Diversity not a valid reason to change election rules

Letter to the editor

October 10, 2011

What is the true goal in attempting to change the election process for the Board of Education? After reading articles and having an email exchange with the county executive's office, I feel it is not well defined.

Ken Ulman's office states, "He advocates a board where a majority of members are, in fact, elected. He views the current proposal as a step forward to insure racial and ethnic diversity and to bring skills and professionalism to the board, as warranted." So which is it: to achieve racial/ethnic diversity, geographic diversity or to address professionalism in the current board? Perhaps it is simply to give Ulman greater power.

Whatever the goal, the changes are unnecessary. It's not the government's role to change the election process specifically to meet a goal of racial diversity. As to geographic representation, the current system, without districts, ensures all members represent the entire system, without fighting over resources. At-large elections provide equal and every opportunity for anyone who wants to run for election to do so, while allowing the public to vote for whom they want regardless of race, school affiliation or professional background.

Sharon Harman

Ellicott City

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