Several Ocean Pines homeowners on Saturday, during the first of three town hall meetings scheduled this fiscal year, thanked Ocean Pines leadership for efforts to improve communication and interactivity.
Laura Pangratz, a part-time resident, said she’s very involved in the Hartford County community where she lives full-time.
“I would like to first thank you for having these environments where there is interaction and the ability to have a town hall, or your regular meetings,” she said. “One thing I think we all need to be appreciative of is that there is interaction, that we can come up here, state a concern, ask a question, and get feedback immediately, right now, from all of you that are present.
“Many boards that I am on, it is not that way … there is no interaction. This is a very unique situation here [in Ocean Pines],” she added.
Pangratz also offered helpful tips for those wishing to speak and be heard.
“There is a reason why we use the microphone, because those of us who are not here who do re-watch meetings … need to hear these comments. We cannot hear them [if you don’t use the microphone], and it is doing a disservice to the rest of the residents who are not able to be here in person,” she said.
“We can all benefit from hearing every comment … everybody deserves to be heard, and I want to be able to hear all of you,” she continued. “[But] there is a reason why we have the microphones out. There is a reason why we need to speak clearly, respectfully, and keep it concise.
“I do appreciate everyone making this effort to keep us all involved,” Pangratz said.
Paula Gray, a former railyard master in Baltimore who has twice run for a seat on the Ocean Pines Board, also thanked officials for improving communication.
Association President Doug Parks in August announced his intention to be more interactive during Board meetings and town halls.
“Four years ago, you couldn’t get a question answered if hell froze over,” Gray said. “I want to thank Mr. Parks and the concern of the Board that you have opened up to this type of thing … even if we don’t agree, the ability to come and to discuss and get it out here, I agree with [Pangratz] wholeheartedly.
“The past couple of months I haven’t been here, but I’ve been able to watch on television and it’s made a lot of difference,” Gray continued. “I thank you for the opportunity to just bring all of this out into the open, and I hope you find the ability to do it maybe four times a year instead of three.”
To view the entire meeting video, visit https://youtu.be/OVDYolLleCY.
The town hall will be rebroadcast on Channel 78 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week at noon and again at 7 p.m.