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Jacobs has outsider’s perspective 

Retired lawyer says career on Capitol Hill good experience for political position in Pines

By Jack Chavez, Staff Writer

(July 21, 2022) Steve Jacobs has been in Ocean Pines for a couple of years, perhaps not long enough to gain access to the cliques and factions that form in the tight-knit community over years and decades of political maneuvering and positioning.

Jacobs sees that as a good thing.

“I benefit from the fact that I’m not aligned with any particular camp that may exist around the board or community as a whole,” Jacobs said. “I look at everything with a fresh set of eyes. The other thing I bring is a lot of real-world experience in trying to bring differing points of view together to reach a common goal. I did that for years and years when I worked on Capitol Hill and these trade associations and when I practiced as a lawyer. That’s what your job is.”

The former litigator has extensive experience working with trade associations and helping Latino clients in the Maryland suburbs around Washington, D.C. He has worked for firms that practice family, civil, criminal and property law. He also worked for the Attorney General in Howard County litigating child support for Disability Support Services.

Jacobs hit the ground running when he made it to the Pines. A former HOA president and advisory board member in Montgomery County, he presently volunteers on the Ocean Pines Bylaws and Resolutions Committee.

Jacobs lives with his wife, Nicki. They have two grown sons living in North Carolina.

Considering his background, Jacobs might have found a way to scratch that professional itch while living in the cozy confines of the Pines.

“As much as people belittle it, a lot of what happens is strictly political and I happen to enjoy politics. I like it,” he said. “I’m ready to jump in with both feet. It’s what I’ve done for a lot of my life.”

Looking at the association’s structural and financial situation, Jacobs sees an operation that’s in “pretty good shape.”

“There are always things that will need to get done and people will always want to see things done or at least see progress (on things like) the mailboxes, drainage issues, those sort of ongoing things,” Jacobs said. “As a general rule, I think you have to say the association and the community are in much better shape than it was a few years back. That being said, I think it would be nice if we found a way to discuss and address issues in a relatively civil tone without casting aspersions on people’s motives or personalities.”

Looking toward the future, Jacobs said the Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Department’s renovation of the South Station will be the biggest item to tackle and he has an eye on what may come out of Annapolis that could affect Ocean Pines.

“Potentially — and I think we’re still waiting to get word on this — because of the Maryland legislature, we may have to revisit our reserve accounts,” Jacobs said. “That may affect some of our budgetary decisions. But those are the things you see coming up. We’ll move from that point forward.”

“There are always things that need to be done. People always want to raise things that they feel haven’t been handled properly or something that occurred that requires a new focus. But that’s what happens. That’s the way things operate. We’ll get them all done.”

This week and next week, Bayside Gazette is sitting down with the six candidates for the Ocean Pines Board of Directors election that will be decided next month. To maintain consistency and fairness, all candidates answered the same questions.