The decision to shift the management of this year’s Ocean Pines Association election from a local business to a West Coast company has turned out to be a huge mistake, as the distance between Election Trust in Washington State and Ocean Pines has proven to be the problem that critics of the move feared it would be.
Election Trust, however, is not totally to blame. Also bearing some responsibility for the unacceptably slow pace of balloting is the U.S. Postal Service, which simply isn’t as reliable as it once was.
Ever since the postal service shifted focus from delivering the mail in a timely fashion to becoming a break-even operation, the quality of service has suffered.
The stories of payments, invoices and letters seemingly lost in space for months at a time continue to be a topic of conversation. Communications returned to their senders as “undeliverable” because of sorting machine failures, rather than faulty addresses, also have become commonplace in some regions, including this one.
It’s not the Postal Service’s people who aren’t doing the job, it’s the system that dictates how the job is done that’s not delivering as promised. And this is despite assertions in the service’s periodic reports that the operation is getting better and is closing in on its goals.
Whether that’s true is beside the point in the case of the board of directors election in Ocean Pines, where critics seem always ready to stir the pot at the slightest provocation.
Knowing that, as well as trusting the mail service to maintain a speedy connection between the association and a company so far removed from the action requires a leap of faith that nothing can or will go wrong.
Now that it has, the OPA needs to return to handling elections the old-fashioned way the next time around. At least if something untoward does happen, it won’t take the better part of a week to make the adjustment.