, because if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. I believe it would be wise for the Board to know where we want to go.
I have just learned that Mr. Pat Renaud, who suffered with health problems last year, has now submitted his resignation. While I am sure he would rather continue to serve the final year of his term working on behalf of Ocean Pines, understandably his health must come first.
Mr. Frank Daly, as the next highest vote getter, represents the opinion of the voters of Ocean Pines and therefore is the logical choice as Mr. Renaud’s successor.
I look forward to continuing my role as a Director this year and to helping to navigate through the rocky waters we currently face, ultimately leading our community to safe shores to maintain the great community we love.
Cheryl Jacobs
Ocean Pines Association
Board of Directors

Worried about future
(The following was also sent to all of the members of the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors)
You were elected to serve the membership of Ocean Pines, not your own interests, and it is quite obvious by tonight’s actions that you have no intention of representing the members. This is no surprise to many of us who love this community and until tonight I was proud to call Ocean Pine’s home. I am extremely worried about the future of Ocean Pines under your leadership and your ability to maintain the most important function of the board of directors – to protect our investment and maintain the value of our homes.
 I have full confidence that Bob Thompson, an extremely talented, dedicated and trustworthy leader, will land on his feet and I will continue to support him in any of his future endeavors, as will many members of the OPA.
 I have every intention of gathering as many OPA members as possible to discuss what recourse we have in regards to your negligent actions.
Terri Mohr
Ocean Pines

Objective take
Anticipating a deluge of letters excoriating the new majority’s termination of the general manager, let me offer my objective, neutral take on the subject. OK, maybe not neutral, but certainly objective.
First, I’d like to point out that approximately 63 percent of the votes were cast for candidates not considered GM friendly (to say the least). That is a sizable majority. And the top-two vote getters were candidates who made their dissatisfaction with the GM’s performance, salary, bonus etc. well known, with one of those two indicating during the campaign that he favored termination as an option, and the other clearly leaning that way. The will of the people is crystal clear on this issue.
And now that the board has set the stage for a new direction, much speculation and criticism – maybe some of it vile – will be headed their way. Sure, the sour grapes will be tossed and will come from former board members as well as residents, but let’s not forget that a GM being fired and a new GM being hired is exactly the way that Thompson got his job in Ocean Pines, and on a 4-3 vote just as this was. (But, unique to that situation was that Thompson was a former board member, he wasn’t recruited through a regional/national job search as other GM’s had been).
And as it has been with the last three or four GM terminations a board member takes the position until a replacement can be found. In this case it’s new director Brett Hill, who is as competent – if not more so – than board members who served in the temporary capacity as GM in the past.
If the meeting (before they went into closed session) was indicative of the way these folks are going to govern, Ocean Pines is in good hands. This new majority is one sharp and savvy group of people. They proceeded methodically and strategically, [and] old-fashioned common sense ruled the day. It seemed to me that they went into the public meeting with a strategy, and the meeting was a textbook illustration of a functional, civil board. The meeting was so relaxed and cordial, a lot of us were blindsided when we heard about the termination.
This board – again I’ll use the word strategically – addressed ongoing/unresolved issues that had been raised at the last three or four meetings of the previous board, issues that have been discussed extensively on the Ocean Pines Forum and in two of our local newspapers, the Progress and the Gazette. And as things turned out, they were issues that were relevant to what was about to transpire in closed session because they were issues that reflected poorly on the GM’s job performance. This new board addressed and remedied those issues and then they finalized the difficult decision that a change in management was warranted.
Now let’s move on.
Steve Lind
Ocean Pines

