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OPA Director Dave Stevens: Make Moore’s memo public

(Aug. 27, 2015) While attorney Joe Moore declined to comment on a memo written to the Ocean Pines Board of Directors on Aug. 18, former Board President Dave Stevens, who clashed with Moore during the organizational meeting one day prior, said the entire memo should be made public.
“I think there’s a strong reason why it should go out as a public release,” Stevens said, adding, “It will be made public.”
During the meeting Moore said it was his opinion that board members become board members only after being sworn in during the organization meeting. Stevens argued that the bylaws, and the existing precedent, were that a board members’ term began when the election was announced and certified at the annual meeting.
The issue was raised because when two existing directors, Tom Terry and Pat Renaud, attempted to meet with newly elected Tom Herrick and Cheryl Jacobs while excluding at least two other board members, Stevens and Jack Collins. The meeting, which never took place, would have constituted a quorum.
Moore advised Terry the meeting would have been legal, then reversed his decision a day later and apologized to the board.
“Public releases should go out via the board,” Stevens said on Monday. “I think I’ll send out an email to the rest of the board in that respect.
“Basically [Moore] said he’s wrong,” Stevens continued. “In fact he is wrong about something that, in my opinion, was already settled and discussed a number of times going back, at least to my experience on the board, which is pretty close to 10 years. I have not run into a single person who did not believe right after the results were read they became duly elected members of the board.”
Stevens called Moore’s opinion on when a board member’s term begins “troubling.”
“Our attorney of a long time doesn’t seem to know that,” he said. “It is troubling me a lot because I find it very difficult to believe it.”
Terry, however, sent a response to the board and Moore saying, “no harm was done.”
“You clearly did not intentionally provide an answer which ultimately was not correct [and] no meeting was held,” he wrote. Terry then suggested the board, “adjust the language in our resolutions to make it clear a director has the position as soon as the election is certified.”
Stevens didn’t buy it.
“It is my opinion that Mr. Terry already knew this and was willing to accept Joe’s ruling even though he knew it wasn’t true,” Stevens said. “The thing that Pat Renaud attempted to do [was] send out an email to five directors – once you get passed who’s a director. If it was a secret, closed meeting it’s as wrong as you can get and still be in an HOA.
“To say there’s no harm is disingenuous,” Stevens added.
Moving forward, Stevens said his biggest concern is how the board interacts with its attorney.
“The question is did Pat Renaud or Tom Terry act properly in asking the attorney a question? Did Joe act properly in providing a legal opinion to two board members without sharing it with the rest of the board? Did they act properly taking action coming off this clearly disputed opinion from Joe without sharing it with the rest of the board? Those are the questions I want answered,” Stevens said.
“It doesn’t’ matter whether or not the meeting was held,” Stevens continued. “That’s totally irrelevant. What matters is where do we go forward?”