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Ocean Pines incumbents seeking re-election ahead of May 10 filing deadline

The two incumbents whose seats on the Ocean Pines Association’s Board of Directors are running up this year have already filed for re-election as the political season gets underway.

Pines vote sign

File photo

By Tara Fischer, Staff Writer 

The Ocean Pines Association’s Board of Directors is gearing up for the 2024 election process as two seats on the seven-person volunteer panel are up for grabs.

Elections Committee Chairperson Tom Piatti said the terms currently held by Board President Rick Farr and Director Jeff Heavner are coming to an end. However, both members have publicly announced their candidacy for reelection. 

Ocean Pines homeowners who wish to run for the community’s governing group must complete a candidate application and submit it to OPA Secretary John Latham by 4 p.m., May 10. The resident’s eligibility will then be determined. 

Piatti said that on June 7, the Elections Committee will conduct a workshop to establish the ballot order and seating arrangements for the candidate forum, the date of which is still being decided. Board contenders can use signage, local and social media advertising, and direct mail to create support for their campaigns. 

“We encourage anyone thinking about running to do their homework, read up on the association’s governing documents, attend the regular meetings, and volunteer,” Piatti said in a news release issued by OPA Director of Public Relations and Marketing Josh Davis. “Volunteers have helped make this community what it is today, and there’s no better way to give back than to serve on our Board of Directors.” 

Piatti said a federally certified contractor with a secure voting platform will conduct this year’s hybrid process. Each eligible voter, consisting of Ocean Pines property owners, will receive an envelope with candidate information and instructions on how to cast ballots online or via USPS. 

“We encourage online voting – it is instantaneous with a return email confirmation,” Piatti said. “It also saves money. The Association will not have to pay USPS Business Reply Mail or processing costs.” 

The deadline to vote is 4 p.m., Aug. 6. The hired contractor will handle ballot counting on Aug. 8. Afterward, the Elections Committee will announce the totals. The post-election annual meeting is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 10. 

Residents interested in applying can pick up an application at the administration building or the Ocean Pines official website.

This story appears in the April 18, 2024, print edition of the Bayside Gazette.