This is transparency?
Throughout the last campaign, I heard a lot about transparency and how the new board would be so open and let the residents be part of the process. During my last meeting I made a motion, in closed session, to renegotiate the contract with Landscapes Unlimited to pay them to leave. They were brought in under false pretenses and have performed poorly and have not done much of anything they said they would do.
Their representative, who the board voted unanimously not to accept as our representative, but we got stuck with him anyway, flat out gave the board completely false information on several occasions during the budget process. We are wasting $75,000 of our residents’ money on something we could be doing ourselves and probably doing better. After my motion, Mr.’s Herrick and Stevens vehemently objected as it had not been made public and the residents did not have a chance to speak on it. The motion was ruled out of order and was not accepted.
Mr. Stevens bullied through a change in golf management companies to take charge of the golf course away from the general manager and probably went full speed ahead with firing the general manager this year because he lost his chance last year. He thought he had the votes last year, but Mr. Renaud came to the realization that Stevens and Clarke weren’t being truthful with him and Renaud went with what was good for the community and not what was good for Stevens’ need for payback.
You see, Bob Thompson didn’t vote for Dave Stevens for president of the board seven years ago, and then Thompson took over the general managers job from Stevens’ good friend Tom Olson. Stevens has been furious with him since and has made it his mission to get him fired. This was never about performance and the good of the community, and all about Stevens’ vendetta against Thompson.
Now the new board, that called for all this transparency, made a last-minute motion for something that is the most important decision made in the last six years and will affect the community for years to come, without advertising it and letting the residents speak on it. And the new president, who was against letting me make my motion, not only let it go through, but was apparently part of the process. I understand the group of the “new majority” was at the yacht club the night before, drinking, joking and laughing it up, and possibly violating Maryland Law in the process, so they knew what they were about to do, they just didn’t feel the need to let the residents know.
Herrick told Bob Thompson to leave the closed meeting, but not leave the premises, so Herrick knew what was about to occur. So much for campaign promises. And we have seen numerous times in the past, that Mr. Stevens makes everybody else play by one set of rules, the actual bylaws and rules of law, and he plays by his own rules. And I bet none of these issues will be brought up on social media as they have been so many times before.
And I find it ironic that Mr. Hill actually made the motion to go into closed session to fire the general manager. Mr. Hill, as a new board member, met with the general manager last Wednesday and told him that he wasn’t up to speed with what was going on and had no intentions of firing him until he had time to see what was going on. Then, two days before the vote, Mr. Hill told others that he really wasn’t up to speed with what was happening in the community and wanted to take his time and gather more information on a lot of issues.
All of a sudden, two days later he makes the motion to go into closed session and votes to fire the general manager. Also, Hill, who has been here for a couple years and has attended two-to-three board meetings, is now in charge of this corporation.
In my opinion, it appears to me that Mr. Hill fell right into line in with the group that appears to treat integrity as unimportant and truth as a minor inconvenience. In an earlier letter I used the words “low moral character” to describe Mr. Trendic. I used those words because they were the exact words Mr. Herrick used to describe Mr. Trendic last year when they were running against each other, for the board and after Herrick found out about Trendic’s drunken accident and fleeing the scene. Herrick used those words in public saying how he didn’t think anyone should vote for Trendic because of his “low moral character.”
Now they are buddies because they shared the vision of getting rid of the general manager, so to say I am not surprised by the actions of this group is an understatement. What is the old adage … judge a man’s character by the company he keeps?
Thank you Bob Thompson for all your years of dedicated service to this community. As some have said, you have accomplished more in your time than the last three general managers put together despite the obstacles of the same folks around here that have caused obstacles for the previous general managers. This community just made a huge mistake and will never be able to hire someone with the passion, enthusiasm, work ethic and integrity you brought. We just had the best year financially we have ever had and that is a tribute to your work and that of those who worked under you who worked so hard because they respected your leadership. You could have been paid twice as much and it still wouldn’t have been enough for the hours you put in and the hell you went through.
Unfortunately, this is the Ocean Pines game, where we play “let’s replace the general manager” because he didn’t bow down and kiss the ring of the … angry long-time board member and a clown behind a computer who have run this place for years and believe theirs is the only voice that needs to be heard. These guys will try to bring in a “yes man,” like Mr. Aveta, who will do as they wish, which basically is nothing!
Bill Cordwell
Ocean Pines

Clinton: Job creator
Wow. Where to begin, to verify the 23 titles by 11 authors cited by Ms. Hall [in a letter to the editor published last week]. The library maybe, but being almost 8o I am getting picky about where and on what to spend my reading minutes. So, to the Internet. After Googling “Hillary Clinton Books” Wikipedia provides a list, categorized and alphabetized. Poor Hillary. Only 12 pro, but 45 anti, 38 neutral, 46 children and juvenile and nine scholarly studies. Of the 45 anti-Hillary tomes, only 15 were on Ms. Hall’s exhausting list (11 didn’t make the Wikipedia cut). Ms. Hall might want to check out the ones she missed.
 If nothing else, this exercise has led me to think that Hillary is certainly a job creator in keeping the publishing business afloat for the past 20 some years. Consider all the authors, editors, fact-checkers, bookbinders, paper mills, warehouse workers, delivery persons and their vehicles (and the makers of such vehicles), book stores and their employees, and don’t forget librarians or Amazon or Kindle. All needed to keep this industry a going concern. My apologies to anyone omitted.
 As to the customers for these efforts, who knew so many people would be willing to devote so much time and money on such as this?
Jeanne C. Dickson
Ocean Pines