Learn more about your OPA Board Candidates before you VOTE!
In order to help you make your decision in this upcoming Board of Directors, the OPA Elections Committee presents the biographies submitted by each of the SEVEN candidates and answers to 3 questions. They are presented here in the same order as listed on the ballot. These candidates’s are seeking voter’s support to fill one of TWO VACANT board positions for 3-year terms. The candidates are……….
100 Bramblewood Drive
My husband Glenn and I became full-time residents of OP in 2009 and our beach house became home. I was elected to the OPA Board in 2010 and served as Treasurer and Secretary. The success of our community depends on leadership dedicated to moving forward together. Your vote can make a difference.
1223 Carrollton Lane
What homeowners want and deserve is someone to protect their investment in this great community. A prosecutor for 20 years, a leader with budget and management experience in both corporations and HOA’s, a Vote for Cheryl Jacobs brings a fresh face with qualifications to make decisions that protect our investment.
22 Liberty Street
My reasons for running for re election the BOD of OPA are simple. I enjoy being on the Board. This current BOD are a great bunch of dedicated members of our community and even though we often
disagree on policies or actions, we are able to work out a compromise that benefits all of Ocean Pines.
1603 Mercer’s Way
I will work to enact policy changes that will encourage residents to use our amenities, foster a more pro-active approach to correcting the deficiencies in our infra-structure, improve the interactions among our community, Board, and OPA management. I would be honored to represent the association in pursuing those goals.
111 Tail of the Fox Dr.
I have solid educational, business, financial and community service experience backed by common sense and a commitment to Ocean Pines. As a former President, VP and Treasurer of OPA (2006-2008), I know the issues and will hit the ground running. Before you vote, let’s discuss your concerns: email@example.com, 410-208-2551.
5 Sandpiper Lane
I would like to represent fellow OPA members in decisions that affect those who have chosen to invest in our community. I will bring new energy and a positive approach to matters from the view of homeowners who enjoy our quality of life which, in turn, greatly impacts property values.
20 Drawbridge Rd.
As a 30-year professional with IT industry I bring innovation and creativity. I am FOR: outsourcing some OPA services, fixing crumbling bridges and drainage problems, improving appearance of North and South entrances and more transparency. I am AGAINST: raising HOA or AMENITY FEES, excessive Reserve Fund, wasteful spending, non-essential projects.
Note: This email contains the correct answer for Candidate Tom Herrick for Question #1. His answer for #2 was placed accidentally in the answer for questions #1 and #2 in an earlier online version and the printed version of the Ocean Pines Summer Report .
#1. What are the advantages & positive aspects of living in Ocean Pines and how did that influence your decision to run for the Board of Directors?
My husband and I had been drawn to Ocean Pines for many years, always thinking we would eventually make this our home. Many friends had relocated to “The Pines” and always encouraged us to make the move. We spent many weekends wandering throughout the community by car and on foot and were always met with a friendly smile or that signature wave. We enjoyed the restaurants, the parks, activities and of course, the ocean, but what sealed the deal for us was the sense of community and pride we felt from all whom we encountered. Now as a full-time resident who works, lives and plays in our community, I can say without a doubt, we made a great decision. OP continues to grow and thrive as a vibrant, beautiful and very important part of Worcester County and it is important to that I contribute to the continued success of our community. I am very proud to call Ocean Pines home.
Ocean Pines is a beautiful, friendly and safe community with so much to offer to residents and visitors, not to mention its close proximity to Ocean City and all its attractions. Many additions to the community in the past several years have enhanced the Pines’ ability to provide venues for recreation, dining, and entertainment. We have it all right here. My decision to run for the Board of Directors is directly related to protecting our investment as homeowners and to continue to maintain and improve upon what we already have achieved, making sure our future is carefully planned.
I enjoy being involved in decision making for my community .
