Monday, March 12, 2012

HoCo BOE Wannabees One

I’m starting to get caught up. I've now watched the first half of the League of Women Voters BOE candidates forum. The first group included Bob Ballinger, Jim Adams, Corey Andrews, David Gertler, Owen Hanratty, Mary Jo Neil and Janet Siddiqui.

Before I go any further, let me first take a moment to acknowledge that it takes a certain amount of guts to put yourself out there in the public arena, especially in a crowded field. All of the candidates are subjecting themselves to scrutiny and judgement of their fellow citizens. Democracy works best when elections offers multiple choices. A wag of the wordbones tail goes out to all fourteen of them for being part of an important process.

I didn’t like the format. The moderator would ask a question and then wait for one of the candidates to respond. It seemed as if each question was followed by an awkward silence as the candidates exchanged sideways glances to see who was going to bite. I know that it is difficult to create a format that allows equality for all, but I think this one needs a little fine tuning.

Janet Siddiqui was the only incumbent in this first group and she, along with her fellow board members, were the subject of a verbal assault from Bob Ballinger. A couple of the others were critical of the boards perceived dysfunction, but Bob opened up with both barrels. He also called Brian Meshkin “my friend.”

He's going for the unhappy vote.


Corey Andrews wants to see regular board meetings moved around to the different high schools to make the board meetings more accessible. The board meetings are already available 24/7 online because they are held in a facility that is set up specifically for this purpose. Great idea.

Recently I had a conversation with another member of the school board. They pointed out the irony of the argument that the board is a just a rubber stamp of the Superintendent yet when the board has disagreements the same people call them dysfunctional. Indeed.

The one candidate that really stood out in the pack for me was David Gertler. I found him to be enthusiastic and passionate about learning. He’s a teacher too, an adjunct professor of math at Towson.
I’m writing a check to his campaign tonight. He’s now on my short list..
blog comments powered by Disqus