Board’s 5-2 vote invokes suspension for 90 days
By Jack Chavez, Staff Writer
Tom Janasek’s privileges have been suspended.
The Ocean Pines Board of Directors held a special meeting on June 9 to allow residents and board members to speak on whether the former director should be barred from Ocean Pines amenities and made that decision — which came out 5 to 2 with directors Doug Parks and Rick Farr in opposition.
Janasek’s suspension came roughly three weeks after he accosted director Josette Wheatley in the Ocean Pines Yacht Club in an incident that became loud and profane, and ended with his removal from the premises.
He allegedly returned to the Yacht Club later that night.
Wheatley did not recuse herself from the special meeting or abstain from voting.
“I think [this ruling] is good,” director Amy Peck said on Tuesday. “I think we need to keep the family atmosphere that is so valuable at the Yacht Club and protect the association members and the association from future incidents happening.”
At the meeting, two residents spoke in support of Janasek and one in support of suspension.
Resident Mark Thomas said the punishment didn’t fit the crime despite his actions being in poor taste. He also didn’t want to see any trouble come the way of Matt Ortt Companies, whom he described as the “best entity we’ve had.” Matt Ortt Companies runs the Yacht Club restaurant.
“They do a wonderful job over there,” Thomas said. “They know how to run a restaurant. Is the board now going to run the restaurant? Are they going to run the police department, the fire department, or are they going to run everything? It’s all too much.”
Resident Barbara Dunn took her comments a step further and sided not only with Janasek but his claims that certain board members are out to vilify him.
“There’s a lot of stuff that happens up at the Yacht Club,” Dunn said. “They’ve never been on the front page of the newspaper. They’ve never been on ‘continued on page 47,’ they’ve never been in public comments. It is ridiculous what you guys are doing and (director) Larry (Perrone), it is a personal vendetta. You and Colette (Horn) together, since (she) became president, have done nothing but s*** on Tom 24-7. Constant. It’s a joke. It’s an absolute joke what you are doing.”
Finally, Joe Reynolds minced no words in rebuking Janasek for his actions, saying that coverage of the incident falls short of describing the true awfulness of what was said, including a pointed insult to Wheatley’s face, a term that is considered extremely offensive by many women.
“He called you [that] in public,” Reynolds said to Wheatley. “I mean where does the absurdity stop? This board needs to take some action to show that if nothing else we’re not going to tolerate this kind of activity from anybody. I urge you to do something that makes a difference.”
Before the vote, Parks said he didn’t agree with what he saw as bucking precedent by reaching beyond the powers allotted to the board by the Ocean Pines Association’s governing documents.
“I urge my colleagues to consider the fact that continually disregarding our governing documents is not the way to manage, run or oversee this organization and I implore you to consider some of the options that are available to us under our governing documents to accomplish a way to address this issue,” he said.
Association President Colette Horn said that the governing documents are 50 years old and that “the founders did not foresee the present in our community of somebody whose behavior falls so far out of the norms that society sets, and pushes at every opportunity to boundaries of our governing document.”
The suspension will last 90 days and began on June 10. The board has reserved the right to extend the suspension if there are any more incidents involving Janasek.
The terms of the suspension are that Janasek is banned from the Yacht Club, including the tiki bar, the Ocean Pines Swim and Racquet Center and patio, the Golf Club and patio and the Beach Club and restaurant.
If Janasek were to violate these terms, he would be arrested for trespassing.
Wheatley declined to comment on Janasek’s suspension following the meeting.
Janasek informed Ocean City Today on Thursday that he has retained attorney Bruce Bright — who successfully fought OPA last year when it tried to disqualify Farr from running for election — and plans to file a lawsuit Monday.
This story appears in the print version of the Bayside Gazette on June 16, 2022.