Regardless of whether the OPA Board of Directors has the authority t0 act in this instance, or even if some members have had it in for Tom Janasek for some time, the board’s vote last week to suspend the former director’s amenities privileges for 90 days was appropriate.
By all accounts, his comments to Director Josette Wheatley during a May 20 confrontation at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club weren’t just in poor taste, they were way, way out of bounds. In fact, he’s lucky she didn’t slug him.
That she didn’t, or couldn’t out of fear of retaliation, is why the board had to dish out punishment for her. Men simply do not get to call women this particular profanity without consequences, and anyone who thinks they should be able to do that needs to lift his knuckles off the floor.
People can make note of how wild and crazy Ocean Pines politics are, but that is no excuse and it is no license to violate the most basic rules of civility because of a disagreement. Never mind that the whole country seems to have gone nuts in this regard, it just isn’t right.
Bear in mind, however, that taking action was not the responsibility of the club’s management, the Matt Ortt Companies, just as the company should not be blamed for simply being the location of this unfortunate situation. Its job is to survive and succeed by staying out of the political chaos for which Ocean Pines is known.
No, this breach of good conduct was an OPA membership issue and it was rightly overseen by those who are responsible for and to association members. After all, if membership has its rights and privileges, then the latter is susceptible to revocation when the rights of others are violated.
Because of the personalities involved, residents will debate the legitimacy of the board’s exercise of authority in this matter and its decision. They should not, considering that nothing would be said if the parties involved were unknown in the community. The directors did what they had to do and that should be the end of it.