The Double Burden of IncumbencyThanks for allowing me to...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 04, 1994

The Double Burden of Incumbency

Thanks for allowing me to reply to your editorial "The Burden of Incumbency" (Aug. 19). Actually, there is a double burden of incumbency: 1.) The complete lack of time to spend on campaigning, and 2.) The tendency of the public to want to "throw the rascal out."

Let's take care of No. 2 first: It should be obvious, hopefully, that I am not now nor have I ever been a rascal.

As for No. 1, the lack of campaigning time could easily be solved if it were not for my total commitment to the commissioner's job. I could shuck off many of those duties and -- off to the hustings.

The thrust of your editorial makes it imperative that you pay attention to the enclosed documentation of the total time spent on the job by each commissioner -- a paper published annually, taken from official minutes, which you have published in The Sun, but for some strange reason gloss over. . . .

Elmer Lippy

Westminster

The writer is a Carroll County commissioner.

Butler on Schools

Before an election, I always check the Voters Guide in the newspaper and select the Board of Education candidates whose main priority is reducing class size. Unfortunately, the candidates' views before the election rarely match their votes as a board member after the election. It would be helpful if you could publish a chart showing the votes that each candidate would cast on specific educational issues if elected to the board. For example, unless the situation changed drastically after the election, I would vote:

* To cut off all spending on Exit Outcomes.

* To stop all spending on "out of state" travel.

* To concentrate all spending on improving class size and updating technological equipment (computers, educational software, etc.) in the classroom.

* To change the criteria and methods used to identify learning disabilities.

* To adopt a more specific homework policy.

* To check the air quality in all schools on a regular basis.

* To seek local bids for legal representation.

* To hold Board of Education meetings in the evening.

* For stricter enforcement of discipline, especially in elementary and middle schools.

* Against cooperative (group) learning.

* Against any increase in administrative salaries.

* Against year-round school.

* Against beginning the school year before Labor Day.

I am also opposed to statewide curriculum and testing (criterion-referenced tests), the current emphasis placed on the Maryland School Performance report, and mandatory "voluntary" community service, although these decisions were not made at the local level. I believe voters could make more informed choices if they knew each candidate's stand on specific issues.

Evelyn E. Butler

Westminster

The writer is a candidate for the Carroll County Board of Education.

Pecoraro on Schools

Carroll County is heavily dependent on state funding for public school construction. Unfortunately, the state's willingness to fund new school construction has not kept pace with our student population growth.

I strongly believe that school board members should take a more active role in finding a solution to our classroom shortages. As a board member, I would suggest the following efforts to my colleagues:

* Bring together the Board of Education and the county commissioners to reach a consensus on Carroll County's need for school construction. . . .

* After agreeing on the facilities we need, the board and commissioners should reach an agreement on how much spending we can afford. If sufficient state funding for necessary construction is not available, the county should use its own funds. If necessary, the commissioners should also seek a prudent amount of bonding authority from the legislature to fund construction.

* Should sufficient funding for construction from all sources not be available, more drastic remedies are necessary. Under the state's adequate facilities law, the commissioners can limit further growth in areas that lack sufficient schools, water, police or other facilities. . . .

If the school board and commissioners do not start working together and making these tough choices, our problems will quickly spiral out of control. . . .

Carole M. Pecoraro

Westminster

The writer is a candidate for the Carroll County Board of Education.

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