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Commentary on Ocean Pines Election 2004

                                         by Joe Reynolds

Here are my personal picks in regard to selecting four of the six candidates on the Ocean Pines ballot:

1. Dan Stachurski - Stachurski, running for re-election and current OPA Board president should be a default first choice for anyone about to vote. One may not agree with all of Dan's positions but he has exhibited a very high level of leadership. Whether one agrees with all of his positions or not, Dan is the best person for the board at this point in time.

2. Norm Katz - Katz has campaigned vigorously as someone who will bring a conservative voice to the board. Katz and Stachurski do not see eye to eye on many issues, but Norm will work hard for the community and will be a voice for holding down budget increases as much as possible. Norm is also one of only two candidates to publicly answer questions here.

3. Heather Cook - Cook will bring a relatively new outlook to the board, and regardless of preconceptions, she will make independent decisions. She brings a strong management background, not to mention a woman's touch. Her strong position on keeping Ocean Pines as a homeowners association is a definite plus.

4. George Coleburn - Coleburn and Katz have campaigned as team, just as Stachurski and Cook have done. Coleburn will bring a conservative, fiscal restraint philosophy that will also seek to keep the budget as low as possible.

The individuals above, if elected, would usher in a new board of directors with much the same philosophical division as the outgoing board. Balance is important, however; no faction should have an overwhelming majority. This past year both factions on the board have leveled charges of uncivil conduct at the other. Urged on by intense media hype, many people apparently believe friction among board members and in the general community is unusual. After watching election campaigns around here for 14 years, nothing is new. Anecdotally, I just watched a video clip of a board meeting some three years ago and the rhetoric was far from hugs and kisses. Hopefully there will always be some level of disagreement and hot debate on the OPA Board. That is a strength, not a weakness.

The key to success, in the resultant mix of board members will be Stachurski. Stachurski is philosophically on one side of the current board factions, but he is the only current board member or candidate with the leadership to take on the task of being a moderating influence. As stated here previously, Dan isn't King Solomon but he is the closest we have among the current crop of board members and candidates.

Uploaded: 7/14/2004