Don't allow voters to pick school boardsIdealistically, an...

the Forum

January 21, 1994

Don't allow voters to pick school boards

Idealistically, an elected school board is the most democratic choice for choosing members. I cannot emphasize the word "idealistically" enough in that statement.

Idealistically, all citizens would vote for candidates that would most benefit not just our school children but ultimately our community in which these children will in the near future be active participants.

Ideally, all citizens would objectively weigh as much information from all viewpoints as possible and then come to a thoughtful, unbiased decision that would ultimately benefit the entire community, not just their personal interests.

But we do not nor will we ever live in an idealistic world. If we have an elected school board, many scenarios short of the previously mentioned ideal could in reality occur.

One such scenario follows: Baltimore County continues to become a county in which many of the voting citizens are retired.

Most retired people are on fixed incomes. From their survival (not idealistic) viewpoint, most would not want their taxes to be raised to help schools.

Also, they have a lot of free time in which to make their viewpoint known to their peers and the population in general. It would be John Q. Public's job to objectively reason why they stand for what they do.

Will most of the general voting public have or make the time to evaluate the situation and then vote? If they do, will enough of them be able to vote against this special interest group? Realistically, I think not.

The above is just one scenario of a special interest group with its personal rather than public concern agenda. There are many, many more.

It is the nature of the human animal to want to help himself first, rather than to be able to look at the whole picture and make a decision based on future results that will affect everyone, including himself.

Most people vote after considering only their immediate personal concerns. Few people choose to sacrifice in order to benefit the whole.

For this reason, an elected school board frightens me. I feel better knowing that right now the county's School Board Nominating Convention and the school board are made up of unpaid volunteers who donate a lot of their time and energy, reading research, keeping in touch with their community's needs and making thoughtful decisions.

For these reasons, the change that should be made should be that the governor should have to make his choice for members of the board from those picked by the existing nominating convention rather than being allowed to ignore them as he can and often does.

Karen W. Gronau

Perry Hall

'Is he still alive?'

We are hearing once again about big business lobbyists pressuring President Bill Clinton to normalize trade relations with Hanoi by lifting the embargo.

All they can see is a country teaming with the wealth of untapped resources and raw materials, there for the taking. They NTC don't see hills and valleys nurtured over the years with the blood of American soldiers.

They don't see mothers wracked with pain, eyes stung with tears, sending their young sons 10,000 miles from home to fight a war in Southeast Asia.

They don't see mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and sons still waiting for that final word. It's up to each and every one of us to give the families a chance to answer the question, "Is he still alive?"

If not, give them a place to put a flower and mourn a son who gave his life in the name of freedom and all that America stands for.

If we don't keep the pressure on Hanoi, those families will never know. And for those of you who don't know the family of a POW/MIA, keep this in mind: History has a way of repeating itself. Five, 10, 20 years from now, it could be you asking, "What ever happened to my son?," and Washington saying, "We don't care."

Call or write your representatives in Congress. Tell them to use their influence. Make Hanoi accountable. They don't get anything until we know where the very last soldier is.

Albert Bailer



As I read and reread Susan Reimer's not so precious and perky column, I discovered her to be an extremely angry, frightened and confused middle-aged woman ("Measuring the worth of mammograms," Jan. 13).

I am almost 65 years old and I have never objected to my large breasts being pushed "between two plates of glass."

Each exam I've had wonderful young ladies who handled me with tender, loving care and a great doctor who informed me of the results almost immediately.

I can comprehend that Susan Reimer fears breast cancer; I have lost more dear friends than I can enumerate. However, the beginning of her irate article would deter some women from mammograms that might save their lives.

Rae Miller Heneson


Smokers' rights

I take exception to the abuse, persecution and discrimination against smokers.

People who have the strength, security and confidence to live without a crutch are fortunate and should be grateful.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.