OCEAN PINES — Sharyn O’Hare has been tempted to run for the OPA board of directors more than a few times since the association was founded. Generally she’s shied away for either business or personal reasons but as the board and the association generally enter what could be a very critical period, O’Hare decided that her time to attempt to serve had come and entered the race. Over the last several years, the recurring issue of what to do with the association’s ailing buildings and infrastructure has been at the forefront of the boards’ and the members’ concerns over the next three years the groundwork will likely be laid for the buildings’ second 40 years. It will mark a critical time in the association’s history and O’Hare believes she can be a useful part of it.
The primary difficulty, as she sees it, is to balance the vast amount of work that will need to be done with the members’ wishes to keep the assessments from getting out of control.
“I don’t think anybody wants to see an increase,” she said.
That said, she does support the continuation of the five-year funding plan for one more year — as the board originally planned — although she’s reserving judgement about what to do should those build-in increases be diverted to pay off the IRS if the OPA ends up losing the current appeal. O’Hare has been a real estate agent in and around Ocean Pines for more than three decades and she said it has given her a particular perspective on the importance of the amenities, especially the facilities.
“People choose Ocean Pines over West Ocean City and Bishopville [for example] because of the amenities,” she said. “They are a critical part of what people like about living in Ocean Pines.”
To that end she believes the board should work to save them in a manner consistent with the responsibility to make things go a little less contentiously. Her historical experience, she feels, will be useful in this.
“I think I can bring something to the board that maybe other people haven’t,” she said.
O’Hare has been a member of Ocean Pines since the first. Her oldest son was the first baby born in the subdivision and she has the kind of fondness and pride in the community borne of having watched it grow from around 100 full-time residents to its current state as a residential resort community.
From her perspective the Yacht Club ought to be replaced but she said that it unlikely a decision of which she will have much control. O’Hare said that the current board will probably get all of the decisions regarding the Yacht Club made before their tenure ends in August.
Whatever the decision is regarding the rebuilding or replacement of the Yacht Club — O’Hare endorses the latter — it will almost certainly inaugurate a new culture in Ocean Pines wherein the proper care will have to be taken of the various facility buildings and other infrastructure.
Better care is something O’Hare said she strongly believes in but she wants to make sure that this directive is balanced with sound financial decisions.
To that end she said she’s already begun doing her homework, meeting with various board members and getting up to speed on the details of the Yacht Club plan and the association finances generally.
“You don’t spend money you don’t have. Period,” she said, adding that she believed it was an important part of keeping the assessments reasonable and retaining and attracting residents. “I want to continue living here for a long time.”