In most instances, the local administration of community or business affairs is better than regional or broader corporate management, which frequently suffers from a lack of knowledge about the area it serves.
As many an operator of a corporate-owned outpost will admit, a fair amount of time is wasted trying to work around one-size-fits-all directives from headquarters that don’t reflect the unique needs of the local population.
This is why the Ocean Pines Board of Directors’ made the right decision last week, when members agreed to abandon the consideration of contracting with an outside management company to run the association. Instead, they agreed stick with the course OPA boards have followed for decades.
Never mind that a management company would cost much more than an in-house chief operating officer, because the biggest problem would be that Ocean Pines’ operation would not be guided by a program specifically tailored for its use. More likely, it would be operated according to an adaptation of the company’s standard model, which would require the OPA to do some adapting of its own.
Two companies who submitted bids, for instance, wanted no involvement with the police department, which clearly is a big part of the Ocean Pines package and is required by the association bylaws. Others failed to meet all the requirements, suggesting they had their own way of doing things that would not mesh with the way the board — and the association overall — conducts business.
On the surface, hiring a neutral, no-nonsense firm to run things might sound like a grand idea, but that would require the association and the directors to relinquish a certain amount of local control. That’s never good when property owners and their elected representatives know more about the community than a management computer model could ever understand.