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


OPA election heads toward its final week

By Greg Ellison

Ballots to be tallied Aug. 7, validated at Aug. 8 meeting

(July 30, 2020) With the deadline to submit ballots arriving on Wednesday, the 2020 Ocean Pines Board election should be concluded by next weekend.

This summer’s OPA Board election pits incumbents Doug Parks and Dr. Colette Horn, and newcomer Stuart Lakernick in a three-way battle for a pair of open seats.

Ballots were mailed to more than 6,500 association members earlier this month and should be received by the OPA, not postmarked, by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 5.

To qualify as a board candidate OPA residents have to own property as of Jan 1, 2020 and be eligible to vote. Prerequisites to vote include paying assessment dues within 35 days of the July 1 deadline and not being found in continual violation of the Declaration of Restrictions.

OPA declaration of restrictions permits members to serve two consecutive three-year terms followed by at least one year on the sidelines.

Parks, who was elected in August 2017 and is vying for a second term, highlighted past accomplishments as a board member, including outsourcing food operations to the Matt Ortt Companies, negotiating a service contract with Comcast and completing capital improvement projects such as the new Golf Clubhouse and in-progress Police Building expansion during a candidate forum in June.

Horn, who also won a first term in 2017, said in the forum held in June that her initial involvement as a board candidate was based on what she perceived to be dissension within the group and questionable financial directives.

Lakernick, a Pines property owner since 2013, is approaching retirement after operating a chiropractic functional neurologist practice outside Philadelphia and specializing in traumatic brain injuries.

During the election forum in June, Lakernick proposed developing marketing plans for golf operations and the recreation department, as well as highlighting the importance of preventative maintenance to alleviate drainage problems from excessive storm water runoff and preserving bulkheads.

OPA board election ballots can be returned by mail to the Berlin Post Office located at 20 Broad Street or dropped off in person in the ballot box inside the Ocean Pines Administration Building on 239 Ocean Parkway.

Returned ballots will be counted on Aug. 7 with results validated the following day at the OPA annual meeting.

The annual meeting takes place on Saturday, Aug. 8 at 9 a.m. at the Worcester County Veterans Memorial located by the South Gate Pond. Property owners are requested to bring identification for verification purposes, with a minimum quorum of 100 required to stage the meeting and validate vote totals.