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


OPA Board seeks more candidates to meet standard

By Greg Ellison

(May 21, 2020) Ocean Pines Association Vice President Steve Tuttle is sounding the siren to solicit at least one more candidate for the 2020 Ocean Pines Association Board election so the slate satisfies the association’s requirements.

Tuttle, who also serves as OPA Elections Committee board liaison, said after the application deadline was reached last Monday the total fell short to match the bylaws’ requirement that the race have at least two more candidates than vacant seats.

“We need one more officially,” he said. “There are currently two open positions on the board so we’re trying to get at least one more candidate.”

OPA President Doug Parks and Director Dr. Colette Horn, both of whom were elected to their first terms in August 2017, have filed for reelection. In addition, only one other candidate, Stuart Lakernick, has joined the contest for a seat on the seven-member board.

Tuttle, however, said time remains for interested parties to materialize.

Although a candidate workshop is planned for June 12, followed by a public forum on June 17, the drop-dead date to file paperwork is July 3.

Tuttle said after July 3, election data is forwarded to ABC Printing & Mailing in Berlin and sent to association members in mid-July.

According to the bylaws, if an insufficient number of candidates file by the deadline, the responsibility for fulfilling the election requirement falls to current board membership.

“The board is then charged with the responsibility of trying to solicit at least two more candidates than the open positions,” he said.

The board is executing a two-pronged approach to do that, starting with a press release penned by Tuttle posted on the OPA website and emailed to association members, followed by a direct outreach campaign.

“I know other board members have talked to a couple people they know and asked them to consider running,” he said. “Beyond that, there’s not a whole not you can do if people don’t want to step up and run.”

The hope is other qualifying association members recognize and appreciate the opportunity to contribute and perform a true community service.

“If there were a couple more that showed up that would be fine,” he said. “It’s always good to have additional people running.”

To meet board membership requirements, candidates must be OPA property owners of record on Jan. 1 of the year of the election and have no unpaid annual charges as of May 15 of that year.

Applications can be downloaded from the OPA website via this link:

The completed form should be delivered to Senior Executive Secretary Michelle Bennett at the Administration Building, no later than the close of business on July 3. Applications can be mailed, emailed or hand delivered.

The deadline for voters to submit ballots is Aug. 5, with results compiled two days later and validated during the OPA annual meeting on Aug. 8.