Pines Board Votes 4-2 To Fill Vacancy With Parks

OCEAN PINES – Leaders of the Ocean Pines Association have selected Doug Parks to fill the board vacancy created by the recent resignation of Pat Renaud.

During a special meeting Friday, the board of directors voted 4-2 to appoint Parks to the position. The vote came after Cheryl Jacobs nominated Frank Daly, the next highest vote-getter behind those who were elected in August, for the position.

“The board majority has the right to select anybody they want but ignoring the will of the people is not the way to go,” Jacobs said.

In August’s annual election, 11 candidates vied for three board seats. Winning seats were Brett Hill with 1,900 votes, Slobodan Trendic with 1,520 votes and Pat Supik with 1,428 votes. Daly ranked fourth among the candidates and garnered 1,028 votes while Parks came in ninth with 576 votes.

Following Renaud’s Aug. 29 resignation, the board had 30 days to fill his seat. During Friday’s meeting, Trendic nominated Parks for the vacancy while Jacobs nominated Daly. She said she was not criticizing the qualifications of Parks but simply thought the board should fill the seat with the person Pines residents had shown more support for during the election.

“He has twice as many votes (as Parks),” she said.

Jacobs said that if Renaud had resigned before the election results were announced, Daly would have automatically been given his seat.

Trendic said the association’s bylaws didn’t require the board to consider vote counts when filling a vacancy.

“The board has a duty to the membership to elect a member of the association that brings the best skills and assets to will complement the board,” he said. “It’s not about the vote I believe it’s about the confidence of the board.”

Doug Parks

Doug Parks

Trendic said Parks had a background in information technology, a skillset the board could use. He also said Parks, like he and Hill, had campaigned for change.

“Those capturing the most votes were the reformist-minded candidates,” Trendic said.

Jacobs cautioned against “groupthink” and referenced the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in the 1960s. She spoke in favor of a board of various minded people.

“We want to have individual thinkers who can weigh the facts for themselves and not just go along with what the majority would want,” she said.

Jacobs also referenced a newspaper article in which Hill had stated how important it was to be open to the feedback of the community. Jacobs indicated that would mean taking the vote counts into consideration in filling the vacancy.

Hill however said Parks and candidate Tom Janusek (who received 770 votes) had run with him in the election.

“I think the people clearly spoke when they voted for me,” Hill said, “with me garnering 25 percent more votes than the candidate behind me… I feel Mr. Parks has already demonstrated his dedication to the community in his service to the bylaws community. He brings a level of leadership to this board we desperately need. If the will of the people is spoken through their vote for me, Doug Parks by qualifications is the next person that should be there with me.”

Tom Herrick, president of the board, said he understood Jacobs’ position but thought this election was unique in that it had nearly a dozen candidates. The number of candidates could have diluted the votes of like-minded people, he said.

“The bylaws understand that each election is unique,” he said, adding that the governing documents didn’t mandate that the board appoint the person with the next highest number of votes.

The board voted 4-2, with Jacobs and Supik opposed, to appoint Parks to Renaud’s former seat. Parks will serve the remainder of Renaud’s term, which expires next August.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.