Ocean Pines Considers Election Changes

OCEAN PINES – A resolution introduced last week outlines a trio of changes in the Ocean Pines Association’s election process.

On Thursday, the Ocean Pines Association (OPA) board of directors hosted a first reading of a resolution that would incorporate a few notable changes in the annual election process. The most controversial of those is the recommendation from the Ocean Pines Elections Committee to announce annual election results as soon as ballots are counted.

“This was proposed last year,” said board member Slobodan Trendic, liaison to the committee. “The board did not endorse that recommendation. The committee feels strongly that it should be revisited.”

Trendic presented resolution M-06 to the board and explained that it incorporated three election changes. One would allow the committee freedom in adjusting the seating arrangement of participants at the candidate forums held in advance of the election. Trendic said because the association was now offering more than one forum, committee members wanted some freedom in assigning seats.

“The committee feels that it should be at their discretion to consider changing the assignment so that candidates are seated differently one forum to another,” Trendic said.

He said the committee also recommended changing the deadline for returning ballots from the Thursday prior to the annual meeting (always held the second Saturday of August) to the Wednesday before the annual meeting.

“By moving the deadline to Wednesday it gives the committee Thursday to do a last minute pickup and provide that extra time in case something goes bad,” Trendic said.

The proposed resolution also calls for the announcement of election results immediately after completion of the ballot count. In the past, certified election results have been kept in a locked cabinet until they’re announced at the annual Saturday meeting. The proposed resolution calls for results to be announced as soon as the ballot count is complete and emailed to the board of directors and placed on the OPA website.

Board member Cheryl Jacobs said she didn’t understand why the announcement change was being proposed again.

“We already had this presented to us and it was made clear we were not in favor of this,” she said. “I’m curious why this is being brought back again.”

Trendic said he was simply presenting the changes proposed by the committee.

“It is my responsibility to convey what the committee is recommending,” he said.

He added that it was up to the entire board to make any potential decision on the issue.