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Herald-Mail Forums

February 19, 2007

Last week's question:

Del. Chris Shank, R-Washington, has introduced a bill to study whether School Board members should be elected by districts. Is that a good idea or not?

Not. Go for the best we can get from anywhere in the county. Let Chris worry about not educating illegal immigrants and keeping them out of the country.




How much will it cost?




It is an idea worth studying. It's the same principle by which state delegates and congressmen are chosen. It increases the chance that all quarters have a voice. Diversity of viewpoints is a strength. If I were a decision-maker, I would want to hear all sides of an issue so that I could make as informed a decision as possible. It is possible that electing school board members by districts might result in an increased diversity of viewpoints. This same argument may also be applied to the selection process for County Commissioners.

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The answer is YES.




This must be a joke. When former Hagerstown City Councilman Larry Vaughn kept trying to get Hagerstown to switch back to the ward system to get equal representation in the city, he was ridiculed. If the county commissioners and city council aren't elected by district, then the school board should just be a "most money/name recognition" contest like the other elections.




This is the first I've heard of this, so forgive me if I come off as a total idiot to everyone, but is it a good idea to actually add seats to the Board of Ed? That's what would happen if they were elected by district, wouldn't it? Seems to me that adding more "cooks" would only spoil the "broth," not that the broth's that great to begin with. Of course, adding more seats means more money to be spent. Will it help? My guess is, not really.




Darn right it's a good idea. It will fail, but will make us look like fools down there in Annapolis and convince folks up here we need home rule to legislate ourselves. Then once us Republicans have home rule, we won't need Annapolis and you Democrats won't be able to do anything about our power.




WHAT?




It depends on the cost of the bill and what the bill encompasses. You really just can't make a sweeping generalization - "Should we study this or not?" Well, yes, ideally, we could study anything, but in real life, things cost money, and somehow I really doubt that School Board members are ever going to do anything but vote unanimously on everything regardless of where they come from.




It's as good as any other idea we float down there. You see, we don't get the short end of the stick because we are so far from Annapolis, it's because our delegation doesn't shake a big stick down there with more state-inclusive consequences. They're not much more than partisan tallies in the vote counts.




Maybe someone should introduce a bill to study whether delegates should be elected at large. Heck, we put the minority whip through college on scholarship, then gave him a job as the delegation secretary (more taxpayer money), and now he's an unchallenged delegate and this is all he brings us back from Annapolis. No wonder Wendy's closed and we're cloning cows. Where's the beef?




Hah! The commissioners created a handpicked council to write a charter to give them more power and just gave $12,000 to some outsider to do all the work. Now the BOE wants a lobbyist because the delegation doesn't work for them. Do any of our elected officials do any work for us, or do they just collect a taxpayer check and spend taxpayer money?




Why not? What is the harm in letting the voters choose?




Seems like the BOE is running scared again ... that alone speaks volumes! I say, "go for it!"




Why introduce a bill to do a study? Why not do something involving the voters? Ask the voters what they want. Not everything needs to be done by an expensive study by "experts."




Why are they worrying about this when they can't even get enough money to pay for schools. Give me a break!




Yes it's a good idea. Years ago Hagerstown had a ward system. It made neighborhoods a lot cleaner and things were corrected a lot quicker. Now the city is run by the good ol' boy system. Nothing is done if you're in the wrong end of town.




Let's see, we have 2-plus-2 meetings that no one involved in wants to go on record as to what happens in any detail. Meanwhile, the commissioners are paying for a lobbyist in Annapolis and a charter-writer, though we have delegates and a volunteer committee to write the charter.




Plus the BOE wants a lobbyist, too, because their views are not represented by the delegation, and oh, somehow the commissioners forgot to get excise tax plans to the delegation for legislation. Yeah, I think this a great idea. Why not spend some more taxpayer money on bureaucacy for elected officals to point fingers at each other?




This week's question:

Allegheny Power's residential rate cap for electricity comes off in 2009. Customers can opt to phase in the increase at 15 percent a year for four years, or take a 68 percent hit in 2009. What will you do?

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