Two Candidates Share Views At Ocean Pines Forum

Two B

Frank Daly

Two A

David Hardy

OCEAN PINES – Candidates for the Ocean Pines board shared their views on various association issues this week at a second candidate forum.

On Tuesday, the Ocean Pines Elections Committee hosted the second of two candidate forums for the 2021 Ocean Pines Association (OPA) board election. This year, candidates Frank Daly, Stuart Lakernick, David Hardy and Richard Farr will vie for two seats currently held by Daly and Frank Brown.

“The successful candidates in this election will serve until 2024,” said Steve Habeger, elections committee chair. “Many decisions will be made by the board over those years.”

Held at the Ocean Pines Golf Clubhouse, this week’s forum featured only two participants – Daly and Hardy – who were given an opportunity to make opening and closing statements and answer more than a dozen questions submitted by residents.

Daly shared with attendees this week the changes made within the association since he was first elected in 2018. If re-elected, he vowed to represent the community and continue to improve the association’s finances, infrastructure and management.

“Other candidates get their marching orders from special interest political action groups,” he said. “I do not. My marching orders come from the 8,452 homeowners that comprise this association.”

Hardy said his experience in both the public and private sectors has prepared him for the role of director. If elected, he said he would focus on maintaining quality of life in Ocean Pines and keep homeowners association fees low.

“I’ve had a varied background,” he said, “I’m a homeowner, a father, a grandfather now. I’ve lived my life, and I have proven myself capable of taking on new opportunities, new responsibilities and being very successful.”

When asked how they would support the separation of responsibilities between the board and OPA staff, Daly said he would carry out his responsibilities as outlined in the association’s bylaws.

“I think the responsibilities are clearly defined,” he said, noting that the board establishes policies and objectives while the general manager handles daily operations. “Where we run into problems is when one side, be it the staff or the GM, gets in the board’s business or the board gets in the GM’s business. That’s clearly defined in the bylaws and it shouldn’t be done.”

Hardy said he would work with the general manager and board members to address any issues.

“I would go to the general manager or board members to have a discussion and decide what’s appropriate, to give guidance or recommendations, depending on the situation …,” he said. “The community, or any individuals within the staff, need to advise us of any concerns so we can respond.”

Candidates this week were also asked about the replacement of the crabbing pier and the association’s long-term plan for the beach club. Daly said he believed the association could extend the life of the facility and save money by renovating the beach club.

“I think it is in the absolute best interest of this association to take the facility we have, which is a very usable facility, and extending its life by doing exterior renovations to seal the envelope and by doing interior renovations,” he said.

Hardy agreed.

“My understanding is you now have a building that eventually, 20 years from now, we need to talk about replacing,” he said. “Until that time, you have an excellent facility that gives a beach experience to those who go there.”

When asked their vision for the association in five years, Daly said he would like to see assessments remain affordable and facilities maintained, among other things.

“Keep it safe, keep it affordable, keep it in good working order,” he said, “keeping all the services the association delivers to you as a first-rate service, with good customer service.”

Hardy said his vision for Ocean Pines would be based on what the community wants and what the community can afford.

“I moved into this community because it was safe, because it has amenities, things I and my family like to do,” he said. “I want that there into the future, beyond five years. I don’t want us to let things fall into disrepair.”

Candidates this week were also given an opportunity to ask each other a question. Daly asked Hardy, a newcomer to OPA politics, how he would educate himself on the issues the community is facing.

“I don’t know everything …,” Hardy replied. “But on the other hand, I can bring a new perspective … I’m an individual who has no agenda and wants to do something for his community.”

Hardy asked how Daly would address and overcome differences in personalities among board members.

“I think the trick to getting things done in the community is to focus on the issues and not who brings the issues to the table …,” Daly replied. “You put the personalities aside, focus on the issue, listen to what people say about how the issue should be solved in a collaborative manner and move forward.”

Discussions in this week’s candidate forum ranged from placing recycling bins at the mailboxes to sharing priorities in drafting the association’s strategic plan. The two forums are recorded and posted to the Ocean Pines YouTube channel and website,

In separate Facebook posts this week, both Farr and Lakernick said scheduling conflicts had precluded them from attending Tuesday’s forum.

Habeger noted ballots will be mailed to association members this week. Ballots for this year’s election are due back by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 11 and can be returned by mail or by using the drop box located in the lobby of the Ocean Pines Police Department.

Ballots will be counted on Friday, Aug. 13. However, election results will be validated, and a winner will be announced, at the association’s annual meeting on Saturday, Aug. 14.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.