Four New Faces Take Over Duties In Ocean Pines

OCEAN PINES – The Ocean Pines Association (OPA) Board of Directors saw major turnover last weekend when four directors finished their terms and four new ones took their places.

Bill Rakow, Dave Stevens, Martin Clarke and Les Purcell replaced Glenn Duffy, Dan Stachurski, Heather Cook, and Tom Sandusky.

All the newly elected directors will serve three-year terms, except Purcell, who received the least votes of the four and will serve the remainder of Janet Kelly’s term. Sandusky, a former director, had taken her place after she resigned in 2006 until the annual election was held.

Duffy, Cook, and Sandusky chose not to run for office again, while Stachurski had served two terms and was not eligible.

Five candidates were unsuccessful, including a former director, Mark Venit, and John McLaughlin, Tom Falcinelli, Donald LaFond and Barbara Coughlin. All directors are elected at-large.

“I’m grateful that the membership had confidence in me and expressed it,” said Rakow, who received the most votes.

He put his success down to his ties to the community. “I’ve been here for 17 years. I’ve done business in Ocean Pines for 17 years. I know a lot of people. I’ve been involved in a lot of issues,” he said.

Rakow would like to see the community’s amenities taken in hand. “Our amenities are run down. We need to revitalize our infrastructure,” he said.

Purcell said, “I’m very pleasantly surprised and pleased to be elected.”

The community, he said, is running well for the most part, but that some things need to be fixed, particularly the amenities.

“The buildings are getting older and older. I’d like to see the buildings preserved,” said Purcell.

The aged Community Hall in White Horse Park appears to be Ocean Pines’ only option for meeting space, with the new community center decisively shot down earlier this summer. The OPA needs to do an engineering study on the hall, said Rakow.

The Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Department, which shares the community hall building, may be moving out of that space if the OPA grants the fire company lease to build a new structure next door.

“If that happens, we gain another 6,000 square feet of space,” said Rakow. “I’m not advocating anything right now, but it’s an opportunity.”

Purcell said, “It’s a question of what we can afford to do. We do need some kind of space. If it’s going to be that one, it should be as good as it can be.”

The directors the newcomers replaced are happy to let their successors ponder Ocean Pines’s issues.

“I’m enjoying life,” said Stachurski.

 “It’s a tremendous relief not to be worrying how to solve the problems of Ocean Pines,” said Cook. “I wish the new Board very, very well. I hope they can do better than what we did.”