What initially drew my interest to Ocean Pines was its location close to the beach, but more importantly, I soon discovered its strong sense of community. My first home as a young man was in another HOA community that also had many amenities for the residents to enjoy and I have always appreciated that lifestyle. Ocean Pines offered all this to me, as well as a safe clean environment which included the benefit of having our own police, fire/EMT and public works departments. Recently though, I have noticed some policy changes including the imposition of additional user fees regarding our amenities that have been detrimental to the community. I would like to see this trend reversed and these policies modified to encourage membership growth and active participation. This will make our amenities more attractive, affordable and enjoyable for all. I would also like to implement a more effective and pro-active approach in maintaining and improving on our infrastructure. Residents need to have their ideas and concerns heard so that the Board can better serve the entire community. By fostering a better working relationship between the community, the Board, and OPA management I believe I can help our community achieve these goals.
Diversity was one of the key factors when we decided to move to Ocean Pines; diversity in population, diversity in housing, diversity in life style and diversity in amenities. Ocean Pines is in a transition from a fast growing vacation and retirement community to one with an influx of younger families needing differing amenities and services. My civic experience has taught me the importance of working together to balance divergent needs. The first and most important step in achieving balance is to listen to the members. I have always advocated published board motions and workshop meetings as a way to actively seek input prior to the board setting policy. I will make every effort to insure that the board is responsive to the membership and is transparent in its decision making.
Jack and I started looking for our second home in 1996, planning to retire wherever we chose in 2010. When investigating properties for sale in Ocean Pines, one of the greatest advantages we immediately recognized is the obvious indication that rules and restrictions are in place to insure that a certain level of upkeep and maintenance is expected of individual property owners. When we finally purchased our second home in 2000, we felt confident that it would be safe in our absence over the next 10 years of our plan. This was due, in great part, to the very positive aspect of having caring and sharing neighbors, all proud to live in Ocean Pines, and all willing to watch over our investment. As fate would have it, we were able to live here full time within 5 months of our purchase. For the past 15 years, we have lived here, played here, volunteered and worked here. Running for a board position and, if elected, committing three years to supporting the success of Ocean Pines is purely selfish on my part. This is my happy place and I want it that way for many years to come!
As property owners we already know what Ocean Pines’ values influenced us to become members of this community. The location is exceptional. Our diverse population makes the community vibrant. We have a range of facilities that meet our everyday needs. Our amenity choices make other communities envious. We have over 50 social and special interest clubs that keep everyone engaged and active. I decided to become a candidate because we need to do a better job in preserving values that brought us here to begin with. And to continue to improve our community in the ways that will benefit most homeowners not just few.
#2 What is your history of community involvement within Ocean Pines and in other communities and how does this prepare you for a Board of Directors position?
Terri Mohr- I was privileged to serve as an OP Board Member from 2010-2014, was selected as Secretary and Treasurer during my tenure and acted as liaison to the Parks & Rec, Budget & Finance, Aquatics, Environmental & Natural Assets, and Elections committees. I have maintained my membership on the Parks & Recreation Committee. Prior to relocating to Ocean Pines, I was appointed to the Anne Arundel Community College Board of Trustees by the Governor of Maryland, served on the AACC Foundation Board, was a founding member of the West Anne Arundel County Rotary Club. I participated in many volunteer activities including Relay for Life, Susan Komen Race and music ministry. Currently, I am very active in the Relay for Life and the music ministry in the Catholic Church. Work experience includes medical practice management for thirty five years, teaching Medical Assisting at the community college level as well as serving as the Director for two Chambers of Commerce in Anne Arundel County. All of my experiences have given me insight into the workings of a community organization.
Cheryl Jacobs- Despite working full-time out of Ocean Pines during the week, I have been involved in the community as a Past President of the Friends of the Worcester County Commission for Women (WCCW), served on the Board of the WCCW and for two years co-chaired the largest fund raising event, the Women’s History Luncheon, that funds the McGuffey Bookworm program providing books and book bags to a number of Worcester County elementary schools to ensure summer reading “brain gain”. Additionally, I was a Vice President of the HOA at Heron Harbour in Ocean City and was Secretary of the HOA at the Colonnade in Baltimore. All of these positions have prepared me to be an effective Board of Director in Ocean Pines.
Ray Unger – I was elected to two terms on the OPA Board of Directors and past president of the Ocean Pines Area Chamber of Commerce.
