By Greg Ellison
(December 23, 2021) Following a request from the Ocean Pines Board of Directors, the By-Laws and Resolutions Committee began discussions last week on the reconfiguration of the Nominee Search Committee.
Director Colette Horn initiated discussion of possible changes to the search committee, which is responsible for soliciting candidates for election, at the board meeting on December 11.
After the future of the search committee was raised by the newly formed bylaws working group, the matter was sent to the full bylaws committee for recommendations.
Committee Chairman Jim Trummel presented the history of the issue at the recent board meeting.
“The real topic is the future of the search committee and the direction it is taking,” he said.
Trummel said the search committee was established in the statutes in 2008 by membership approval.
âOur committee didn’t think it was up to us to make major changes or abolish the research committee without board leadership,â he said.
Trummel said the search committee’s operations are described in resolution M09.
âThere could be constitutional revisions that could improve the operations and functions of the search committee,â he said.
Horn said the board has requested comment on the matter.
“We are asking your committee to provide us with some wording to modify this resolution,” she said.
Trummel revisited the topic at the constitution committee meeting last Friday.
âWe will continue with a search committee,â he said.
Based on board discussions, an earlier proposal to drop the search committee for another way to recruit candidates was dropped, Trummel said.
Instead, changes to the structure of the committee were considered.
âThe main consideration for us is to go to a standing committee,â he said.
Under the current provisions of the statutes, the search committee is appointed annually on February 1.
Trummel said the election committee’s guidelines regarding term lengths could be replicated to apply to the search committee.
Other changes under consideration include the timeline for the search committee to process and forward applications to the association secretary.
“Collection of information by the search committee should be considered,” he said.
Resolution M09 requires the search committee to submit an annual report no later than June 30.
Trummel said the search committee’s most recent report recommended removing the provision from the bylaws requiring two more applicants than open positions.
“Maybe it should be removed as an objective of the search committee, but I don’t know if it should be removed from the statutes as an action item of the board of directors”, a- he declared.
Committee member Stephen Jacobs questioned the wisdom of keeping the group.
“The search committee itself recommended that it cease to exist,” he said.
Horn, who serves as the board liaison to the bylaws committee, said the board concluded the main issue was the annual appointment of members.
“Our thinking is that if it is a standing committee, we could give them broader authority,” she said.
Horn said the range of duties could be broadened beyond receiving applications.
“Give them functions that they have performed in the past,” she said.
Horn pointed to potential candidate awareness and educational functions as prime examples.
âThe idea is to expand the actions that the search committee takes to solicit volunteers to sit on the board,â she said.
Horn noted that more than 500 people expressed an interest in greater volunteering options in the recent owner survey.
âIt is clear that there are people who may not be aware of the various volunteer opportunities that are available,â she said.
Jacobs suggested another approach.
âThe communications committee is ready to take on almost everything you just described,â he said.
Horn said members of the communications committee have indicated their willingness to help with electoral processes, but only up to a point.
âThey don’t think they can replace the search committee,â she said. âThey would work with them, but they don’t want to take on that. “
Trummel said that since its inception in 2008, the committee has lacked consistency.
âThere were too many haphazard, almost after-the-fact approaches to get the committee in place,â he said.
Trummel said there were years when the committee operated in an orderly fashion and issued reports detailing actions to find candidates.
âThere have been cases where the committee really made an effort,â he said. âA major obstacle was the haphazard approach to setting up the committee. “
Constitution members agreed to review related provisions to establish a standing research committee and revisit the topic at its next meeting on January 7.