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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

Oasis reversal is age discrimination
This is an open letter to the Board of Directors of Ocean Pines
 First, I thank you for the time and effort you give to this community. I am sure it is very frustrating at times.
I am addressing the current topic of the Yacht Club pool converting to an all-inclusive pool, which includes children. Since 1988 when laws changed regarding not discriminating against any groups using pools, our pool has operated very successfully.  
Witness the hundreds of white-haired men and women getting a bit of exercise and socialization every weekend of the summer. Meanwhile, four other pools welcome children and people of all ages. The pools served us all very well.
When the Acting General Manager stepped into place, among the good things that he did, was some “tinkering” of family swim and child use of the Yacht Club pool. He made the changes without ever discussing and having it passed by the Board. They learned of it when it became published in OP literature. (There are several other questionable things).  
So, what we have is the good with the bad in the actions of our AGM. This has all led to bringing in the laws established in 1988.
As of today, children will be allowed at the Yacht Club pool at 11a.m. and the lap lines will be removed! Why the removal of lap lines … they are acceptable at the indoor pool and Swim and Racquet Club. Is that a “law” too?
I have a suggestion … designate this pool as a “therapy pool,” for it in reality it is very much a therapy pool … as you see so many older people doing what they can in the water. They, we all need to have a place to exercise. You have discriminated very severely against the aging population in Ocean Pines. Where are we to go now where we have the safe space?
There are lawyers and then there are other lawyers who are able to work through a very real reverse discrimination. Lets get on board with keeping OP a happy place and using common sense to guide where the best use of this “Oasis” lies.
Blanche Deasy
Ocean Pines

Impact of vote on HR consultant
Ocean Pines Association Director Slobodan Trendic sent the following letter to the Ocean Pines Board and the Bayside Gazette on Monday.
Yesterday you voted against my Motion to hire an independent local HR consultant. During our meeting on June 19th the Board unanimously agreed there is a clear and immediate need to have an independent local HR person present onsite to provide this long missing support to Association’s employees and the management.
Here is the impact of your vote:
1. You voted against my recommendation to hire a human resources consultant with appropriate educational background and specialized skills. A consultant that would deal with employees’ concerns and management issues in the workplace in a confidential, trained and professional manner by representing both parties objectively, employees and the Association.
 Instead you supported Brett Hill’s decision to “sole source” this new HR services to the Association’s law firm. Furthermore you agreed with Brett Hill that such HR services will be provided to our employees by an attorney that usually handles litigation matters and labor disputes, etc.
2. You voted against hiring a local consultant who was willing to provide these HR services at a very low hourly rate.
Instead you chose to support Brett Hill’s decision which is much more expensive.  Just run the calculations and compare law firm’s quoted “hourly rate” to the independent consultant’s “hourly hour” rate. The cost difference is huge. On top of that the Association will have to reimburse all travel related expenses.
3. You voted against hiring this independent consultant because he/she is also the member of this community.  Let’s remind ourselves this is the person who is professionally certified to handle these personnel issues in absolute confidentially and with highest ethical standards. But you do not have a problem that Brett Hill is a member of this community and in his acting GM capacity has absolute and full access to all Association’s records including confidential personnel files. Has he signed a confidentially agreement that would protect the privacy of these individuals and their records?
4. At the Board’s request our law firm interviewed two independent local consultants for this onsite HR support role. The entire Board was never provided with the outcome / results of these interviews. Then Brett Hill informs the Board of his decision to obtain HR services from the same law firm instead of hiring a local consultant.  
In summary, I wish to thank Directors Cheryl Jacobs and Doug Parks for supporting my Motion. They both realized the Association has an urgent need to prove a long missing onsite human resources support. They also agreed the best way to do this is to hire a local well qualified consultant instead of having a law firm from Bethesda, Maryland provide this HR support.
Slobodan Trendic
Secretary of the Association
Director of the OPA Board

Local businesses should support one another
There has been a peaceful co-existence between restaurants and businesses in and near the Pines. Recently, Ocean Pines was fortunate enough to have a new business take over some old and empty real estate in the Manklin Shopping Center. It filled many gaps needed by the community.  
I guess I’m not cut from the right material to own a business, but I feel the local businesses should support each other. The idea of the local eateries being cutthroat to each other is not a good business practice in my personal opinion. Additions to current restaurants to compete directly with their neighbors leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  
Ocean Pines can be very welcoming to a “new thing” – other times, not so kind. Read the sidewalk signs and pay attention to who is advertising where and what. There are more things going on in Ocean Pines other than Ocean Pines Association news. Just my two cents.
Vicki Magin
Ocean Pines