Saturday, December 10, 2022

Some Considerations Regarding Howard County Bill 10-23

If this bill is designed to be a "conversation starter," then why do some (let us call them non-opponents of the bill) seem determined to quash any conversation on the topic until it "evolves?"  So, we can only have a dialogue on certain terms? Whose and why?

Who, precisely, was clamoring for this "conversation" to even take place? We have very recently changed how Howard County Board of Education members are elected.  Surely, don't we want at least a couple more election cycles to pass before considering another significant change?  Frankly, in the present author's point of view, the current system seems to be working rather well.

And why should Howard County voters accept the "oh, the bill will change" line of argumentation as a valid reason to keep an open mind? If one believes that the proponents of this bill are recommending a fundamentally bad change, what reason is there to believe that their version 2.0 will be any better, especially if it maintains the appointment element? "You hated the first iteration, but wait until you see our watered-down bill!"

One more note on conversations, it seems as though some Board of Education members have had discussions with these legislators and/or their staffs, while others have not, despite inquiries apparently behind made by the former.  I thought the Board of Education only exercised power as a collective body, wouldn't it have been best to implement a formal, coherent, communications approach, from the sponsor side, so different Board members weren't hearing different messages at different times?  The communications to date seem very...selective.

And what is the motivation for those who seem to be carrying water for 10-23?

The timing of the bill is interesting insofar as it was filed right before the election, presumably (in part) so no one could say that it was filed in response to any particular outcome.  That said, I would be interested in knowing if anyone possessed any poll data showing that Dan Newberger (for whom I voted) was likely to finish behind both Jacky McCoy (for whom I voted) and Linfeng Chen.  If both McCoy and Newberger won, would there have been any demand for this type of change?  Would this bill have been withdrawn?  If so, doesn't that prove the intent behind the bill?

You know what is also interesting about the timing of this bill?  If it proved to be a non-starter (which indeed seems likely to be the case), the debate is taking place four years removed from the next state legislative elections.  In short, when memories of this issue will have faded.  In further short, it is not likely to be a primary-able issue by 2026.  And I believe this bill, as currently written, should invite primaries for those who support it.  It is not a simple process bill (and such bills rarely are), it goes to the heart of what it means to be the Party of the People.  Let the people, via the ballot box, decide who serves.

In solidarity.

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