(Sept. 1, 2022) The 2022 annual meeting of the Ocean Pines Association included yearly reports from Ocean Pines’ legal representation and auditing firm.
On the legal front, Jeremy Tucker of Lerch, Early & Brewer said his firm has worked with the association since 2016.
In looking at the association’s recent accomplishments, Tucker said, “From my perspective, I think this has been an extraordinarily productive year.”
Among the key accomplishments were the passage of 28 amendments to Ocean Pines bylaws, and the implementation of electronic voting.
“I think approximately 1,000 members voted electronically … that is a great number for the first year out,” he said. “In my experience, that means more and more people over the years will start voting, and that’s a wonderful thing.”
Tucker said online voting helps cut costs and increase participation.
“And it’s very easy to use,” he said. “For those who did vote by electronic transmission, thank you. We hope to see [online voting] continue to grow over the years.”
Tuckers said tennis and pickleball court renovations and the introduction of a water taxi service were also positive additions that involved the work of the firm.
“All of these things have been very practical [and] productive … for the community,” he said. “Sometimes people can’t see the tangible things and those are absolutely tangible achievements.”
On collections, Tucker said the current and previous boards approved an “aggressive, diligent pursuit of unpaid assessments” that has continued to be effective.
That includes $74,000 in unpaid assessments this year and $929,737.28 in total, since 2016.
“That is a wonderful number that we’re pleased to inform you of. It also means that’s how big the delinquency had gotten,” Tucker said, adding he would like to avoid similar large numbers in the future.
“The problem is, those who do pay have to cover the cost of those who don’t,” he said. “So, it is very important that everybody pays. That’s your lifeblood that pays many of the bills, pays staff [and] pays for turning the lights on here … we think that that’s an important thing to continue to do.”
Tucker said he could not comment on pending litigation but noted the insurance company “picked up coverage of that” and appointed a separate legal counsel to handle the case.
“Overall, we believe that this has been a pretty positive year,” Tucker said. “I think the Board has … worked hard together and achieved a lot.
“It has been our pleasure to work with the Board [and] we’re excited to work with the new Board,” he added.
As for the association’s auditor,
Chris Hall of UHY LLP, formerly the TGM Group, said his firm is hired to audit and render an opinion on the Association’s financial statements, which are made available online each year.
To view the 2022 report, visit https://www.oceanpines.org/documents/10184/103786/OPA+Financials+FY22+-+Final.pdf.
Hall said the most important part of that document is the audit report, which can be found on the first three pages.
“The very first paragraph talks about our opinion, and it says, ‘In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects.’ That’s a clean, unmodified opinion [and] that’s the highest level of assurance that any independent accounting firm can give on a financial statement,” he said.
“As auditors, we’re required to assess risks, document our understanding of internal controls, and … test procedures to render an opinion on the set of financial statements that are presented,” he said.
Hall said the review process starts each April with a test of internal controls, including sample counts of inventory onsite in Ocean Pines.
In late May and early June balance sheets and income statements are tested, and in July financial statements are prepared and reviewed.
“All of that leads up to preparing a set of financial statements that we render an opinion on that gets presented at the annual meeting today,” he said. “Congratulations to the board, to staff and everyone – the association is in a very healthy position.”
For questions about the presentation, email email@example.com.
To view slides from the presentation, visit https://www.oceanpines.org/documents/10184/217738/2022+Annual+Meeting+Presentation.pptx.
To view video of the legal report, visit https://youtu.be/LjvWdVTeRpc?t=660.
To view video of the auditor report, visit https://youtu.be/LjvWdVTeRpc?t=1058.