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


Seven remain in race for OPA Board

By Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(July 14, 2018) If recent history is to be believed, the annual candidate draw in Ocean Pines that determines the ballot order for board candidates produces somewhat mixed results.

The winner of the candidate draw — the first name on the ballot — was elected only twice in the last five years, in 2017 and 2013, while the second-place finisher in the draw was elected in four of the last five years, including 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.

Results of the 2018 draw, held last Friday, were:

  1. Steve Tuttle
  2. Frank Daly
  3. Gregory Turner
  4. Paula Gray
  5. Esther Diller
  6. Ted Moroney
  7. Arie Klapholz

Two previously announced candidates, Mark Mitchell and Scott Wagner, withdrew from the race, according to Elections Committee Chairman Steve Habeger.

Two other candidates, Diller and Moroney, were not present during the draw. Moroney had his number drawn for him, while Diller sent representative to draw for her.

The top-two vote getters this year will each be elected to three-year terms. The third-place finisher will inherit the final year of Brett Hill’s term.

Hill, elected in 2016, resigned last September and filed to run again this year, but was disqualified for not meeting the assessment payment deadline. He is appealing the decision in Worcester County Circuit Court.

Following the draw, each candidate provided a brief introduction.

Turner said he’s been in Ocean Pines “for a long time.”

“We had a slight incident that compelled me to do what I’m doing,” Turner said. “I was told by a very good friend of mine, a gentleman by the name of Richard Passwater … ‘if you don’t like it, you try and change it.’”

Tuttle said he moved to Ocean Pines in 2014 and became a full-time resident the following year. He was the chairman of the elections committee, but resigned in March upon announcing his candidacy.

“I’m looking forward to stepping in and trying to be servant-leader,” Tuttle said.

Klapholz said he bought a lot around 1995 and built a house within a year. He filed to run last year, but resigned from the race in June.

“We moved down here permanently in 2003,” he said.

Daly, chairman of the comprehensive planning committee, said he moved to Ocean Pines in 2013. He also ran in 2016 and finished fourth in a field of 11, during a year when the top-three finishers were elected.

“Since I really started looking at property here I’ve heard one continual phrase: Ocean Pines is a great place to live – it could just be managed better,” he said. “I’m here because I want to see it managed better and that’s my objective.”

Gray said her son lived in Ocean Pines for two decades and she’s been a homeowner since 2015. She also filed to run last year, but dropped out of the race last June.

“I have always been involved with community organizations,” she said. “I lived in the same community on the other side of the bridge for 40 years. I was president of a nonprofit there from 2009 until 2014, and realized that being involved in this is like herding cats.

“But, it really can be beneficial and I’ve always been involved,” Gray continued. “I’ve attended a lot of meetings and done a lot of listening, and think that a difference should be made and I [would like to] help make it.”

Diller, in a May interview in this paper, said her decision to run was “based on the general lack of transparency in the procurement processes and general financial activities of our association.” She is a business owner originally from New Jersey, and purchased a home in Ocean Pines in 2013.

Moroney was appointed to the board last year to replace Hill. Originally from Virginia, he has owned a home in Ocean Pines since 2006. His career has included overseeing contract negotiations, human resources, risk management, and legal and insurance matters.

In an April interview on his candidacy Moroney said, “My intent is to continue to make decisions that are in the best interest of protecting homeowner’s values and do what is the right thing to move the association forward … I’m not going to promise reduced assessments or anything I can’t deliver. What I’m going to promise is I’m going to try and make each decision based on what is best for Ocean Pines – that’s what the duty of a board member is.”