OCEAN PINES – Members of the Ocean Pines Association’s board of directors agreed to focus on a legal issue rather than politics last week.
On Friday the board agreed to drop two of the three topics slated for discussion at a closed session meeting in favor of consultation with the association’s attorney regarding a legal matter. That legal matter was the lawsuit filed against the board and board secretary Colette Horn by former director Brett Hill, who maintains that Horn was wrong in disqualifying him as a candidate in this summer’s election.
“What’s important for the membership today is the legal issue,” said board member Slobodan Trendic.
The board began Friday’s meeting in open session but was set to consider three items in closed session after agenda approval. Those three items included Hill’s lawsuit, director actions leading up to the recent resignation of board member Pat Supik, and Trendic’s recommendation to remove Doug Parks from his role as president of the board.
Trendic, who called for removal of Parks after the board president criticized him in local media reports, was quick to suggest delaying the latter two issues in favor of focusing on the lawsuit Friday. He said that a special closed session of the board should be held for a specific topic and shouldn’t address multiple issues. He said a motion to remove a director, in particular, should be considered solely at a meeting held for that purpose.
“The agenda for today’s meeting is inappropriate,” Trendic said, adding that he was willing to withdraw his motion regarding Parks’ removal.
Jeremy Tucker, the board’s attorney, said he didn’t think there was anything that precluded the board from discussing multiple issues at a special meeting. Director Tom Herrick said he’d wanted to consider the motion Friday.
“I was hoping we’d have a discussion and put this behind us,” he said.
Nevertheless, the board agreed with a 5-1 vote (with Horn opposed) to remove Trendic’s motion from the meeting agenda. He then suggested discussion of Supik’s resignation also be removed from the agenda. He noted that it had already been discussed by the board.
“The board reintroducing this topic, which was previously discussed in closed session, is inappropriate,” he said.
Board member Ted Moroney said he wanted the board to discuss the issue or drop it.
“This thing’s just going to drag out and continue to be ‘he said she said’ going forward…,” he said. “I say we talk about these things today or forget it.”
Trendic said the board should put the discussion aside. He pointed out the board only had six weeks until the election of potentially four new members.
“It’s not the first time a director has resigned,” he said. “I’m not sure why this is now an issue.”
Parks said he was willing to move on.
“We have important issues that have a more far reaching effect on the association,” he said.
Trendic offered his support.
“I’m all for it,” he said.
The board agreed, and prior to adjourning to a closed session to discuss the legal issue, confirmed that they had no intention of filling the vacancy left by Supik but would instead await election results next month.