Wednesday, October 12, 2011

School Board Reform Sidelined

Delegate Frank Turner issued a press release this afternoon saying that he is withdrawing the “emergency” legislation that would replace the current seven at large elected member board with a hybrid model of elected and appointed members. This hybrid model was championed by the county exec as a way to increase diversity on the board. Frank was carrying the execs water on this one.

As Councilperson Greg Fox told me on Sunday, “nobody likes this idea.”

Apparently not. At last nights state delegation public hearing the Dem controlled HoCo delegation found that out in a big way. This morning I ran into Councilperson Mary Kay Sigaty at the Lakeside Coffee Shop in Columbia and she told me that easily 80% of those who testified were against it. I was able to watch some of it online this afternoon and from what I saw she may have been a bit generous.

This is the second political smack down Ken Ulman has suffered recently. Last week the council dealt his Clarksville road plan a major setback. Some pundits have even begun to openly question Ken's loco political judgement. It was only a year ago that he seemed downright invincible.

Ken isn’t the only loser in this fight. This legislative defeat spreads some collateral damage to his cronies in the state delegation, notably Delegates Turner and Guzzone. Although Guy wasn’t out front on pushing this unpopular reform initiative he still takes a hit because of his tight relationship with Ken. His silence was deafening.

The clear political winner was State Senator Allan Kittleman. At last nights hearing he wasted no time in establishing where he stood. He jumped in Franks face right away and clearly rattled the District 13 delegate.

It should be noted that Allan was front and center on the Clarksville issue as well. Senator Kittleman seems to be setting him self up nicely as the anti-Ulman.

So much for my prediction that this was a lock!
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