Tom Herrick – Immediately after relocating to Ocean Pines, I became very active in the community. I became a member of the Beach and Golf Clubs and joined the OC-Berlin Optimist Club. I purchased a small boat and kept it at the Yacht Club Marina and became a frequent visitor of the Yacht Club itself. Next, I joined the Platform Tennis and the Boat Club. I served on the Racquet Sports Advisory Committee and also as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Platform Tennis. I regularly attend Board meetings and Town Hall meetings and stay appraised of local current events. I believe my involvement in these activities has given me the insight and experience to observe how Board and OPA management decisions directly affect and influence the welfare of our community.
Bill Zawacki – I have the best possible preparation for a Board of Directors position; “Been there, done that, and more!” I was elected to the Board in 2006 and served as Treasurer (2006-2007), President (2007-2008) and Vice President (2008-2009). During that time, I also served as Board Liaison to the Budget and Finance, Comprehensive Plan, Clubs and Communications Advisory Committees. Before moving to Ocean Pines, I resided in Leesburg, Virginia where I was a member of the Planning Commission, Chairman of the County Economic Development Board, President of Loudoun Restoration and Preservation Society, Chairman of the County Tourism Board and President of the Chesterfield Place Condo Association. As a former OPA Director and Corporate Officer, I am thoroughly familiar with board policies, procedures and practices as well as our financial reporting systems. I also have broad-based experience participating in and conducting executive meetings in both business and volunteer environments.
Carol Ludwig – As a result of my volunteer activities in Ocean Pines, I have knowledge of the governance of our Homeowners’ Association, our Declaration of Restrictions, and our Resolutions and Bylaws. And I have enjoyed meeting, working with, and listening to the concerns of many fellow residents:
– Secretary, Ocean Pines Comprehensive Planning Committee -4 years. Our team did extensive investigations into Worcester County’s Comprehensive Plan and how it impacted Ocean Pines, the study to upgrade/update Route 589 and the need to update Ocean Pines Comprehensive Plan to meet the drastic changes in our demographics.
-Secretary and Chair of Ocean Pines Ad hoc to the Architectural Review Committee at the request of Acting GM Glen Duffy. This team was directed to identify the issues regarding RV owners and their permitting, the status of ARC variance/building permit issues and the procedures of Inspections and Permitting in keeping with our Declaration of Restrictions. Our final report involved 18 resolutions that were all accepted by the Board of Directors and included the creation of Compliance, Permitting and inspections as a separate entity from the Architectural Review Committee.
-Chair and Secretary for Clubs Advisory Committee- 5 years.
-Chair for Ocean Pines 40th Anniversary Celebration at the request of the OA Board of Directors
-Awarded as the 2009 Sam Wilkinson Volunteer of the Year by OPA Recreation and Parks
-Member of the Task Force to work with SHA on traffic relief at North Gate. We were directed to measure and identify where county/state responsibility begins and ends for ingress/egress from Ocean Pines to 589. The positive results included traffic signal control sensors on Ocean Parkway that respond to a back-up of exiting vehicles.
-Member of the Facilities Group Task Force to identify and prioritize all of our facilities according to their condition and maintenance needs. One result of this task force was the “campus environment” approach when considering a schedule of construction/replacement/repairs.
-Currently a member of the Facilities Use Task Force-our team is working with GM Bob Thompson to identify a fair and equitable procedure, in line with Resolution M02, to assist Recreation and Parks in responding to the numerous requests from our membership to use the Community Center.
– Volunteer for all Easter/Halloween and Reindeer Lane programs for the past 11-12 years.
-Volunteer Bingo caller for 3 Recreation and Parks Family Bingo Nights.
-During my tenure as Executive Director of the Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce I had the opportunity to understand how to work successfully with a volunteer Board of Directors while trying to manage the daily business of growing the chamber membership and keeping their interests at the forefront of all decisions.
– In both PA and MD I have volunteered with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Special Olympics Team Capt., Chaperone /Vocal Coach/Guest Conductor of High School and Middle School Students.
-Director of the Delmarva Chorus since 2001. During my 37 years of membership to Sweet Adeline’s I have served on the Regional Board of Directors, Teaching Staff and Management Team for the region of PA, DE, MD, NJ and W.VA.
