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Pines property owner survey final revisions near complete

By Greg Ellison

(July 29, 2021) The survey of Ocean Pines property owners set to go out the end of the month came into sharper focus last Thursday during a meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee.

Committee Co-chair Bernie McGorry, who presented an update on the group’s work during the board meeting the previous evening, said the level of professionalism displayed by directors was impressive.

“It was a positive experience last night,” he said. “It was good to get them engaged.”

McGorry added that the additional feedback for the survey was incorporated since the group’s last meeting on June 24.

Last conducted in 2018, the Ocean Pines property owners’ survey seeks comments from residents on the development of long-range planning and establishing priorities.

Starting with the draft introduction, committee members considered numerous language revisions for the final version.

Committee member Rebecca Colt-Ferguson questioned the inclusion of the term “budget process,” in the survey’s introduction.

After brief discussion, the committee agreed to change “budget process,” to “decision making.”

Another item discussed was the use of “other,” as an answer to numerous questions.

McGorry said the 2018 survey included an “other,” reply, which in some instances failed to generate useful information.

“I don’t want ‘other,’ to be something where we get 300 responses … because you can’t tabulate … a bunch of words,” he said.

Committee member Wes Blackley liked the “other,” selection, contending that there might be enough similar answers “to give us some other things people might not have looked at,” he said.

Committee ultimately agreed to retain the non-categorized reply.

Looking at the community values section of the survey, McGorry said the list was compiled without comments from residents.

“We didn’t do a survey on those. We made the decision these are what the values should be for the company,” McGorry said.

The committee also weighed wording for a question about how well board members worked together.

Board liaison Dr. Colette Horn said past feedback has indicated the community has concerns about directors collaborating effectively.

“We heard loud and clear in the last survey — that belongs here,” she said.

McGorry said while the matter is outside budgeting concerns, it does merit attention.

“It’s not a cost issue … but it needs to be addressed,” he said.

Horn also noted the board has discussed the importance of establishing community values to guide long-range planning.

“Strategic planning is about tangibles, but it’s also about initiatives,” she said. “It’s not just buildings, infrastructure or amenities.”

McGorry said the survey revisions would be updated overnight, with the final version ready by the end of July.

“We can release it anytime after that,” he said.

McGorry said prior to providing Pines residents an online link to the Survey Monkey-generated inquiry, a test run would be completed.

“We just want to make sure the wording is simple,” he said. “You want to get 10 to 20 responses before you release it and get 2,000.”