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Pines special meeting ends in handshakes

Ocean Pines Board members last Friday discuss what to discuss during the first half hour of a special meeting in the administration building. The directors eventually adjourned to a closed session to discuss legal matters, believed to be a pending lawsuit attempting to halt the association election.

By Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(July 12, 2018) Doug Parks remains president of the Ocean Pines Association and he apparently apologized during a special meeting Friday to Director Slobodan Trendic for belittling comments made in this paper.

The two men quarreled during and after a June 23 regular board meeting over a discussion about the resignation of now former Director Pat Supik. Parks had said Trendic was at least partly to blame for her stepping down.

Trendic countered by calling a special meeting to consider Parks’ removal from this leadership post, but backed off Friday and suggested the board instead pivot to a closed-session for legal matters, believed to be the Brett Hill lawsuit that is attempting to block the August election.

It took close to half an hour to approve the agenda alone, but the directors came out shaking hands and expressing some level of optimism for the final month before the election.

One debate involved whether more consideration needed to be given on whether to replace Supik or simply wait for her replacement to be elected.

Trendic said he favored waiting.

“This topic was brought up at the last regular meeting,” he said. “At that time, it was decided that it would be pointless to appoint a director, since we only have one regular meeting left [before the election]. So, I’m not sure why this is being brought up.”

Director Ted Moroney said board members previously agreed to have a special session on the subject because one director, Tom Herrick, was not present during the previous meeting.

“That was the issue. We wanted Director Herrick present,” Parks said. “We wanted to memorialize it formally.”

Trendic said Herrick had weighed in, via email, and he agreed “it would pointless to appoint somebody with only six weeks left.”

He suggested deferring the officer removal discussion to another time in favor of a pending legal issue, citing “a lawsuit against the association and the board.”

“I’m willing to defer that topic [removal of an officer] to a later time and allow the board to dedicate this special meeting exclusively for the reasons related to legal actions … which has a huge impact on our election procedure,” Trendic said. “I think that is what really is most important for the board to be considering.

“I just think what’s important for the membership today is the legal issue and it’s the election process, and I think that’s what the board should focus on today,” he added.

Following a back-and-forth and several votes to add and remove agenda topics, Moroney wondered if he could ask “a dumb question.”

“Are we just going to go ‘round and ‘round the next 30 days on having special meetings to talk about this? Either we talk about it today or, when the new board convenes itself in August, they sit down and have frank discussions about how to operate going forward,” he said. “This thing’s just going to drag out and continue to be ‘he said, she said.’

“There’s not a hell of a lot of time left to talk about it. I say we either talk about these things today, or forget it,” he added. “I just don’t see us going anywhere by continuing to call special meetings.”

Trendic agreed.

“Really, what the board should do is just let’s put all this aside,” he said. “We’ve got six weeks to go until the election [and] a new board will be in place. And at that time if the board wants to revisit anything related to what transpired, I’m perfectly happy to go along with that.”

“I’m in favor of that. Can we operate effectively over the next six weeks and really put it aside?” Parks said. “I know I can.”

“I can too,” Trendic said.

The directors decided not to pursue appointing another director before the election and then adjourned to the closed session.

The meeting was disbanded after briefly opening back up.

“When we reconvened in the open session, there was a comment from the president to his fellow directors apologizing for choice of words, insulting a fellow director, and that apology was accepted,” Director Colette Horn said.