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


Selection committee tapped Ludwig

(June 4, 2015) Carol Ludwig might be one of the more high-profile of seven 2015 OPA board candidates, having spent plenty of time in front of crowds as director of the Delmarva Chorus.
Originally from Philadelphia, Ludwig, who has a background in the high-tech sector at Verizon, moved to Ocean Pines in 2000.
She served on several advisory committees and is currently a member of the facility usage task force working to determine how groups, inside and out of the community, use amenities in Ocean Pines.
Ludwig said she was recruited to run by the selection committee, and encouraged to run by several board members after speaking out during a recent meeting.
“The last time I stood up and talked at a board meeting a couple of the directors said, ‘you ought to be on this side of the table,’” she said.
Ludwig was weighing in on a motion to refund Star Charities, a nonprofit group, who were charged to use the community center during a “beef and beer fundraiser” for area veterans.
“Under the description of how things are supposed to happen [Star Charities founder Anna Foultz] was forced to pay, and unfortunately, on both sides of the table, things were not quite correct,” she said. “They used hours and facilities outside what was reserved, but there was also, on the other side of the table, there were some people that just didn’t want to go along with it.”
The board eventually refunded the money to Star Charities, but, as Ludwig puts it, “it was a pretty decent misunderstanding.”
“What started [the debate] was the emotional input of a lot of people,” she said. “I’m in the community center a lot between the chorus and [her duties with the toddler time program], and of course the veteran’s memorial. I just started hearing all of this, and it’s not only the community center. It’s the country club and the yacht club.”
Last month General Manager Bob Thompson and members of the facility usage group, including Ludwig, presented a draft of recommendations to the board of directors.
“I think some were positive about it – those who were really recognizing it – but I felt like some of them felt as if they had to find loopholes and there might have been some negative response,” she said. “Unfortunately there was a lot of time and walls that went up that didn’t need to. We also have quite a few people who didn’t hear the presentation and got it second hand.”
A common misconception after the presentation, Ludwig said, was that many community-based groups would have to pay to use their own amenities in the future.
“That was not what we were about,” she said. “We were about trying to provide fair and equal meeting space for everybody.”
Ludwig expects the facilities debate to linger during the campaign, and said the yacht club could yet again become a central subject.
For the record, she does not support winterizing the club, at least at the moment.
“I would love to see us go a year or two without mentioning that we’re going to close the yacht club down,” she said. “Give it a chance. People outside the community ask me all the time, ‘did the yacht club close?’ It’s like, ‘oh jeez – no!’”
While Ludwig agrees with many of the decisions made by the current board, she said the directors could benefit from toning down their disagreements, at least in public.
“I think that we can approach things in a lighter, more positive way than we’re accustomed to,” she said. “We can still get to the same place and provide less negative input to be spread around. When you run a meeting run it professionally, don’t preach to the audience, work as a team. I feel as if it’s possible. I’ve worked in it many times. I had 27 technicians working for me at one time. We all met. You want to talk about negotiations? It can be done.”