Close Menu
Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Bayside Gazette Editorial 7/11/24: Directors take easy, best route with Viola

It’s inevitable that the ever-present critics in Ocean Pines will question the salary General Manager John Viola is expected to receive as part of his newly signed contract extension.

With an annual paycheck a little north of $200,000, according to unofficial estimates, Viola might be the highest-paid government/public service administrator in the county, and certainly will earn more than his administrative counterpart in Ocean City.

The irony, however, is that the difference in paychecks is not because Viola is overpaid but because Ocean City’s top administrator is underpaid based on total budget, level of responsibility and the scope of the operation.

Besides, the Ocean Pines manager’s job requires a certain level of tolerance for the hassle factor that comes with the territory, the numerous committees that must be dealt with and the challenge of balancing the pursuit of money-making opportunities against the need to keep amenities as accessible to members as possible.

Newer members of the association might not remember the bad old days, when an annual spring tide of red ink washed over the ledger and no GM seemed capable of winning the confidence of the board of directors and the public.

That changed when Viola took over as general manager, as he guided the association out of those troubled waters and into financial security with the support of the board.

Considering what Viola has been able to do for Ocean Pines during his time on the job, there’s no reason to do anything but retain his services for as long as possible and delay the day when the directors must go fishing for a replacement with no guarantee that they will land a keeper.

Congratulations to the directors for taking the smart route by extending Viola’s contract, and to Viola for making their choice an easy one.