OCEAN PINES – Ocean Pines Association officials agreed last week to form a work group to develop a code of ethics.
On Friday, the Ocean Pines Association (OPA) board of directors voted unanimously to approve a motion to form a work group to develop an ethics resolution for the board. Board member Colette Horn, who made the motion, wanted to see the group set ethics standards for the board, establish policies to ensure compliance with those standards and ensure that there were procedures for addressing violations of the ethics standards.
“I don’t see any harm in investigating the options,” said Doug Parks, president of the board.
In the information she presented to her fellow directors, Horn explained that the association’s bylaws allowed for the removal of a director but said that there was little language addressing the reasons why a director might be removed. Because the issue came up just this summer — when some members of the board wanted to see Slobodan Trendic removed — Horn said supplemental guidance regarding board member behavior was needed.
“Due to public scandals concerning ethical behavior in the corporate and nonprofit world, there is increased sensitivity to issues of ethics and conduct of organizational leaders,” Horn wrote. “As evidenced by recent allegations of director misconduct within our own board, OPA is not immune to such controversies. Clearly articulated standards related to director ethics and conduct will provide the board a strong basis for evaluating such allegations.”
Horn’s peers agreed that an ethics code could prove beneficial. Director Ted Moroney said that while he didn’t want pages upon pages of guidelines that were unenforceable and unintelligible, he did believe ethics standards would help. He said an articulated code of ethics would provide the board with something to measure director behavior and would prevent “having witch hunts.”
“I think we should give it a shot and see what happens,” he said.
Trendic agreed and suggested that the work group consider establishing a code of ethics not only for the board but the association as a whole so that it would govern employees as well.
The board voted 7-0 to form a work group made up of three residents and three directors to draft a resolution governing ethics.