OCEAN PINES – Ocean Pines officials say a new self-evaluation process could help the board address its issues.
Last Saturday, Ocean Pines Association (OPA) Director Colette Horn presented the board with a self-evaluation process to be used during closed meetings. She said the survey would help examine board, officer and director performance and develop plans for areas of improvement.
“This discussion is meant for transparency processes,” she said. “It is not a process we intend to take place as part of our public meetings. This is work that we as a board need to do.”
Following a special meeting earlier this month to consider President Larry Perrone’s removal from the board – and to consider waiving board privilege on two investigation reports – Horn said the board was committed to working on its problems and finding ways to move forward.
“In the for-profit world, as well as the nonprofit world, the stakeholders are increasingly expecting to see board self-evaluation results as a measure of effectiveness and accountability,” she said. “This discussion is meant to give direction to a self-evaluation process for the OPA board that is modeled after best practices.”
Horn noted the survey would examine four categories: board mission and purpose, board management and relations, board composition and director performance and officer performance.
“This isn’t about pointing fingers … it’s about moving the board forward …,” she said. “This is another tool we can put in our toolbox and use.”
Director Camilla Rogers said she supported the idea.
“I think it’s going to be a very helpful tool and open up some avenues for discussion,” she said.
Perrone agreed, saying, “We’re going to do something to try and help create a better working environment for the board. I agree with this approach, and hopefully it will be beneficial for the entire board.”
Horn said she envisioned board self-evaluations to be an ongoing process. Officials said the idea was to discuss the survey at the next closed meeting.
“This type of thing becomes an ongoing process to keep boards focused on accountability to the stakeholders and transparency to the membership,” she said, “as well as the professionalism that the membership deserves from us as we conduct our business as a board.”
Director Frank Daly also encouraged the board to set goals at the beginning of each year.
“At the beginning of the year, clearly state to the community what we plan to achieve and measure results in achieving what we said we want to do,” he said. “Because working well together and achieving nothing doesn’t solve any problems in the community.”
Director Doug Parks said he’s seen mixed results from self-evaluations.
“I’m not as enthusiastic about filling out a survey and expecting results to come from that,” he said. “But we’ve all got our own experiences and opinions on things. I’m not saying it’s not fixable. I’m just saying I also want to look at other ways of getting to that point of actually producing and managing ourselves appropriately for the membership.”
Horn added, “The survey gives us some discussion points, and I think the survey will help us identify those discussion points that are most salient to our current performance concerns. We would certainly want to have some goals and accomplishments come from that.”