Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

July 15, 2013

Ex-officio

Valentine should sit in on school board sessions

— We believe the Allegany County commissioners would prevail if they force the issue of whether Commissioner Bill Valentine, by virtue of his ex-officio membership on the board of education, should be permitted to sit in on the school board’s closed meetings.

But rather than become embroiled in a lawsuit over the matter, we encourage the county and school board to seek a Maryland attorney general’s opinion to settle the dispute. Then, whichever way the attorney general finds, the two sides should abide by the ruling.

For years the county commissioners have named one of their three members to serve as an ex-officio — that is, non-voting — member of the board of education.

Presumably the rationale for creating an ex-officio county member is to keep the lines of communication open between the county commissioners and the school board.

Unfortunately, the county commissioners and school board are in an adversarial relationship these days, primarily because of disagreements about the level of county funding of education and how school security should be handled.

But county commissioner and school board membership usually changes from election to election. The ex-officio provision should remain in place, whether the two sides are cooperating or not. County taxpayers are better served by having a commissioner serve as an ex-officio member since a lion’s share of county tax money is spent on education.

At last Thursday’s county commissioner meeting, Valentine offered a motion — which then was passed unanimously — to authorize County Attorney William Rudd to write to the school board’s members informing them of the county’s intentions of filing a lawsuit if Valentine continues to be excluded from closed sessions of the school board.

The best scenario in this matter would be for the school board to relent and allow Valentine into the executive sessions. If that does not happen, then we urge the two sides to seek the attorney general’s involvement so that the issue can be settled without spending tax dollars in a court battle.

 

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Get involved Get involved

    Cumberland residents who want to make an impact on their community have an opportunity in that the city is seeking applicants for five of its boards.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • If we don’t sell it to them, somebody else will

    The front page article on coal exports by AP writer Dina Cappiello is one of the most asinine and biased “news” articles I’ve read (“Not in my backyard: U.S. sending dirty coal abroad,” July 29 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 30, 2014

  • Not a villain Not a villain

    Time was that we looked for heroes. Heroes of the make-believe variety have sold a lot of comic books. We also had real-life heroes like Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, whose deaths the whole nation mourned.
    These days, we seem to be more interested in looking for villains. “Vote for me because I’m the good guy” has taken a back seat to “Don’t vote for him, because he’s the bad guy.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • About time About time

    Although many Cumberland streets are in need of repair and improvements, the decision by city and county officials to address Greene Street is a good one.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where is it?

    Once upon a time, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce held its annual conventions at the Bedford Springs resort hotel near Bedford, which is in Pennsylvania.

    July 28, 2014

  • Korean War Korean War

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sloppy lawmaking is to blame

    July 27, 2014

  • C-minus grade C-minus grade

    If a survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Kaufman Foundation is an accurate portrayal, Maryland has a long way to go to become a business-friendly state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo