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Pines infighting continues ahead of golf showdown

(Jan. 8, 2015) Contention continued among the members of the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors this week, as a new set of internal memos suggests unrest between several members.
Director Sharyn O’Hare came under fire from board President Dave Stevens after sending an email stating she had heard about support for current course manager Billy Casper Golf, but had not seen any actual letters.
“We need the golfers to send those emails to the directors in the next two weeks,” O’Hare wrote.
O’Hare added that a special meeting was set for Jan. 9 and that she hoped “we can get the golfers out in force for that meeting … I think this meeting will be informative and important for all the golfers.”
Board President Dave Stevens accused O’Hare of “rallying the troops.”
“This is not a new thing for Sharon [sic] whether it be golfers or the clubs committee, or any other group, who given the right amount of misinformation will come to a board meeting and repeat, one after another, a particular point of view without adding anything to the discussion of the real issue.”
Stevens said the move gave “the false impression of representing an actual majority.”
“They place people who have a different opinion, but are not members of the group, at a real disadvantage,” he wrote. “More importantly, it has a stifling effect on and reasonable discussion of pros and cons.”
A similar controversy occurred in December, when internal emails suggested Stevens had unilaterally fired Casper.
In the latest batch of emails, Stevens clarified his position.
“I am not proposing that we fire Casper,” he wrote. “I do propose that we hold a competition with a level playing field, based on a new contract. I also believe we must take a serious look at how we provide oversight to this new contract. If OPA golfers have anything remotely close to an open mind they should have no problem at all with this.”
Speaking to the Bayside Gazette on Monday, O’Hare labeled Stevens a “bully.”
“It is absolutely so disrespectful,” she said. “Anytime I have made a comment, he has publically said in meetings that I am wrong. I’ve asked for compromises. He has publically said ‘no.’ I’m another fellow board member. My opinion is just as important as his.
“We don’t have to agree,” O’Hare continued. “I get it. But we should certainly treat each other with respect for God’s sake.”
Director Bill Cordwell said he was “appalled” by what he labeled as personal attacks on O’Hare.
“She’s been here longer than any of us, and all she cares about is the welfare of the community,” he said. “I tell people all the time, ‘Come to the meetings, be involved, talk to the other directors,’ and that’s all Sharyn did. For her to be personally attacked from the president of this organization, it’s appalling that the president does not want the residents to know what’s going on.
“This stuff affects them,” Cordwell continued. “These people, especially the golf members, they stuck through this course through thick and thin. Five, six, seven years ago it was horrible. They stuck through all this construction and now to tell them it’s wrong that they’re notified when it’s something that pertains to them that they’re interested in, we’re not supposed to tell them when we’re going to meet and discuss this? I just don’t get it. This is Ocean Pines, not North Korea.”
Stevens was unavailable for comment.
Two major board meetings are set for this week in Ocean Pines, addressing the next fiscal year’s budget as well as the future management of the golf course. Both are open to the public.
General Manager Bob Thompson will give the budget book presentation during a meeting at the country club on Thursday, Jan. 8 at 3 p.m.
On the following day, at 9:30 a.m., the board will address the golf course in the board room. The meeting includes a period for public comments before the board goes into a closed session.