Nine Republicans who formed the Citizens for an Elected Charter Board have launched a campaign to replace all nine Charter Board members appointed by Carroll's three county commissioners.
This appointed board was assigned the task of preparing and submitting a proposed charter to the citizens.
This new slate must obtain 1,700 signatures on a petition from registered Carroll County voters by Dec. 31 to force an election between themselves and the original nine appointees.
Under the Maryland Constitution, one method of choosing a charter board is for the commissioners to appoint the members, which is exactly what ours did.
Carroll countians elected the three people they believed most qualified to represent them and handle our county's business. The commissioners performed their constitutional role perfectly.
The current appointed Charter Board is a bipartisan group made up of five Republicansand four Democrats. This composition reflects the Republican majority of voters in our county.
The Citizens for an Elected Charter Board slate is made up solely of Republicans. This all-Republican slate is running to oppose this appointed bipartisan board.
This has thepossibility of creating dissention within the local Republican partyand smacks of machine politics.
One member of the Charter Board slate is the current chairman of the Carroll County Republican CentralCommittee.
His main responsibility as county chairman is to promote the GOP, the party's philosophy and its candidates, and to keep Republicans united.
As a member of the slate, will the current chairman of the Carroll County GOP resign during this election process -- or will he at least step down temporarily during this election?
Ifhe does step down, who will lead the local party? The vice chairman of the Central Committee is also a member of this slate.
The slatecontends its objective is "to provide the voters of Carroll County with a choice of who they would like to (have) serve on the charter board."
The slate's statement went on to say that some members of the slate are in fact opposed to a Carroll County charter form of government.
Now, try to stay with me in following their logic: The people who are opposed to this form of government are to be elected to write a document that establishes this form of government, that drafts the legislation that proposes and establishes the charter under whichthis form of government would function.
Something is very wrong here.
During the 1990 election, some members of this slate criticized the formulation of one slate of candidates in particular and all slates in general. They stated that slates are organized to be political machines and to try to seize power. They further asserted that slates are undemocratic.
Is that what this slate is intending to do and to be?
As I see it, if this slate of candidates truly is opposed to the charter form of government for Carroll County and yet is dedicated to democracy, wouldn't its time and efforts be best served campaigning against the proposed charter when it comes before the citizens?
Carroll County needs a serious, dedicated group of individualsacting in a non-partisan manner to draft a proposed charter for our county.
Only then can you and I read the proposal for ourselves.
Only then can you and I decide in an honest and fair election whether to accept or reject a proposed change to our current form of government.
Let us not make this proposed charter a partisan issue.
What's your opinion? Readers of The Carroll County Sun are urged to submit letters and guest columns on topics of local interest to countyresidents. Letters and guest columns should be typewritten and double-spaced, with letters no more than 250 words and guest columns no more than 500 words. Your full name, address and telephone numbers (home and office) must be included (for verification purposes only). Please send your comments to Letters or Guest columns, The Carroll CountySun, 15 East Main St., Westminster, Md. 21157-5052. You also may FAXyour comments to us at 876-0233. We must receive them by 5 p.m. Tuesday for possible publication the following Sunday. Information: 857-0550, 876-8771 or toll-free (800) 829-8000, Ext. 6595.