Greg Bassett: Elected school board referendum seems certain

All signs are pointing toward a referendum seeking Wicomico residents’ opinions on an elected school board.
But, first, there’s a process that must be followed.
Back in December, County Executive Bob Culver and the County Council made a formal request for state legislation that would allow a vote on an elected board.
“With regard to the Board of Education, the only way to resolve our differences is through transparency and accountability,” Culver wrote then. “To that end, I will put forth legislation asking for an elected school board that will be accountable to taxpayers.”
But the General Assembly had other ideas.
A perceived lack of public input on the matter prompted state Sen. Jim Mathias to oppose the measure. Bills in both houses of the state legislature failed to even get out of committee.
Now, eight months later, county officials are taking their time and following all of the processes to a “T.” Four public hearing will be held across the county in the next two months, seeking to learn the public’s opinion on the issue, while also seeking to inform county citizens on what options exist for an elected school board.
This week’s package is the first of several stories the Salisbury Independent will be publishing in the coming weeks on the process to change how the school board is selected.

Greg Bassett is editor and general manager of Salisbury Independent. Reach him at gbassett@newszap.com

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