Slobodan Trendic – We became full-time residents almost two years ago and for personal reasons were unable to become fully active. However I observed some disappointing board and management decisions which lead me to write and speak publically. Some of you read my commentary in last year’s OP Progress newspaper titled: “OPA directors blunder on general manager contract.” I am also involved with S. T. O. P. (Stop Taxing Ocean Pines), whose action brought an end to the ill conceived $6 Million Dollar community hall. My most memorable time was my involvement with the 1984 Summer Olympics. I still treasure my volunteer medal. On a professional level I was involved with Washington-based organizations for over 20 years. As a member of the corporate team I interacted with: the private sector, political and government leaders and embassy diplomats, The World Bank and IMF. Areas of my focus were: business development, trade promotion and policy issues with organization like: US-Asean Business Council, Corporate Council on Africa, US-Russia Business Council, Nat’l Association of Manufacturers, Trans-Atlantic Business Council, US Chamber of Commerce, Brazil-US Business Council and US-China Business Council. I hope the above examples make me a suitable candidate for the Board of Directors.
#3 What do you consider to be the most important infrastructure challenges facing the Ocean Pines community and how would you address these challenges?
Terri Mohr- My top three: Capital Improvement Plan, Aging Infrastructure, and Civility. The Capital Improvement Plan seems to have come to a screeching halt. I remember the process of rebuilding the Yacht Club and promising our membership that we would take stock of our assets, assess our needs for the future and create a solid plan. I would like to get this back on track with a definitive timeframe for completion so that we can move forward. Our aging infrastructure is in part buildings, roads, drainage and the like but also includes our computer systems and operational needs. We have grown exponentially as a community of 8400 homes with 15,000 full-time residents. Our operational infrastructure has not kept pace with this growth. Without adequate computer systems in place, our operations are at risk. This process will be long and time consuming and I believe we have let it lag too long. Civility is in my top three because I believe that without a mutual respect for each other, we will not be able to accomplish much. While I will be the first person to acknowledge that a healthy, lively debate is always good for discussion; negative, insulting and rude behavior is counter-productive and damaging to our community. I have been so disappointed in the behavior of some members of our Board and quite frankly, embarrassed by their actions. The Board is elected by the members of the Ocean Pines Association and they represent all of us. We look to the Board for support of our management team and all employees of OPA. If elected, I will work to restore a good working relationship with staff and those who serve as volunteers in our community.
Cheryl Jacobs -I believe a few of the most important infrastructure challenges are the bridges, roads and information technology (IT). Any prudent person knows that these represent items that are going to require careful study and planning to project short-term and long-term needs to be able to budget accordingly. In the past, decisions have been made that some may characterize as “band aide” fixes. A more thorough approach is required and in some cases working cooperatively with the County. We have many very talented people within Ocean Pines; but, we do not necessarily have the in-house experts appropriate for every project. Understanding our limitations and knowing when to engage the services of experts will ensure the money that will be spent is properly identified, budgeted and adequate for completing future projects. My goal as a Board member will be to work collaboratively with other Board members, the GM, Department heads, committee advisory groups and community members to develop cost effective short-term and long-term plans that protect our investment as property owners.
Ray Unger – Maintaining physical and beauty in structures of Ocean Pines Association.
Tom Herrick – Ask this question to many of our residents and you will get a variety of answers. A resident whose crawl space or yard becomes flooded during heavy rains would certainly believe that drainage problems are a big priority. Another resident who frequently visits the Beach Club may feel that remodeling the bathroom facilities at that location is most important. Still others might cite information technology needs as a pressing need. Back in 1998 Ocean Pines had a Comprehensive plan which addressed some of these issues. I recently read a fall 2009 Ocean Pines Newsletter that mentioned a “10 year Task Force” that was to address all our major facilities and infrastructure problems. This Task Force was to prioritize major maintenance, review funding requirements, and schedule the improvements. The newsletter made mention of two interior bridges, one on Ocean Parkway, and one leading to the golf course, requiring major repairs or replacement in the next two years and “planning is underway”. As far as I can tell, no action has been taken as of yet. We currently have a Capital Improvement Plan with proposed solutions that may include renovation, replacement or increased maintenance of infrastructure and are informed that “additional studies” may also be needed as well. We recently funded a Comprehensive Study to again re-address some of the same issues that the 10 year Task Force already covered. It seems to me that we continually “kick the can down the road” when it comes to infrastructure. My concern is five years from now we will still be in the same situation we are in today. In conclusion, I believe the most important infrastructure challenge facing the Ocean Pines Community is the need to finalize a plan, with prioritized needs and a budget to support it, and then to aggressively pursue the implementation of that plan according to the approved priorities.
