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New center and other issues before OPA board
By Bob Lassahn

The Ocean Pines Association (OPA) Board of Directors held their regular monthly meeting on March 15 at 9 a.m. in the OPA country club. The turnout by the membership did not mirror the 70 plus from the previous day, but remained respectable for a weekday morning.

The first point of contention for the board occurred almost immediately on approval of the agenda as Director Janet Kelley attempted to introduce motions not previously submitted to the secretary. Agenda development rules for the board require submission one week in advance but the board may vote to modify the agenda and allow the last minute items in for discussion.

Ms. Kelley’s motion to modify the agenda was seconded and discussed. Her motions, apparently to stop/restrict further spending on the new community center were never read into the record and were handed out in written form to the directors. Her attempt to get the items on the agenda failed in a 4-3 vote.

Director Mark Venit also asked for modification of the agenda to introduce an advertising budget and was successful in having the item added to old business. On the motion to accept the modified agenda Ms. Kelley became the only dissenting voice.

An update on county matters from Commissioner Judy Boggs and a presentation from the Comprehensive Planning Committee (CPC) on OPA emergency plans preceded the actual deliberations of the board. Much of Commissioner Boggs’s report summarized past actions of the commissioners, but there were some new tidbits of information including an announcement that the Ocean Pines Wastewater Plant had received a discharge permit imposition of an outdoor burning ban and the schedule for adoption of the county budget for FY 2007.

The CPC evaluation of OPA contingency plans is actually a preliminary report since the plans will undergo additional scrutiny after the county plan is released to ensure agreement. One new element recommended by the CPC is an emergency boat removal plan to clear vessels from OPA marinas in the event of an approaching hurricane. General Manager Dave Ferguson was tasked to look into contractual and legal implications regarding the recommendation.

The general manager’s report summarized completion of the bulkhead replacement and canal dredging project some two months ahead of schedule due to mild weather, completion of the community gardens project and completion of renovations to the architectural review office. He also announced that the new head of Public Works, Kerry Nelson, was on board, that a grant of $2,500 had been received from Coastal Bays Foundation for a new, environmentally friendly golf maintenance wash down facility and a drainage project was underway on Boston Drive.

The general manager also discussed the expansion permit for the proposed Swim and Racquet Club marina. The Maryland Department of the Environment has requested additional evaluation of the wetlands, apparently an issue involving delineation between private or state owned and further studies are necessary.

Following a brief recess public comment resulted in only four individuals addressing the board. By 11:15 a.m. the board was ready to get down to business.

Advertising Budget
Director Venit presented a proposed advertising budget suggesting various strategies and associated costs described as a compilation of both the marketing committee and his own ideas. His proposal places the cost under the previously approved budget and includes print, television and Internet advertising.

Director Kelley interjected that Mr. Venit should reconsider his proposal to advertise on, noting it could represent a conflict of interest because of a recent poll regarding his candidacy for the board in the upcoming election. Her motion to amend failed for lack of a second and when the final vote was called the motion passed unanimously

Agenda development
Under new business Director Stachurski was successful in obtaining an amendment to the board’s agenda development policy. The introduction of last minute items for the agenda is still possible, but a motion to suspend the rules and allow additions to the agenda will now require a two-thirds majority vote.

Community Center
In what amounts to a continuation of issues discussed at a special meeting on the proposed community center Director Stachurski sought board permission to proceed with some aspects of designing the new facility. It had been speculated he would make a motion to build a smaller, more affordable facility based upon comments prior to the meetings, but the motion he put before the board was less controversial to most directors.

Director Stachurski was successful in obtaining authorization to proceed with preparation of detail design drawing for the proposed 29,000 square foot community center. The detail drawings are necessary to obtain bids and to determine with some degree of certainty whether there is any possibility to bring the building to fruition within the parameters of the referendum. It does not provide authorization to move beyond the detail drawings. The final vote was six to one in favor with Director Kelley voting in opposition.

Accounting Task Force
Director Venit was successful in creating a task force on accounting, primarily to review methods for presenting information to the membership in a consistent and understandable format. The measure carried by a four to two margin with Director Kelley abstaining.

Non-Resident Advisory Committee
Director Venit’s motion to create a non-resident member advisory committee also passed muster after some deliberation on the minimum and maximum membership. The motion carried with Directors Kelley, Sterrett, Venit and Coleburn voting to approve and Directors Cook, Duffy and Stachurski voting in opposition.

Legal Opinions
Mr. Venit was not successful in obtaining a policy to provide decisions or opinions of OPA legal counsel to the membership. Arguments against the motion included a comment by Director Heather Cook that the board was already obligated to provide such information upon request. The motion failed on a tie vote with Venit, Kelley, Sterrett in favor; Cook, Duffy and Stachurski opposed and Coleburn abstaining.

Grant request
The final two items placed before the board were from the general manager and included a submission to the county regarding grant funding to be requested in the upcoming budget process. Mr. Ferguson suggested and obtained approval for the amount of $220,000 as a request for funding to the Ocean Pines Police Department.

Vinyl Siding Bid
Mr. Ferguson presented bids for vinyl siding on the yacht club and country club in the amount of $106,760. The bid was approved by a six to one margin without significant discussion and even clarification of color came as an afterthought. Director Stachurski voted no stating he was upset about removal of trees from the golf course.

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click to view video Public Comments
Public comments at the 3/15/2006 OPA Board meeting. Mostly on new Community Center.
click to view video GM Report
General Manager Dave Ferguson presents his monthly report to OPA Board. 3/15/2006
click to view video Non-Residents
OPA Board passed Mark Venit motion to create a non-resident advisory committee. 3/15/2006
click to view video Board Agenda Items
OPA Board passed Dan Stachurski motion on agenda development. 3/15/2006
click to view video Articles of Incorporation
OPA Board passed Reid Sterrett motion to have By-Laws Committee look at Articles of Incorporation. 3/15/2006
click to view video Legal Opinions
OPA Board nixed Mark Venit motion to make written legal advice public in certain instances. 3/15/2006
click to view video Kelley Motions Nixed
OPA Board refused to place Kelley motions to stop spending on Community Center on Agenda. 3/15/2006
click to view video Marketing Amenities
OPA Board approves amenity marketing proposals submitted by Mark Venit 3/15/2006
click to view video Vinyl Siding
OPA Board approves covering Yacht Club and Country Club with vinyl siding of unknown quality and color 3/15/2006
click to view video Accounting Task Force
Mark Venit motion to create Accounting Task Force is approved by OPA Board. 3/15/2006
click to view video CC Design A Go
Board votes to proceed with design drawings and bids for 29,000sf Community Center. 3/15/2006

Uploaded: 3/21/2006