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Unger first to enter fray in ‘15 OPA board race

(April 9, 2015) Two weeks after the community leaders met in a public forum to recruit potential board of director candidates, Ray Unger became the first Ocean Pines resident to step forward.
Unger previously served two terms on the board and went on to record a loss in the District Four primary for Worcester County Commissioner last year.
“I’ve been in the fray before,” Unger said. “I ran three times and served twice, and the primary reason I’m running again is because I enjoyed it. I absolutely love it. We love Ocean Pines and I like being involved in things that are going on.”
Unger said he was on the board responsible for “making some nice improvements,” including building the community center.
“It’s been a fun ride,” he said. “I got a little bored because I haven’t been doing anything in a while. The only thing I’ve been doing is serving as president of the Ocean City Aviation Association, so I decided I’ll give it another shot and run again. If people want me there, fine.”
The once and possibly future board member said he doesn’t generally spend much time following the actions of current directors.
“I’ll sit and chat with one of them every now and then to see what’s going on, but there’s nothing major that they’ve been really dealing with for a little while,” he said. “The day-to-day operations of the Pines is primarily the responsibility of the general manager. The board just kind of gives some guidance.”
Unger speculated that if he were elected he would be in the middle of the current board, led by President Dave Stevens.
“Dave and I sat together and worked on different things,” he said. “It all depends on what comes up at the time. They always kind of put me in the middle of the two alleged factions.
“I never really saw there were two factions,” Unger continued. “I saw a difference of opinions in things that came up and we were able, for the most part … to work it out. Not everything decision was perfect, but at least there was a compromise to get things done.”
Stevens, who ran last year as a referendum on General Manager Bob Thompson, speculated that the next election would be a referendum on the actions of his board.
“I think we’ve started something,” he said. “I think we’ve done what we said we would do, at least as well as we could. We talked about things when we were being elected and, lo and behold, they’re happening, much to the chagrin of some, but they are. And we think it’s the right direction and we’d like to continue.”
Stevens said he has heard rumors of potential candidates for the next cycle and was surprised by a few of the names.
 “It is what it is and I think it should be a clear enough choice. If there are things that we’ve done in the last six months that people think are wrong, then they should just say so and get the argument out there. Then people can make up their minds. Do they like what’s happening here, or do they feel maybe it’s not great.
“Some people like the fact that we changed golf management, others think that’s not very good,” Stevens continued. “I’ve heard from both, but I do think that’s in line with what we said we were going to do. We said we were going to change things where they needed to be changed.”
Two seats on the board are up for election this year. Ballots are generally mailed in mid-July. Results will be made public during the annual meeting on Saturday, Aug. 8.