OCEAN PINES – Changes to the association’s candidate application were approved at a special meeting last week.
In a special meeting last Friday, the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors voted to revise the candidate registration form for board elections.
President Colette Horn said the reflected changes make a section of the application optional.
“The motion is to revise Attachment B of Resolution M-09, the candidate registration form, such that all questions in Section 2 of the form are identified as optional,” she said. “The purpose and effect is to remove confusion about the necessity to respond to the questions in Section 2 of the recently revised candidate registration form.”
Horn said that while the Ocean Pines Bylaws and Resolutions Committee acknowledged the questions were meant to inform voters, they were not required.
“There was no intention that answering these questions would be a requirement for a candidate’s application to be considered,” she said.
“The form that was approved did not indicate this. This proposed motion corrects that and removes any confusion about the necessity for candidates to answer the questions in the section.”
Director Doug Parks said he was in support of the proposed revisions, but questioned if the applications would still be considered public record. Horn said it would.
“I just want to make sure that it’s public record and that people understand there’s going to be different perspectives on whether or not those questions are answered,” Parks added.
Director Larry Perrone noted that the upcoming referendum on proposed bylaw revisions could change the candidate application.
“The only issue I have is if the bylaws don’t change the way we want them to change, then we’ll need to go back and take a look at this form again in regard to a couple of these questions,” he said. “Nothing we have to do now, but depending on how the bylaws vote goes, we have to take another look at this. I’m at the point where if these questions are optional, I’m not sure they have a lot of value anyway.”
Director Amy Peck questioned what would be required of candidates who have received the older form.
“If someone’s already filled out and turned in an application – I know we have one so far, and it’s the old application – do they need to resubmit this new one?” she asked. “Or is any application good at this point?”
Horn said either application would be accepted. Parks, however, recommended each candidate complete the same form.
“Nobody can come back and argue there was an inconsistency in the forms,” he said. “We can go on the record saying we updated the form and gave that individual an opportunity to resubmit the form, and he or she did not but we still accepted the original application.”
“I think we have to take them as they are …,” he said. “But just for consistency, it might be nice for everybody to fill out the same form. If a candidate refuses, a candidate refuses.”
With consensus from the board, Horn said all applicants would be asked to complete the new form. Perrone suggested that Tom Piatti, chair of the community’s Search Committee, be tasked with reaching out to candidates.
“You should talk to Piatti, as chairman of the search committee, because quite honestly we should have no idea how many applications have been submitted at this point,” he said.
“He’s scheduling a candidate workshop soon, and that would be a good time for him to address this,” she replied.
With no further discussion, the board voted 5-0, with Directors Frank Daly and Rick Farr absent, to approve the revisions to the candidate registration form on second reading.