Education unions endorse candidates

6 campaigns evaluated

most incumbents snubbed

August 27, 2002|By Jennifer McMenamin | Jennifer McMenamin,SUN STAFF

Unions representing 2,300 public school employees in Carroll County have announced endorsements for the primary elections Sept. 10, recommending that voters choose only one of 10 incumbents running for office in the six campaigns the unions evaluated.

Representatives of the Carroll County Education Association, the local teachers union, and Carroll Association of School Employees, which includes secretaries, nurses and instructional assistants, recommended:

Incumbent Julia Walsh Gouge of Hampstead, Perry L. Jones Jr. of Union Bridge and Dean L. Minnich of Westminster for the Republican nominations for county commissioner, and all three Democratic candidates, Jeannie Nichols of Sykesville, Neil Ridgely of Finksburg and Betty L. Smith of Westminster, for that party's nominations for county commissioner.

They did not endorse incumbent Commissioners Donald I. Dell of Westminster or Robin Bartlett Frazier of Manchester, both Republicans.

Thomas H. Morrison, a Westminster Democrat, for House of Delegates District 4B, a seat held by Republican Donald B. Elliott of New Windsor.

Robert P. Wack, a Westminster Democrat, for House of Delegates District 5A, which is represented by Republicans Carmen Amedori and Nancy R. Stocksdale, both of Westminster.

Robert L. Tabler Jr., a Sykesville Republican, and Kenneth Holniker, an Eldersburg Democrat, for House of Delegates District 9B, a new seat for the South Carroll area.

John F. Murray Jr. and Laura K. Rhodes, both of Mount Airy, in the nonpartisan election for the Carroll County Board of Education, in which seven candidates are seeking three seats. The primary election will narrow the field to six.

The unions did not make a recommendation for the District 5 state Senate seat held by Republican Larry E. Haines of Westminster.

The unions did not recommend the re-election of C. Scott Stone or Gary W. Bauer for the school board. Also, they did not recommend school board President Susan W. Krebs for the South Carroll state delegate seat she is seeking.

CCEA President Cindy Wheeler noted contentious contract talks this year to explain why the unions did not endorse sitting school board members.

In the spring, school board negotiators struck tentative contract agreements with the unions that would have given employees a 3 percent raise for each of the next two years. But school board members reneged when they had to cut their budget request to conform with county budget allocations.

The board and teachers union have reached a new tentative agreement that gives teachers a 4 percent raise over the next two years. That tentative contract must be ratified by union members, who are considering the proposal. CASE union negotiators continue to work with a mediator and school officials to reach an agreement.

"Given the whole contract situation, our members just thought it was not appropriate to recommend those candidates who are incumbents," Wheeler said.

Asked why the unions endorsed two school board candidates when three seats are up for election, she said, "There are only two candidates that we wanted to recommend."

After months of reviewing candidate questionnaires and conducting interviews, union representatives from the county's 39 schools voted to endorse candidates based on their commitment to public education, and public school employees and their vision for the future of Carroll County. The recommendations were sent by e-mail to school employees and will be sent out in a flier.

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