Bulkhead, GM Concerns Top Pines Town Hall Meeting

OCEAN PINES – Concerns regarding deteriorating bulkheads and the community’s need for a permanent general manager took center stage at an Ocean Pines Town Hall meeting last Thursday.

Last week, Brett Hill, the Ocean Pines Association’s acting general manager, met with members of the community to share finished and ongoing capital improvement projects and to give attendees a preliminary review of finances for fiscal year 2017.

Though both amenity membership and revenue grew in FY2017, Hall told attendees the community has a net loss of $273,000.

“This board made a lot of changes this year,” Hill said, adding that payroll changes and additions account for much of the loss.

Though most of the meeting was spent hearing from various department directors regarding efforts to incorporate new activities and amenities, attendees spent most of the public comment section addressing failing bulkheads and administration concerns.

Untra Solar Group Advertorial

Resident Bob Brennan told Hill that since early last year sinkholes have appeared in his backyard because of failing bulkheads and questioned when permanent repairs would be made.

“This is ridiculous,” he said. “I’m living with sinkholes all along the back of my yard.”

Hill responded that work to temporarily fix the bulkheads would begin in upcoming weeks, but added that a more permanent repair would begin at a later date.

“It is a disruptive process,” he said, adding that the association was doing its best to accommodate each resident.

Resident Gary Sirianni asked Hill if the association had a timeline for the repair process.

Like Brennan, Sirianni said he lives in an area of Ocean Pines where bulkheads are failing.

“All my neighbors around me are having problems with their bulkheads sinking,” he told Hill. “My neighbor on my left is sinking, my neighbor on my right is sinking, and I don’t think I’m going to last.”

Hill said the association has identified more than 20 properties with premature bulkhead failure and is in the process of securing permits to complete the work. The repairs, he said, would take weeks.

While most of the meeting’s public comment portion focused on bulkheads, pedestrian safety, computer systems and more, concerns regarding the general manager position surfaced.

Resident John Reeves, a former division I athletics director, compared the absence of a full-time general manager to the absence of a collegiate coach and explained that, like Ocean Pines residents, alumni would expect nothing less than to immediately replace a vacant position.

“It just seems crazy to be a year without a general manager,” he told Hill. “I don’t think it’s fair to you and I don’t think it’s fair to the community.”

Hill agreed with Reeves’s points and announced that resumes for the full-time general manager position will be presented on June 22 with interviews to follow July 5-6.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

Alternative Text

Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.