By Jack Chavez, Staff Writer
(July 28, 2022) Monica Rakowski’s upbringing could give her a leg up on the board of directors if she’s elected next month.
One of seven children, the Baltimore County native said that life instilled in her an ability to both compromise and listen.
“Again, growing up in a house with eight other people, you jump on that family train quick or get hit by it,” she Rakowski said with a laugh. “I feel like I have a very logical process for looking at things. I’m not one to make quick judgments or jump to anything — I’m methodical. Again, I’m a people person. I love to listen, don’t mind talking. But I like to listen and try to take away something from any conversation I have.”
Rakowski moved to Ocean Pines about eight years ago after living in Baltimore City. She has a daughter and two granddaughters.
She got her start in the professional world working for the Federal Reserve as a banker, after attending Salisbury University — Salisbury State when she attended — and now works in software development.
“Starting my career at the Federal Reserve, financing gave me solid accounting-type principles,” Rakowski said. “Now that I’m in the software development phase, I’m doing project management — managing projects. I can take something out to the 5-year, 10-year vision.”
When she looks around at the state of the Pines today, Rakowski sees maintaining property values as a top priority, as well as enforcing the Declaration of Restrictions.
“I have a concern about some of the short-term rentals and La Casa, the (company) coming in and buying houses and renting them out,” she said. “I have a concern that we have to try to limit that. Who wants to have their next-door neighbor, everything in the neighborhood, be a rental? I think it’s important to maintain our full-time residents — and our part-timers too, just not corporations.”
Goals can take any number of days, weeks or months to see through, but something Rakowski said she’d like to change after her potential election would be better communication and more transparency — especially concerning the legal battle stemming from former director Tom Janasek’s altercation with current director Josette Wheatley in May.
“Too many decisions are made behind closed doors,” she said. “There’s not enough information after meetings come out. We’re in the middle of this whole Janesak-Wheatley debacle. It went to court and now there’s been a decision by (the Ocean Pines Association) to delay the hearing. Why? No one knows. How much is this costing us? No one knows.”
She added that a common refrain she heard while knocking on doors was elderly residents not knowing where to get information since they don’t have a computer.
“Communication can be better. I’d like to see at least quarterly town halls for new residents so they can learn about our bylaws and DRs. I want to make sure people know about our websites and newspapers, how to get information,” Rakowski said.
“I’m looking forward to a harmonious relationship if I get elected with the other members. I hope I have a chance to do that.”
This week and last week, Bayside Gazette is sitting down with the candidates for the Ocean Pines Board of Directors election that will be decided next month. To maintain consistency and fairness, all candidates answered the same questions.