Bill Zawacki – The total assets of Ocean Pines is currently $36 Million of which $23 Million is infrastructure related. The biggest challenges at this time are the condition of the Country Club and the Beach Club. Both facilities are in sad need of rehabilitation or replacement with rehab being a poor choice due to their inherent design flaws. It is essential that the capital improvement and comprehensive planning efforts already underway be expedited, completed, adopted, funded and followed in the coming years. The last two, ‘funded and followed’, have given boards trouble in the past. I will work to insure that planned infrastructure improvements move forward with no unnecessary delays. Additionally, two less prominent areas need close monitoring; our bridges and roads. While outside funding should be available to help with replacement of our three aging bridges, the actual work will be extremely disruptive to traffic flow. Preplanning will be key to a successful effort. The issue with our roads is funding related. We no longer receive a gas tax pass-through and now depend on casino impact grants to fund road re-paving. We must closely monitor the continued availability of these grants as the state legislature can change the distribution formulas at any time.
Carol Ludwig – When you consider the changes and limitations in the County and State budgets over the past few years, and the fact that it is in the same period of time when OPA is not expecting additional assessment revenue from new properties, our entire infrastructure is at risk. We must continue to explore aggressive ways to generate revenue to replace the traditional means of funding that are dwindling or no longer coming from our State or County. We need to continue to maintain a realistic budget, clearly define and fund the critical and ongoing maintenance of everything we own, which is all of Ocean Pines. We must also remain vigilant and insure that Ocean Pines is fairly represented in the decisions made at the County and State level. The efforts being put forth to attract “outsiders” to use our amenities are excellent. We need to continue this revenue generating exercise and be even more aggressive in the award winning advertising of our community. Just look at the description put forth by any real estate agent selling a home in Ocean Pines. It is impressive! We are fortunate to have residents who volunteer their talents and knowledge, donate and support our amenities through their activities and club memberships and these needs to continue and grow. With a positive approach to challenges, and the constant goal of the continued success of Ocean Pines on our horizon, we can’t lose. It is often said that there is something here for everyone. There is also something that every one of us can do to keep it that way. Step up, speak up and send your own message by exercising your right to vote. You can’t get any closer to home than your OPA ballot!
Slobodan Trendic -This is the most disturbing reality facing our community. There are many examples of the board’s and general manager’s reckless overspending yet we have a collapsing infrastructure. We need to get our priorities in order. We have deteriorating roads, crumbling bridges, flooded properties due to poor drainage and community entrances in need of a face-lift. We need reliable IT services in order to better manage OPA’s day-to-day operations. We need to invest in what many owners are asking for: more walking trails, bike trails and pedestrian friendly neighborhoods. When elected I will work with my board colleagues in a collaborative way to address our infrastructure and other challenges.Everything is possible if we embrace our common goals and work together as a TEAM.
THE 2015 ELECTION IS SOON UNDER WAY! CAST YOUR VOTE!
Ballots will be mailed next week to all eligible Ocean Pines Property Owners as of July 2.
Please read your enclosed instructions and return ballot(s) by mail or in person by
BALLOT DEADLINE: Thursday, August 6.
BALLOT BOX IS LOCATED AT THE OPA ADMINISTRATION OFFICE
(please use ballot envelope when returning ballots either by mail or in person)
Election Results will be announced at the Ocean Pines Association’s Annual Meeting
Saturday, August 8th @ 10:00 am at the OP Community Center.
For more information about your ballot or the elections, please contact the elections committee hotline at 410-289-3989