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No special sessions set for Pines golf, budget guidance

(Nov. 12, 2015) Despite indications that one or more special sessions could be called, two matters discussed at length during the last regular meeting of the Ocean Pines Board of Directors will likely have to waiting until the next regular meeting, on Nov. 19.
Last month, directors Dave Stevens and Jack Collins raised several questions about the transparency of new golf management company, Landscapes Unlimited.
During the Oct. 29 regular board meeting Stevens said he had not seen a draft of the Nebraska-based company’s business plan, which, according to its contract, was due by Oct. 15. He also questioned Board President Pat Renaud’s judgment in selecting three board liaisons to golf, apparently without the considering of all of the directors.
During a phone interview on Monday, Stevens said Landscapes had delivered its business plan, although he declined to comment “Whether it was good or bad.” He said a follow-up discussion on golf would be scheduled for the November board meeting.
“I think it needs to be discussed in the open and resolved,” he said. “All of those things can happen very easily with a couple of motions and some discussion and votes. I’m hoping that will happen.”
Stevens indicated the same held true for the fiscal year 2016-2017 budget guidance document, suggested by the Budget and Finance Committee and drafted by Director Tom Terry. A motion on that document had been discussed twice during open board meetings, and was twice tabled.
He added that the board did pass budget guidance during the previous year, but that it was virtually unchanged from what the board submitted during the previous year.
Stevens described that document as, essentially, “motherhood and apple pie,” suggesting its effect on the budget was minimal.
“Is it a requirement? Not that I know,” Stevens said. “It’s considered nominally a good idea.”
Terry, last Friday, said a vote on budget guidance could avoid coming up during a meeting altogether, instead getting a vote from the directors via email.
He, too, seemed to downplay the importance of the document, saying General Manager Bob Thompson was “continuing to work on his budget anyway.”
“My personal last communication to the board was, ‘either vote via email or put it into the next meeting. One of those two,’” Terry said, adding that he was away on business and would not be available until the next regular meeting.
“We’ve spent two months putting together this document,” Terry said. “People had weeks to provide working changes or ideas. It was agreed to at a board meeting that those types of things would be submitted. They were submitted. The ideas were put forward and for some reason we didn’t vote on them. As far as I’m concerned we could have just as easily voted on the document.
“If you sense my frustration, you’d be right,” Terry added.
Both issues dominated the previous board meeting and Stevens said both would almost certainly take up substantial time during the Nov. 19 session.
“There are a lot of unresolved issues on the table,” Stevens said. “These should be straightforward things.”