OCEAN PINES – Eight candidates have filed for three available seats on the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors.
Cynthia Bartolomeo, Paula Gray, Tom Janasek, Shawn Kotwica, Larry Perrone, Camilla Rogers, Hans Solum Jr. and Gregory Turner have filed in this summer’s election.
Ballots will be mailed to association members in July and will be due back Aug. 7.
“Our motto this year is your vote counts,” said Steve Habeger, chair of the elections committee. “Last year we had 41% of voters respond and we’re hoping to exceed that this year. We’d like to encourage people to vote and ensure that their ballot arrives on time.”
Four of this year’s candidates—Gray, Janasek, Perrone and Turner—have made unsuccessful bids for board seats in the past. There are no incumbents in this summer’s election, as the three available seats are all vacant. Ted Moroney resigned from the board in March while Slobodan Trendic resigned in April and Esther Diller resigned in May. Notably Diller and Moroney had been appointed to the board as a result of the resignations of other board members.
Candidates in this summer’s election will draw for their position on the ballot June 7 and will take part in a candidates forum June 12. A second forum is set for June 22.
“The forum is a way to put a name with a face,” Habeger said, adding that they would be broadcast and available on YouTube for those residents who aren’t able to attend.
While there’s not a set date for ballots to be mailed to the membership — because it depends on when officials have completed voter eligibility determinations — Habeger expects that to occur in mid-July.
“Our target is the second week of July,” he said “We’d like for people to have the ballot for 30 days.”
He said elections officials are reminding residents this year that they need to have their ballots in by the Aug. 7 deadline if they want them to be counted. He said that ballots have to be dropped at the administration building or received at the Ocean Pines Association post office box, which is in Berlin, by Aug. 7.
“If they’re mailing them they need to allow time for them to be received in Berlin not Ocean Pines,” Habeger said. “It’s unfortunate that people put forth the effort to vote and if it arrives late it’s just a void ballot.”
Ballots will be counted and vote totals will be announced Aug. 9 at the Ocean Pines Community Center. The association’s annual meeting is set for Aug. 10 at the community center. For more information on this year’s election visit oceanpines.org.