OPA Directors Likely Out Of Community Center Lawsuit

OCEAN PINES – The directors of the Ocean Pines Association
(OPA) may soon see their names dropped from a lawsuit over the controversial
Community Center project.

Plaintiff Marty Clarke, an OPA member, said this week that
he is considering removing the individual directors from the suit, which
alleges a breach of fiduciary duties by the board, because leaving them in
serves no purpose.

“We’re probably going to drop that this week, against the
individual directors,” Clarke said.

The remainder of the lawsuit will go on, said Clarke.

The suit contends that the Board of Directors exaggerated
the financial penalties related to abandoning the community center project. The
lawsuit also alleges that the OPA Board violated the association’s bylaws by
not holding a new referendum when the project cost increased by over $1 million
from the original amount approved.

“I don’t like to see the rules broken,” Clarke said.

It was Clarke’s lawsuit over the Community Center that
resulted in a restraining order on building construction. Clarke’s misgivings
over the referendum wording were not enough to convince a judge to issue a
restraining order over the wording of the ballot materials, however.

Clarke was not bothered by the decision, made this week,
against his request.

“They already changed the wording on the second go round,”
Clarke said, referring to the second mailing of ballot last week after a postal
error. “What we wanted happened anyhow.”

Clarke said he is weary of the community center saga.

“I got my [second] ballot and I almost didn’t fill it
out,” he said.

OPA General Manager Tom Olson said that is was too early
to expect much in the way of returned ballots, with the new ballots sent out
only a week ago. He has not received any complaints over the resend.

“Some people had some questions, were a little confused,
asking why it was re-mailed. So far it’s going smoothly,” Olson said.

Neither party is sure how the vote will go the second time

“We’ll know the 31st,” Clarke said. “Right now
I couldn’t even give you a guess.”

Clarke said he thinks people were discouraged by having to
resend their votes.

“It’s like the undying monster. This thing won’t end,” he
said. “I’m praying for it to end.”

If he had realized the issue would be so involved, he
would never have taken it on, said Clarke.

“If something goes wrong with this mailing you’ll find me
under my desk,” he said.