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Kelley Wants Referendum on School Board Selection

State Sen. Delores Kelley could offer an amendment that calls for a straw poll in the 2014 election.

State Sen. Delores Kelley wants a referendum on how members of the Baltimore County Board of Education are selected.

The Randallstown Democrat is expected to offer an amendment calling for a straw poll in the 2014 election.

"Very few people (in Baltimore County) know it's an issue here," Kelley said during a county Senate delegation hearing last week on a bill sponsored by Sen. Bobby Zirkin. [Watch the video for Kelley's full comments.]

This is the seventh year Zirkin has sponsored a bill seeking to change the current appointed board to some form of elected school board. Last year, his bill was passed by the Senate but missed a final vote in the House of Delegates by perhaps minutes as the clock struck midnight on the 90-day session.

The county's eight senators are expected to vote on the bill late Thursday. Last year, the same senators voted 5-3 to support the bill.

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Carney Mom February 08, 2013 at 12:25 PM
Really? As this issue is in the 7th year are you saying you have not done your job to educate the public? Man up and vote on the issue next Thursday. If I can get up to speed in an under a week, thanks to the Baltimore County PTA Council, you have time to get an understanding and vote on behalf of the public. Do not let be an example of another cause delayed due to inaction.
Karl February 08, 2013 at 01:53 PM
Kelly delayed until today so she could tweak the amendment language. I personally heard Senator Norman Stone tell his aid that he is supporting the referendum effort and will fight the hybrid school board if it goes to referendum. Senator Getty (410) 841-3683, Senator Kasemeyer (410) 841-3653, and Senator Klausmeier (410) 841-3620, have not yet publicly stated their position on the bill.
Jean Suda February 08, 2013 at 04:12 PM
Here is what I sent to the Baltimore County Senators: Dear Baltimore County Senators: It has come to my attention that the Senate is considering an amendment to put the Hybrid Board bill SB10 to a referendum. As a voter and public schools advocate, I would rather use my vote to elect actual people to the Baltimore County Board of Education. Are you not able to make decisions on behalf of your constituents? Isn't that why I take the time to review the qualifications of and positions taken by my representatives when I vote? Do you want our ballots to look like California's? I sincerely hope not! Solicit the opinions of your constituents. Hold a town meeting or ask for emails or phone calls to help you decide. Vote on the merits and the substance of this bill---it is what we elect you to do for us. How many ways are you able to come up with to kick this can down our crumbling roads? DO NOT attach a referendum amendment to this bill. If enough of the citizens of Baltimore County object to the bill, we well know how to raise a referendum by petition on our own. We don't need you to pre-empt or anticipate our actions! Sincerely,
Karl February 08, 2013 at 07:50 PM
Thank you Jean. Actually, it's worse than you think. A referendum would be statewide, not just Baltimore County. I suspect a hybrid board would pass. However, it would prolong the process and could be expensive if PACs and political campaign funds are spent. If we must go that route I'd like to see a choice of a hybrid, or fully elected board. Fat chance.
Robert Frisch February 08, 2013 at 08:43 PM
The intended action of Sen. Kelley is nothing more than a stalling tactic to prevent the citizens of Baltimore County from having a true voice in the selection of school board members. Public pressure needs to be brought to bear against Sen Kelley and any other member of the delegation that stand as obstructionists to your right to choose.
Karl February 08, 2013 at 09:09 PM
I'm not disagreeing with you. That being said, Senator Kelley is a good person.
Jean Suda February 08, 2013 at 09:36 PM
"Curiouser and curiouser", said Alice as the cheshire cat grinned.
Robert Frisch February 09, 2013 at 01:33 AM
Yes, good people do make bad decisions but that does not mean they should go unpunished, which may occur at the polls come the next election.
Karl February 09, 2013 at 02:14 AM
I'm not denying that. But lets not sink to a personal vendetta. She's not the only entrenched politician who has managed to stay in office way too long, despite his/her growing incompetance; Schaefer comes quickly to mind. I'd like to get rid of Kelley and all the others. However, they all cling together and scratch each other's backs. Incumbency is a powerful advantage.
AllStar February 12, 2013 at 04:40 AM
Karl, how do you know Senator Kelley is a good person?
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