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


A matter of trust in OPA

As rumors swirled for almost a year about the possibility that several key personnel were offered contracts by then acting Ocean Pines General Manager Brett Hill, some board members elected not to talk about it.

Presumably, they hoped the matter would just go away, eventually, but, once again, that strategy is coming back to haunt them.

When January financials were released last week, numbers for the Yacht Club begged the question of how the venue could lose $162,000 while it was closed. It quickly became apparent, to some, that a major portion of that loss involved a six-figure payout to a former employee.

Unfortunately, some board members continued to try to hide behind the tired excuse that this involves a confidential legal matter. This dodge has become overused by the board to keep many missteps of past years from seeing the light of day.

Although new information became available the middle of this week, property owners still deserve answers to some lingering questions, including whether an employment contract containing certain terms and conditions can be approved without the board’s knowledge or consent.

While the current board members shake their heads in wonderment why the community can’t let the past go and move forward, this is one of those issues that fosters skepticism and speculation of the sort that the board wishes to avoid.

Rather than play duck-and-cover this past year, the board should have laid all the bad cards on the table, apologized for its involvement, if any, in this episode, and played it straight with the public.

Association members need to believe there won’t continue to be more embarrassing and costly issues coming to light, or, if there are, that they can depend on the board to offer a full explanation of the situation.