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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Sandpiper metaphor for larger things in Pines

The question of whether the Ocean Pines Association should attempt to re-open contract discussions with natural gas supplier Sandpiper Energy is easy to answer: The OPA has nothing to lose by trying.
That is the direction the OPA’s board of directors appeared to be heading as of mid-week, with a closed meeting set for Wednesday to discuss the situation and what might be done about it.
One area of disagreement – aside from the contract itself – that appeared to divide the board was who should approach Sandpiper, General Manager Bob Thompson or possibly a delegation of board members?
Judging from the conversation at the board’s last public meeting, the concerns of some members was that Thompson might not understand the various nuances of the board’s position and might, however improbable it sounds, somehow get the OPA involved in a bad deal.
Although the importance of a new and equitable gas supply contract is indisputable, equally significant is the board’s belief that Thompson can’t be trusted to carry its message to the table with Sandpiper.
If that’s the case, then either the board hasn’t articulated that message to Thompson, or it fails to grasp that he can’t obligate the association to anything without board approval, or some members simply don’t trust him to handle its business.
While this is something that Thompson has to deal with however he sees fit, the board’s lack of confidence in him or its over-confidence in itself is a bigger problem for the community than who gets to deliver fuel at what price.
To employ a natural gas metaphor, the relationship between the general manager and the board has been simmering for a long time and as current election unfolds, it should be made a front-burner issue.