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


Waiting on transparency

The core issue in Ocean Pines isn’t really one of nondisclosures, questionable decisions or projects that have gone awry, but one of trust.
Early on, many on the board made a pact to close ranks, deter comments to the media and show blind loyalty to one another. However, as happens when information, both good and bad, is not communicated, that approach caused suspicion, rumor and an overall cynicism by the community at large.
By taking cover in too many closed meetings, hoping issues of concern would just go away and creating diversion by blaming those who speak out, it made the community wonder what there is to hide, as it is human nature to be wary when direct, honest communication is lacking.
A better approach would have been to disclose any possible conflicts of interests upfront, even if there is no requirement to do so, and to provide clear, complete information on changes big and small that impact the community, along with the reasoning behind those decisions.
A new board will be seated this week and it would benefit each member to take a hard look, both individually and collectively, on how they should communicate with the membership.
People tend to understand what they know — it’s the lack of information that has caused many of the problems for the current board.
Hopefully, hard lessons have been learned and a more open and upfront approach will be chosen.