OCEAN PINES – Ocean Pines Director Tom Janasek announced his resignation from the association’s board this week, leaving five remaining directors to appoint two new board members to fill vacant positions.
In a special meeting on Monday, the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors voted by way of secret ballot to appoint candidates Josette Wheatley and Amy Peck to fill two vacant board positions resulting from the resignations of Camilla Rogers and Tom Janasek.
Monday’s agenda included a motion to remove Janasek from the board as a result of comments he made against Director Colette Horn late last month. But before the motion could be considered, Janasek went before the audience during public comments to announce his resignation. While he acknowledged his comments were inappropriate, he said he wasn’t going to apologize for what was said.
“I apologize now for the people who voted for me and the people who supported me because I am not going to stay on the board when I know there’s nothing I can do …,” he said. “This board is run by two people, plain and simple. The minute Cami quit Josette was elected to the board. Once they started going after me, Amy is coming up next.”
A motion to remove Janasek from the board came nearly two weeks after Janasek fired off an email to Horn after seeing her grab a drink with Board President Larry Perrone following a Sept. 30 meeting, in which the board voted to redo the 2021 board election. His email reads, “How deep are you up Larry’s [expletive deleted]?”
Janasek told association members Monday not only was he angry with the outcome of that meeting, but also the actions of Horn and Perrone, who participated in the Sept. 30 meeting via phone after stating he had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19.
“I was angry that Mr. Perrone and Ms. Horn were out celebrating a victory of starting a new election, but what they were celebrating was rigging an election in Ocean Pines,” Janasek said this week. “That’s what we did, nothing else. We have votes sitting in a box. They are ready to be counted. We could’ve done it, but we didn’t. That is what bothered me most, and that’s the thing that still bugs me to this day.”
It should be noted Monday’s motion to remove Janasek from the board is not the first. In November 2020, a motion to remove Janasek over offensive remarks made against General Manager John Viola failed. Instead, the board voted unanimously to censure Janasek, who responded by issuing an apology to Viola.
“I apologized last time when they tried to throw me off the board because I thought it was what was good for the community,” he said this week. “A year later, and here we go again. I do make it easy to do it, but the fact is ever since Larry became president this has been the agenda item.”
Janasek told association members this week his comments were generally made in the interest of serving the community.
“I do it because I try hard to not spend money unwisely,” he said. “I try hard to not do things that don’t benefit the whole community.”
He said one of his chief concerns was unnecessary spending. He then pointed to the association’s attorney, Jeremy Tucker, to prove his point.
“We have an attorney here today,” he said. “It’s almost like, ‘Is it going to rain today? I don’t know, call Jeremy. What am I having for lunch? I don’t know, call Jeremy. Can we get Jeremy here?’ There’s nothing against Jeremy by the way … but what does he have to be here for?”
Janasek concluded his remarks by thanking the environmental committee members he had worked with the last eight years, as well as community members who had encouraged him not to give up. He noted, however, he didn’t want to stay on the board if it required Director Frank Daly’s support. His remark references the Sept. 30 board vote, in which Daly – a candidate in this year’s election – refused to abstain.
“I know that everybody thinks there’s one possibility, but frankly, after Frank voted for his own election, I don’t want his vote to keep me on the board,” he said. “So with that, I resign. Thank you all very much.”
Following the acceptance of Janasek’s resignation, Horn agreed to withdraw the motion to remove Janasek from the board. The five remaining board members then entered into a 30-minute closed session to discuss the appointment of two new directors to complete the existing terms of Janasek and Rogers, who stepped down on Sept. 30 after receiving criticism and threats for disqualifying board candidate Rick Farr from the 2021 election.
“The four candidates are: Jack Collins, Amy Peck, Tom Piatti and Josette Wheatley,” Perrone said in a statement last week.
When the board reconvened in open session Monday, directors submitted paper ballots with their top two choices. Wheatley and Parks received four votes each, while Piatti received two votes and Collins received none.
The board then voted by paper ballot to elect Wheatley as the new association secretary, a position previously held by Rogers.
The two new directors will complete the existing terms, both of which run until August 2022.