By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(April 11, 2019) Slobodan Trendic is no Chris Davis, but the Ocean Pines board member has his own kind of cold streak going.
Trendic was hammered in November for proposing a motion to lease the association golf course. An extended period of public comment made opposition to the motion apparent, and it died when no board member voted to second it.
He recently went 0-5 on budget motions during a February board meeting.
Last Saturday, Trendic moved to revisit leasing the golf course, which prompted Association President Doug Parks at the outset of the meeting to ask that it be stricken from the agenda.
Trendic was furious.
“What you’re suggesting … is basically that the majority of this board controls any director’s item that’s brought before this board for discussion and vote,” he said, adding Parks’ motion violated Robert’s Rules of Order and amounted to a censorship of ideas.
“If you have a problem with my motion, let’s see if it’s second[ed], or you can vote it down,” Trendic added.
Parks also became angry.
“This motion was brought up at our Nov. 2 meeting by this sitting board and did not even receive a second to make it to the floor,” he said. “To introduce it again today is unprofessional and unnecessary.
“It’s been done already. There’s no need to do it again,” Parks added.
Trendic argued he “had a privilege” to bring any motion he chose to the floor, but Parks ruled him out of order.
Still, Trendic persisted.
“I have a privilege to bring any of my motions, if they have not been seconded, in front of the board again,” Trendic said. “Please, stick to the Robert’s Rules. If you do not, I will ask this board to remove you as [the] chair of this meeting.”
The crowd of perhaps several dozen gasped and groaned.
“Slobodan, if you want to cause controversy, do so,” Parks said. “I’m merely pointing out that this sitting board, these same people, had this motion at the Nov. 2 meeting. Go back and look at the minutes – [it was] the exact same thing. Why we are bringing it up again is a waste of time, [and] it’s a slap in the face of this board that has already rendered a decision on whether or not we want to bring this forward.
“You, as grandstanding, does not do the community or anyone else here any good,” he added.
Parks called the question and voted to strike the motion, while Trendic voted to leave it on. Four other directors present wanted no part of the tussle and abstained.
During public comments, several people again spoke against Trendic’s motion to lease the golf course, as well as his separate motion to initiate a referendum before making a decision to rebuild the golf and country club.
Larry Perrone, president of the Ocean Pines Members Golf Council, said it was disgraceful for Trendic to bring the motion up again.
“This is nothing but a strategy on the part of Mr. Trendic and Tom Stauss of the Ocean Pines [Progress] newspaper to delay this project, and to prevent any spending in the association that’s possible,” Perrone said.
Trendic also stepped to the microphone during public comments.
“After hearing the words ‘disgrace,’ ‘unprofessional’ [and] ‘irresponsible’ to categorize the two motions that I have in front of the board, I’m compelled to make my own comment, he said.
Trendic said board members were elected by 8,452 homeowners “to represent everybody equally.”
“We should take our fiduciary duties very seriously. My two motions are precisely that, because I feel that what the motions call for is the right course of action to represent everybody equally and to treat [the] association’s assets correctly,” he said.
Trendic went on to say he didn’t know if the motions would even receive a second, but if they did, he promised to debate each topic in a professional manner.
“I take the comment describing my motion as a disgrace as a personal insult,” he said. “And I’m sorry to see that some members of this community have come down to that level to make [those] kind of comments.
“It does nothing but to discourage other homeowners from stepping forward to occupy this table [on the board] and to be under the microscope by everybody, every single day,” Trendic added.
Director Esther Diller said it was not easy sitting on the board, but that every director has a right to express their ideas in the form of a motion.
“And the board has a right to deny it or approve it,” she said.
Diller disagreed with the use of the word “disgraceful.”
“This is a discussion. This is what we do,” she said. “Sometimes arguments ensue, as we’ve all seen. We are also human. I know that may be hard to believe, but we are.
“We try to do things as best we can, but you’ve gotta keep the humility in check. You have to keep the respect in check, whether we agree or not,” Diller added.
Trendic later read both of his motions aloud. Again, both were defeated for lack of a second.