All seven candidates for the Ocean Pines Board of Directors took part in the second and final official candidate forum, Saturday morning in the community center.
Candidates fielded questions from Elections Committee Chairman Steve Habeger about the proposed North Gate roundabout, solving the community’s drainage problem, and finding a permanent general manager, among other topics.
Questions were developed by the committee and sourced from homeowners.
To view a video of the second candidate forum, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rTSulyOPAw.
Video of the first forum, held June 12, can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFvfp9daOlI.
Voters this year may select up to three candidates from the pool of seven, which include, in ballot order, Tom Janasek, Larry Perrone, Camilla Rogers, Paula Gray, Shawn Kotwica, Edward Solum and Gregory Turner. The top three voter-getters will each be elected to three-year terms on the Ocean Pines Board.
The cutoff for voter eligibility is July 3. As of this week, about 960 Ocean Pines homeowners are not eligible to vote because they are “not in good standing,” meaning they either have outstanding violations or unpaid assessments. Under current Ocean Pines bylaws, homeowners on a monthly payment plan are ineligible to vote.
For questions about voter eligibility, contact Membership and Assessment Supervisor Ruth Ann Meyer at 410-641-7717 ext. 3031, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last year, 7,614 ballots were mailed and 3,119 were counted, a return rate of about 41 percent. Eighty total ballots were rejected, with the vast majority, 66, disqualified because they were received after the voting deadline.
Also last year, the difference between the third-place finisher, who was elected, and the fourth-place finisher, who was not, was just 23 votes.
With that in mind, the Elections Committee is reminding homeowners “Your Vote Counts” though a campaign encouraging all voters to pay close attention both to election deadlines and to ballot instructions.
“We can’t predict another close election, but last year your vote really did count,” Habeger said. “Once again, we’re asking everyone to make sure they’re in good standing by the July 3 deadline, to review their ballots and vote carefully, and to make sure their ballots are returned on time.”
Ballots will be mailed to all association members in good standing during the week of July 8. They may be returned either to the ballot box inside the police department office in the Ocean Pines Administration Building on 239 Ocean Parkway or mailed to the Ocean Pines post office box in Berlin.
Ballots will be counted, and vote totals announced, on Aug. 9 at 10 a.m. in the East Room of the Ocean Pines Community Center on 235 Ocean Parkway. The election results will be validated on Aug. 10 at 10 a.m. during the Annual Meeting of Membership in the Assateague Room of the Ocean Pines Community Center on 235 Ocean Parkway.
For questions about the election, email email@example.com.