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


OPA fatigue contagious

Ocean Pines is exhausting. It’s exhausting, as a news outlet, to cover, and this week the majority of the Board of Directors indicated it’s exhausting to govern. Imagine how the homeowners and residents must feel.
At a Sunday public meeting during what was otherwise a picturesque and sunny beach day, interim General Manager Brett Hill, the board president and vice president essentially said two other directors were engaged in a conspiracy to undermine Hill.
Two other directors, countering that Hill was creating chaos among his employees, fought to install a local human resources consultant to deal with what they said were a multitude of complaints.
Those aforementioned men and women involved in the contentious debate, accounting for five of the seven people who govern Ocean Pines, sparred for nearly two hours and engaged in numerous personal attacks, but never came to a consensus on what should be done to correct the problems.
At one point, Director Slobodan Trendic called for the release of a video recording that is allegedly the smoking gun in the whole mess, although only a handful of people have apparently seen it.
Based on the comments of Board Vice President Dave Stevens, that excludes the majority of the board, who apparently refused to even watch it.
All of this is at the expense of the more than 8,000 homeowners of Ocean Pines, the most populous year-round community in the county, many of whom are asking what happened to their governance.
Nearly a year ago, last August, the election of two men and one woman proved to be a referendum on what many believed was an operationally opaque and failed board and general manager.
Now, anyone paying attention must be left wondering if the current situation is any better, and what can be done to put a stop to what seems like a perpetual cycle of bickering and instability.
In what is, otherwise, one of the nicest, safest and most enviable communities in the state, why can’t Ocean Pines ever seem to correct what is and has been one of the most unstable and tumultuous systems of government?