OPA Announces Six Candidates For 2022 Board Election

OCEAN PINES – Director Rick Farr, Ocean Pines’ new association secretary, announced this week that he has certified six candidates as eligible to run in this year’s board election.

With the application deadline now past, the Ocean Pines Association (OPA) this week announced the six certified candidates for the 2022 Board of Directors election – incumbents Amy Peck and Josette Wheatley, and residents Monica Rakowski, Stuart Lakernick, Paula Gray and Stephen Jacobs.

This year, three board seats currently held by Directors Larry Perrone, Peck and Wheatley will be up for grabs in the election process. In a comment this week, Farr said the six candidates have met the application deadline of May 10 and all eligibility requirements.

“All candidate meet the minimum criteria set forth by section 5.02 of the OPA bylaws,” he said.

With Wheatley running for a seat in this year’s election, Association President Colette Horn announced Wheatley’s resignation as association secretary last week. To that end, the OPA Board of Directors held a special meeting last Friday to elect a new officer.

“Although it is not a requirement that she resign, she resigned her secretary duties because of the potential for conflict in the candidate verification process, which is one of the secretary’s responsibilities,” Horn said. “So I want to thank Josette for the work she did for this board in her term as secretary. We wish her well in her candidacy.”

Following her remarks, Horn announced that Farr had been nominated to fill the secretary position.

“He has agreed to step up and assume those duties if elected,” she added.

With no further discussion, a motion to elect Farr as secretary passed 5-0, with Wheatley and Peck absent. Horn noted that Farr’s liaison duties will be reassigned to both Wheatley and Peck.

“Josette Wheatley has agreed to take on the ARC liaison position, and Amy Peck has agreed to take on the Rec and Parks liaison position,” she said.

According to the association’s bylaws, the secretary is responsible for keeping meeting minutes and performing functions associated with elections and referendums, among other things. The secretary is also responsible for verifying candidates’ eligibility in board elections.

Farr’s nomination to the post of secretary comes less than a year after the association’s former officer, Camilla Rogers, disqualified him as a candidate during the 2021 board election over his homeownership status in the Pines. Following a months-long legal battle, a Worcester County Circuit Court judge in January granted Farr’s claims for declaratory judgement and ruled him an eligible Pines homeowner and eligible candidate in the 2021 election. He was seated as the association’s newest board member two weeks later.

The association on Monday also announced the dates for upcoming election events.

An eligible candidate draw and workshop – to determine ballot and forum order – will be held June 7 at 2 p.m. in the Ocean Pines Community Center. The first candidate forum will be held June 22 at 6 p.m. in the Clubhouse meeting room, and a second candidate forum will be held June 25 at 10 a.m. in the Clubhouse meeting room.

The cutoff date for voter eligibility is July 6, and ballots will be mailed out no later than July 12 with a return date of Aug. 10 by 4 p.m.

Ballots will be counted, and vote totals will be announced, the next day, Aug. 11, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Clubhouse meeting room.

The annual meeting will be held Saturday, Aug. 13, at a time and venue to be determined. Those with questions about the election are asked to contact [email protected].

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.