Ocean Pines Board members on Friday approved three capital purchase requests and held a closed-session discussion on matters related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
The meeting was held in the Association Administration Building, but without public in attendance because of Gov. Larry Hogan’s recent executive order limiting public gatherings to no more than 10 people.
Because of that mandate, Board members allowed write-in public comments by email, as well as through a Facebook Live stream.
Association President Doug Parks said Ocean Pines would continue to explore new ways to involve the public, without putting them at risk.
“This is our first foray into a virtual meeting environment [and] it’s still in its testing phases right now,” he said.
Parks added that he, IT Manager Steve Grabowski and Public Relations and Marketing Director Josh Davis successfully tested a virtual meeting application, Microsoft Teams, one day prior.
“It provides both audio and video,” Parks said. “The challenge is how to expand that out into [a] larger and interactive audience, especially in regard to the public comments.
“We’re looking at ways to be creative with regard to making sure that … whatever virtual meeting that we hold, that we will be able to have public comments and have the audience interact with us,” Parks continued. “More to come on that.”
Parks also encouraged support for local restaurants, many of which were hurt by mandatory closures related to the Coronavirus crisis.
“Whatever we can do to patronize our restaurants and so on and so forth, I’d ask that you do that,” he said. “I know that the Yacht Club is offering delivery and there are also other restaurants in the area that are offering the same options.”
During capital purchase requests, Board members voted 7-0 to approve two new drainage pipes, for 173 Teal Circle and 80 Teal Circle.
Parks added a third capital request, to buy a generator for the Police station expansion. He said the purchase had been slated for an email vote.
Board members voted 6-1 to approve the purchase, with Director Tom Janasek not in favor. Janasek asked why the generator was not included in the original estimate for the Police station expansion and noted there was an $11,000 discrepancy between bids. He also said there was a lack of information on installation and other items associated with the spend.
Under “new business,” Board members voted 7-0 to adjourn to closed session to discuss “potential actions to be taken relative to the COVID-19 pandemic, specially pertaining to employees, personnel and discussion of individuals owner assessment accounts as permitted by the Maryland Homeowners Association Act, Section 11B-111(4)(viii).”
The reason for the closed session was amended from the published agenda. Parks clarified the original intent was to discuss assessments, but a personnel issue was later added.
Following the closed session, Parks issued the following statement:
“The OPA Board of Directors held a special meeting today to discuss potential options as they relate to payment of the annual assessment. During this time of uncertainty, we felt it prudent to acknowledge the effect the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic is having on many of our resident’s financial situation.
“We discussed several possible options and have asked the General Manager to work with his financial team to analyze the financial impact for each of the options. Our goal is to have several fully vetted solutions that can be considered in the effort to assist OPA members that are being impacted by the current economic conditions. A notification with details on viable options will be forthcoming, early next week.
“As your Board of Directors, we will continue to work on behalf of the membership to address these important issues.”
To view a video of the meeting, visit https://youtu.be/HarKxDcHmQY on YouTube or https://www.facebook.com/OceanPinesAssociation/videos/2620847474690922/ on Facebook.
YouTube links for specific agenda topics are as follows:
Call to Order – Doug Parks, President
Pledge of Allegiance – All
Approval of Agenda – Board https://youtu.be/HarKxDcHmQY?t=25
President’s Remarks – Doug Parks, President https://youtu.be/HarKxDcHmQY?t=132
Public Comments https://youtu.be/HarKxDcHmQY?t=322
Capital Purchase Requests https://youtu.be/HarKxDcHmQY?t=614
Public Works – 173 Teal Circle Drainage Pipe
Public Works – 80 Teal Circle Drainage Pipe
New Business https://youtu.be/HarKxDcHmQY?t=2280
Motion – To Adjourn to closed session for the purpose of discussion of potential actions to be taken relative to the COVID-19 pandemic, specially pertaining to employees, personnel and discussion of individuals owner assessment accounts as permitted by the Maryland Homeowners Association Act, Section 11B-111(4)(viii). – Doug Parks