In Wicomico County, we currently implement an appointed school board approved by the Maryland governor. This means That both Republican and Democratic Central Committees present to the governor their recommended candidates for school board positions.
The issue is the governor has the sole discretion to accept the non-partisan recommendations, or disregard and appoint the selections of his/her own choosing. Notice I do not mention the recommendations of the people of Wicomico County. The reason why is that the voice of the overall population here does not decide this. The recommendations presented to the office of governor are voted on in closed session by elected Central Committee members.
For example, in 2010 then-Gov. Martin O’Malley only secured 43 percent of the Wicomico County vote to win his office but appointed 100 percent of all school board positions. This says that Wicomico residents have little to no say in who is serving on these school board positions. It is also a fact that only three out of 23 counties in the state still follow this method of appointment which removes the voter from the equation Wicomico County being one of the three.
It is Question A that you the voter will be able to decide on this issue on Nov. 8.
Option 1 is a continuation of a school board appointed without the consent of the citizens of Wicomico County. Once again it gives the office of the governor complete jurisdiction in the choosing of our school board officials.
Option 2 will put the decision in the hands of the parents, teachers, and all those concerned about the direction of education here on a local playing field by making it mandatory ALL school board officials are elected by the residents of Wicomico County. This puts the power in the hands of our citizens and removes it from the hand of political power at the top of state government. It removes government control over how our children are being educated and puts the decision where it belongs and that is the hands of our collective reasoning as rational and educated voters.
On Nov. 8, the voter and the voter alone will decide the direction of the school board on the Question A issue. The voter will choose government discretionary control over who serves us and our children’s education, or he/she will choose to take control of this process and elect representatives who speak for them.
Option 1 or Option 2. The choice is yours.
Shawn Bradley is the second vice president of the Wicomico County Republican Club.