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


Search for GM won’t include outside firm

By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer

Interim General Manager John Viola

(May 30, 2019) Exorbitant costs and the unwillingness of some companies to take on certain jobs has led the Ocean Pines Board of Directors to drop the idea of contracting with an outside management company.

The board last Thursday announced that it will pursue filling the vacancy for the community’s general manager position, after a bid review showed few viable proposals for existed for an outsourced solution.

A recommendation to the board to retain an in-house general manager was made by interim General Manager John Viola and a work group that reviewed the proposals.

Forty-nine firms were asked to submit proposals for the outsourcing of operations and management services for Ocean Pines and only five companies responded to the request, Viola said.

Viola said that prohibitive costs and the failure of the bids to meet the requirements of the request for proposals (RFP) drove the recommendation.

Larry Perrone, who served on the work group, agreed with Viola.

“As chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee, my perspective is that the cost of outsourcing far exceeds having an in-house GM,” he said. “It was way too expensive.”

The five companies that responded to the request submitted bids 136-436 percent higher than the cost of the current total compensation package for the Ocean Pines general manager position. Most also included substantial additional fees lists that would drive up those percentages even more.

The work group considered other conditions of the proposals, which would have increased costs significantly. There were also other conditions that took two groups immediately out of consideration.

“They wanted to use their own software, and we are in the process of installing the NorthStar software,” Perrone said. “Also, two of the bids did not want to manage the police department, which is required under our by-laws. The fact that those two were not interested in the police department eliminated them from the consideration right away.”