By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(July 5, 2018) The Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors last Saturday discussed the following items during a public meeting at the community center:
The directors added several new items not on the published agenda.
Colette Horn asked to add a motion “related to the 401K plan” and discussion about the White Horse Park boat launch. Both items were approved by a 5-0 vote with Director Tom Herrick absent because of a prior commitment.
Slobodan Trendic asked to include discussions on the recent resignation of Pat Supik from the board and as treasurer, both of which were approved.
Trendic also asked to remove Horn’s motion to approve Resolution B-08, the proposed new ethics policy. As it did not receive a second, the item remained.
Forensic audit update
Parks said the first status report from auditing firm Gross, Mendelsohn & Associates has been posted online.
“It’s very generic and basically lists the things they have done to date,” he said. “They’re not in a position to make any recommendations yet, but they have conducted their work and are continuing to conduct their work.”
According to the association website, those wishing to contact the firm with substantive information related to the audit may send written statements and/or documents to 36 South Charles Street, 18th Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, ATTN: Jim Kern, or call 410- 685-5512.
Finance Director Steve Phillips, filing in for the departed Supik, said net operating profits in May, the first month of fiscal 2019, were up about $1 million over the previous fiscal year.
“The difference is $250,000 approximately in additional assessment revenue and the remainder is $750,000 additional contribution that we made to the reserves last year, in terms of bulkheads and the general capital replacement reserve,” he said.
He said beach club parking revenue is up, in part because a “parking only” option was added that decoupled permits from pool passes. As a result, he said aquatics revenues were “going the other way.”
Phillips said golf for the month was slightly down, while racquet sports were “all up slightly.”
Additionally, he said food and beverage startup costs increased maintenance by about $100,000.
“We had a lot of one-time startup costs, specifically in the expense line items of training and uniforms, [and] we had additional management labor associated with starting up the new business,” he said.
On the plus side, food and beverage revenues were up $27,000 over the previous year, despite only being open for 11 days during the month.
“From a performance perspective, that’s pretty impressive,” Phillips said. “The numbers that I’ve seen thus far in June … continue to be rather impressive.”
Revenues during Father’s Day weekend, for example, were about double what they were last year.
“Going forward, we won’t see the same cost ratios and we will see the revenues continue to uptick,” Phillips said.
General Manager John Bailey said a reserve study meeting originally scheduled last month was pushed back to Friday, July 13 at 9 a.m. in the community center.
“I encourage anybody and everybody to be there. If you can’t be there, it will be carried live and available on the website as well,” Bailey said. “The intent is to address our replacement capital needs for the association in a planned, programmed, strategic approach that will limit fluctuations in the annual assessment, going forward.”
Bailey said a drainage workgroup met again and were working toward a report for the board, due in July.
Among other recommendations, he said the group would request a staff of eight for preventative maintenance, and to look “for county, state and federal guidance and financial assistance.”
“There will be specific recommendations, with specific amounts of money that will be presented, and I will work to incorporate some of that in next year’s budget,” Bailey said.
Bailey added a note of caution that, because of summertime programming at the community center, drivers should be aware of children in the area, specifically between 4:30 and 5 p.m.
The board voted 5-0 in favor of an internal human resources review of employee handbook compliance and employee benefits, due by Sept. 14.
Trendic said association bylaws required “periodic review of existing employee benefits, personnel policies, and other employment conditions” to ensure the association is in compliance with local and federal regulations.
Bailey review of those items was already ongoing.
Trendic asked the board to request that the budget and finance committee “provide an opinion on establishing a standing audit committee.”
He said the committee would oversee “external and internal audit functions,” financial reporting process, internal controls and “ensure appropriate channels of communication exist for whistleblowers on fraud activities or other illegal acts.”
Parks and Moroney both said they were fine with referring the request to the committee.
“I’m good to go with referring it to them, and then we can talk about what they come back with,” Moroney said.
The board voted 4-0 to approve Colette Horn’s motion requiring the association to match 100 percent of employee contributions to 401ks, up to three percent of pay. Trendic abstained from the vote.
Phillips estimated less than 100 employees qualify for the program. Also per the motion, he was appointed a limited trustee.
The board unanimously approved a second term on the architectural review committee for Lawrence Malone.