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Search committee’s work sets Ocean Pines apart

 Despite the occasional wisecracks and flip observations about Ocean Pines politics, the community does more than most jurisdictions in the region to involve its citizens in the political process.
While it’s been observed frequently over the years that the members of various boards of directors haven’t gotten along that well with each other, the only real distinction between OPA board arguments and disagreements in other local governments is that OPA board members tend to air their differences publicly instead of behind closed doors.
That is refreshing, but more important to the process of governance in Ocean Pines is how far the association goes to encourage people not just to become more involved, but also to seek membership on the board itself.
That’s not just rare, it’s virtually unheard of for representatives of a governing body to solicit potential competitors for office. But that’s exactly what the OPA is doing as its candidate search committee gears up for another election season.
Last Wednesday, the committee began the political process by holding a meeting where the public and, presumably, possible candidates got an overview of what serving on the board entails.
Search Committee members said the meeting went so well and was so well attended that they will likely hold another session at the end of this month to introduce even more people to what board members do and how the association operates, all with the eye of bringing new faces into government.
It’s difficult to imagine any government body elsewhere doing anything similar, especially in areas where elected office holders jealously protect their positions and even discourage some would-be contenders from trying to participate.
Critics of the OPA style of government can say what they want, but when it comes to including the community in the process, it is far ahead of anyone else.