Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Short List

There are eleven candidates vying for four open seats on the Howard County School Board this year. The primary on September 14th will winnow the field down to eight. Parsing the list to eight was actually relatively easy. Making the final choice of four will be a bit harder.

The good news is that there appears to be eight good choices.

What I look for in a school member is someone who is capable of working with others. No one school board member can affect good policy, it takes a collaborative effort. Contrarians like Allen Dyer sometimes may make good press but rarely good policy.

David Thalheimer and Cindy Vaillancourt are little too close to Allen Dyer for my comfort. They both appear to be smart but after watching them during the League of Women Voters candidate’s forum and sampling some of the posts on their Yahoo group, howardpubliced, I came away with the impression that they just don’t play well with others. As a parent of a child in the schools, that’s not what I’m looking for on the school board

Marcelino Bedolla’s proposal that the schools use volunteer labor to paint classrooms and cut the grass made me think he is a little detached from the reality of the size HoCo school system. Not only is it doubtful you could ever get enough volunteers to take on this labor, just coordinating a volunteer effort of this scale would probably cost the school system even more money.

My short list for the school board includes (in no particular order of preference) Leslie Kornreich, Frank Aquino, David Proudfoot, Larry Walker, Robert Ballinger, Brian Meskin, David Gertler and Sandra French.

After the primary I’ll pick my final four.
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