Lawmakers hold first delegation meeting of new session

January 19, 2011|By ANDREW SCHOTZ |

ANNAPOLIS — A Washington County student asked state lawmakers Wednesday to consider mandating a student representative on the local school board.

Steven Wang, who attends North Hagerstown High School, is the Washington County Board of Education's student member.

During a Washington County delegation meeting in Annapolis on Wednesday, Wang told lawmakers that the school board has a student representative, but isn't legally required to, as other school systems are.

Wang asked the delegation if it would back legislation making the student position mandatory.

Sen. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, asked Wang if he had pitched his idea to the school board.

Wang — who is serving as a Maryland General Assembly page in Annapolis this week — said he had, but the board had no formal position.

Delegation members said they don't object to the idea, but agreed to table the discussion for a week to get the school board's feedback.

During a phone interview later in the day, board President Wayne D. Ridenour said he hadn't heard the proposal before.

He said the school board has a student member under a policy created in September 1985.

Even though the school board, by majority vote, could eliminate the student member, he said, there's no danger of that after 26 years.

"I see no reason for it to be codified," Ridenour said.

The board's student member participates in discussions, but doesn't have a vote.

Other business

Wednesday's meeting was the delegation's first of the 2011 legislative session.

The delegation:

  • agreed to table some alcohol-related bill requests until it heard from the Washington County liquor board.
  • also agreed to check with the liquor board about a request by Pen Mar Development Corp. for permission to hold two wine festivals a year.
  • voted to submit a bill requested by Washington County related to its annual $500,000 contribution to a water and sewer debt reduction fund. The county has been paying down its water, sewer and pretreatment debt and the legislation will no longer be needed, according to a letter by Assistant County Attorney Kirk C. Downey.
  • voted to have Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr. continue as delegation chairman.

Seven of the eight delegation members attended. Myers said Del. John P. Donoghue would not be there because of Tuesday's death of R. Sargent Shriver, whom Donoghue knew.

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