County's woes dwarf corruption in city schools The...

LETTERS

June 11, 2000

County's woes dwarf corruption in city schools

The Sun's article "No-bid contracts show city schools' lack of oversight" (May 30) was interesting, but a little ho-hum when you compare it to the soap opera school board we have in Carroll County.

If I read correctly, the Baltimore City problem only involves a few million dollars in questionable payoffs.

Shucks, we country folks consider that kind of waste a drop in the bucket.

Lawsuits, overruns in school construction, building large septic systems that can't be used at a high school, heads of the school administration coaching employees to approve vouchers under the limit for board scrutiny, playing favorites in school construction contract bids and, best of all, building schools in locations unacceptable to the taxpaying public that were finally not approved by the state for funding because the student projections on which their construction were based were inadequate -- all of that is run of the mill in Carroll County.

We have a school board that practices the three monkeys approach: See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil.

The president of the school board is their minister of propaganda and rhetoric.

For the past 10 years, the school board has played with tax dollars as if they were confetti. Arrogance is their way of life.

If you would like to take the time to read our infamous Bennett report, I'm sure you would agree that the Baltimore City problem is small potatoes.

By the way, that report cost the taxpayers $170,000 (and still counting) and was requested by the county's school board.

But when it was published and exposed the system's gaggle of warts and wrongdoing, the board allowed the wrong-doers to edit and reword the document.

Jack E. Winder

Westminster

Achievements are real, but who gets credit?

I feel compelled to respond to the recent letter to the editor from C. Scott Stone, the president of the Carroll County School Board ("The good news from the county school system," June 4).

While we all can appreciate the many successes of the Carroll County School system Mr. Stone enumerated, it in no way makes up for the misfeasance cited in the Bennett report.

No one can dispute the fact that Carroll County schools consistently perform well, despite the fact that we rank among the lowest in the state in student-teacher ratios and per-pupil spending.

The county currently ranks fourth in the state in students scores on the state's MSPAP tests. (This, however, is a drop from second only two years ago.)

This success reflects positively on our teachers, our parents and our student.

Indeed, I would be willing to bet that the Carroll County schools have more parent and volunteer participation than most school districts.

But how dare the administration and the school board take credit for any of that?

The families of Carroll County place a lot of emphasis on their children's education and take pride in their advances.

And indeed, most of the achievements that Mr. Stone cited in his letter were achievements by individuals.

Our teachers come to work every day and do their best to educate our children.

Our teachers, our parents and our children are deserving of all the accolades.

But our school board and administrative officials fail to demonstrate any of the character traits taught daily within our schools.

Mr. Stone, Mr. Hyde and all of the others implicated in the Bennett report need to step down so that Carroll County can regain the respect we deserve.

Tracy L. Burke

Sykesville

County needs political alternatives

Del. Carmen Amedori needs to realize that a tax cut begins at home.

Republican-controlled Carroll County has seen nothing but tax hikes, out-of-control growth and an infrastructure that will never catch up.

Yet Ms. Amedori plays the staunch conservative Republican in a county where the people vote that way, without looking for an alternative to the three pro-growth Republicans who make up the Board of Commissioners.

They provide absolutely no vision for the future.

It's about time the people of the county look past partisanship and pick some leaders who have their best interests in mind.

Walt Ford Westminster Big vehicle needed to meet big demands

I'm one of those people who drive an outsized SUV.

I also own a subcompact car which I drive most of the time, but there are times when I need the hauling capacity of a truck.

But, more important, my employer doesn't think there's any reason for missing work.

Last winter, when the state of Maryland was under a state of emergency, I was still required to report for work on time or have it held against me, even though my job is not in law enforcement or a life-saving field. Since my source of income is important to me, I feel that I am required to do whatever is necessary to be able to report to work, even if that means taking fewer vacations and driving and maintaining an outsized SUV.

Richard Fox

Westminster

Blame justice system, not guns, for crime

Why do I get the feeling that the media reports on only one side of the gun debate?

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