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Ballots go out in OP election

By Cindy Hoffman, Staff Writer

Voters have four candidates to choose from to fill three  board of directors openings

(July 13, 2023) The ballots for the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors elections have been mailed out this week, giving property owners the opportunity to elect three new members to the association’s governing authority.

On the ballot are John Latham, Jerry Murphy, Elaine Brady and Jeff Heavner.  The top two vote-getters will take the seats vacated by Colette Horn and Doug Parks, both of whom cannot seek reelection because of term limit provisions. The third vote-getter will serve the remainder of Frank Daly’s term, who resigned to move to Florida.

Elaine Brady was the first candidate to throw her hat in the ring. She has lived in Ocean Pines since 2002.  Brady has a multi-generational perspective on the community, as her grandson was raised in Ocean Pines and just graduated from Stephen Decatur High School this year. Her father, Dick Brady, served six years on the board of directors.

Brady is the former publisher of the Bayside Gazette and spent her career working for community newspapers.

“I found it is such a terrific way for myself and others to connect to the communities in which we live and to know what’s going on because the decisions that are made at this level affect our everyday lives,” Brady said.

“I want to continue to connect with the community now that I am retired. I’ve been following the issues for a long time.”

John Latham, who has been an Ocean Pines homeowner since 2013, was the second candidate to file.

“I have been a volunteer for 20 plus years and knew I wanted to continue my passion for service in my community. I am the current president of the Marina Village Condominium Association which allows me to utilize my business and leadership skills to help control costs for our owners and make sure we address the safety, aesthetics and value of our properties,” Latham said.

Latham said if he is elected his focus would be on OP’s finances to ensure the community has proper reserves to address road, drainage and other major projects. He has a background in procurement. He will also prioritize safety, fire and police protection. He is a Marine Corp veteran.

He promised to have a community servant leadership style.

Jerry Murphy and Jeff Heaver added their names, giving Ocean Pines residents two more candidates to choose from.

Murphy has a long history in the Pines. He was the builder of the “round houses” that can be seen throughout the neighborhood.

Murphy moved to Ocean Pines in the early 1970s as a builder. He became a full-time resident in the 1990s. His family purchased the Boise Cascade office, located on Widows Watch Court and in 1990, he took full ownership of the property.

Murphy has experience serving on boards. He said he would like to focus on the safety of the community with increased funds, both public and private, for police recruitment and the Southside Fire Station project.

“In respect to drainage and bulkhead issues, some progress has been made, there is much more to be done. We need to help fund and keep the progress moving forward,” he said.

Heavner and his wife first moved to a condo in Marina Village in Ocean Pines in 2017 and loved it so much that they purchased a single family home in 2019 to become permanent residents.

In his last job, he said, “I thrived asking questions, listening, analyzing, collaborating, making decisions, planning and setting goals that drove safety standards, conserved resources, controlled expenses and delighted customers.”

“I am a problem-solver and have developed proven leadership skills over a career that spanned 5-years of honorable service in the U.S. Navy and 30-years at ExxonMobil Corporation,” Heavner said.

“If elected as a director, I will use my experiences to work with the OP sub-committees, board members, general manager and other supporting staff for responsible investment in continued infrastructure improvements. I would emphasize amenity maintenance and improvement, safety investment, HOA standards, road maintenance and continued bulkhead replacements.”

The deadline to return ballots is Tuesday Aug. 8 by 4 p.m.

Ballots will be counted and vote totals announced Thursday, Aug. 10.

The Ocean Pines Association annual meeting is Saturday, August 12.

Read more about the candidates: