OPA Mails Out Ballots For Bylaws Referendum

OCEAN PINES – Ballots for a community referendum on 28 bylaw revisions are being mailed out this week.

The Ocean Pines Association (OPA) reports all eligible voters will soon receive ballots for an upcoming referendum on proposed bylaw revisions. Ballots will be due back by 4 p.m. on May 19.

“We ask that homeowners consider the changes, which were vetted by the board and by several committees, and discussed in public with the membership. These were also reviewed by Ocean Pines’ attorney,” said Association President Colette Horn. “We believe these changes are necessary to clear up some inconsistencies in the bylaws, and to help protect the association from future litigation.”

In February, the OPA Board of Directors voted to support several motions involving amendments to sections of the association’s bylaws, including those related to the candidate verification process and candidate eligibility requirements.

Nearly 30 motions advanced to a public hearing last month, during which several residents asked the board to reconsider the referendum.

Horn, however, noted the proposed changes come after more than a year of review by a board committee, the Bylaws and Resolutions Advisory Committee, and the full Board of Directors. She said several public meetings were also held to review the proposals. In late March, the board voted to have legal counsel develop the appropriate amendments for an upcoming vote.

In total, homeowners will be asked to consider 28 revisions to the OPA bylaws. Explanations of the proposed changes have been included on the association’s website, oceanpines.org, and in the referendum mailing.

Officials say ballots may be returned by mail or to the ballot box inside the Ocean Pines Police Department lobby on 239 Ocean Parkway. All ballots, however returned, must be sealed in the return envelope provided in the mailing. Use of a different envelope or no envelope will void the ballot.

Association members are strongly encouraged to use the ballot box due to current uncertainties with the U.S. Postal Service. The ballot box is accessible 24 hours a day.

To be eligible to vote, homeowners must have paid their 2021 assessment by 4 p.m. on April 15.

For more information on the upcoming referendum, or to request a duplicate ballot, email [email protected] or call 410-208-3989. For questions about voter eligibility, email [email protected].

Ballots will be counted on May 20 in the Peach Room of the Ocean Pines Administration Building on 239 Ocean Parkway, starting at 10 a.m. The count will be open to the public and will be recorded and posted to the association website.

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.