Let’s be clear about the pending settlement agreement between the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors and former director Tom Janasek: this will be the end of a case with no winners.
This is a legal entanglement triggered by two parties that went too far for no defensible reason.
The plaintiff, Tom Janasek, went too far when he confronted a board member in public and berated her in an exceptionally unseemly fashion and the board majority, in its desire to punish him for that transgression, assumed authority it didn’t have.
Moreover, it appears that the board majority’s attempt to ban him from OPA amenities for 90 days was at least partially because they just didn’t like him.
That being the case, this settlement, assuming it goes through, is nothing that either side can celebrate. The leadership and board majority that leaped over association rules to impose a harsh sentence is gone, and Janasek knows he was way out of line.
That said, it’s time to close this embarrassing chapter of association affairs brought about by participants who failed to grasp that their job was to oversee a medium-sized homeowners association, not to decide the fate of the nation.
That particular circumstance isn’t exclusive to Ocean Pines, of course, as small town governments everywhere often find themselves ripped apart by competing visions, interests and egos, and elected officials’ desire to stay in office and in control.
It isn’t a very mature way of doing things, but even the best people have been known to succumb to a loss of perspective from time to time.
Thankfully, that isn’t the case currently, and with this business about to be concluded by a board that did not create but inherited the problem, a quieter and more productive year should be in the offing.