By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(Feb. 28, 2019) The Ocean Pines Board of Directors “has a serious concern” with how the clubs advisory committee has been operating, according to Director Slobodan Trendic.
Trendic, during a committee meeting last Thursday, called out the committee for involving itself directly with the previous general manager and the Matt Ortt Companies, which manage the yacht and beach clubs.
“I applaud you for your work and your efforts, and for what you’re doing to try to better our clubs … this is the kind of input that we as a board need and that’s the purpose of the advisory committees,” Trendic said. “[But], we have reviewed the minutes of your meeting in January.”
According to the Jan. 17 meeting minutes, committee Chairman Gary Miller met with then General Manager John Bailey, and Bailey agreed the committee “should continue to interact with the [Matt Ortt Companies] partners or representatives to advise and make recommendations with community input.
“The next step is for the chairperson and/or the committee to meet with Matt Ortt and further define the working relationship … It is recognized by the committee that it’s primary responsibility is to advise the [board of directors] on issues or recommendations to improve the food and beverage services at the clubs. It is not the responsibility of the [committee] to oversee the day to day operations.”
Also according to the meeting minutes, committee members strongly feel “that the only way we can carry-out our advisory role is to have regular ongoing communication with the [Matt Ortt Companies] to be able to comment or make recommendations and keep the community informed of future plans and activities for the clubs.”
“There is obviously a concern of what’s been discussed and the GM’s endorsement of your interaction with [the] Matt Ortt Companies,” Trendic said.
He went on to say the group was “a board committee, not really a GM committee,” and as an example disapproved of Miller having invited Colby Phillips to attend the latest meeting.
Phillips is overseeing several Ocean Pines departments in the wake of Bailey’s departure, last week.
“As much as she is willing to take part and she’s done that in the past with other committees, interaction with staff at this level really has to come as a request through the board,” Trendic said. “You are not a one-person show. You have to take into account the rules and regulations.”
He added the board needed to comply with its own set of rules and “We expect the same out of our staff and our committees.”
“Going forward, if there is a need to interact … you need to go through the board,” Trendic said. “We appreciate the work you’re doing, but … the community is holding us to the highest standard to respect the rules, to play by the rules, and we all should basically do our best to do the same. And that goes for the staff and that goes for the committees, and everything else.”
Miller said the committee by no means wanted to impose, but was just looking for information in order to better do their jobs.
“We never said … that we wanted to be involved in the operational part,” Miller said. “We are not somebody who is going to dictate or … make suggestions expecting them to be followed. All we’ve ever said was, we should be able to hear from Matt Ortt Company or whoever’s running this, ‘What are the plans for the summer?’ Just so we can help get the word out.
“We understand that we’re an advisory committee,” he continued. “We have no business trying to tell them what to do. But, in order to get the word out to the public … we have to be able to talk to them.”
Trendic said the right way to do that was through a request through the board.
“Instead of reaching out in the way you’ve done … as a committee, put together a formal proposal to the board,” he said. “The board needs to formally consider that and then respond. Right now, we don’t feel your request for interaction with Matt Ortt at this level is OK.”