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Kamenetz to Legislators: Stop Elected School Board Talk

County executive says "any discussion of school governance at this time would be unsettling and potentially destabilizing."

The 2013 General Assembly session is about three months away and County Executive Kevin Kamenetz is already lobbying county lawmakers to oppose an effort to change how the school board is selected.

Kamenetz wrote in the letter dated August 4 in which he discussed the positives that have come from the appointment of S. Dallas Dance as schools systems new superintendent.

"I know that people of goodwill have had very different beliefs regarding the selection of the school board in Baltimore County. Considering all of the above, I would hope we can put our differences aside and avoid any discussion of how the county school board is selected in the foreseeable future. Dr. Dance was selected by the members of the current board and feedback from administrators, teachers, students and parents is overwhelmingly positive. Any discussion of school governance at this time would be unsettling and potentially destabilizing just when the school system appears to be gathering momentum," Kamenetz wrote.

Kamenetz's letter to the 29 senators and delegates was intercepted and published Wednesday night on the Advocates for Baltimore County Schools website.

"Mr. Kamenetz has started his campaign for maintaining the status quo by instructing our legislators to remain silent on the issue months before the legislative session," reads a statement by authors of the school advocacy website.

County legislators earlier this year came within minutes of passing a hybrid school board bill over the objections of Kamenetz, who opposed the bill and worked to bottle it up in the House Ways and Means Committee.

County lawmakers sought revenge on Kamenetz by taking some of his bill requests as hostages and openly criticizing him on the floor of the House and in interviews.

In the waning hours of the 2012 session, county legislators in the House cut a deal that forced House Ways and Means Committee Chairwoman Sheila Hixson to allow the bill to be voted out of her committee in return for county support on a gambling bill that ultimately never passed in the regular session.

Some said the school board bill hurt his relationship with the delegation in Annapolis and was part of what was a difficult second year for the new county executive.

Kamenetz's recent letter might be an attempt to prevent that kind of dissention in the ranks at a time when the county faces difficult fiscal challenges.

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Calm down October 11, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Ok, David...um I mean Bart.
Bart October 11, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Sorry Don, I mean Calm down. Strong Democrat here. I just know who best serves ALL the people of Baltimore County. I supported Bartenfelder. Couldn't stand KK then, even less now. KK has just become an extension of the Jim Smith crony system. Shame on him. Marks has done a lot for the 5th District. Far more than Vince (double dip) Gardina. Yeah, I support him, and I'm proud of it.
Bart October 11, 2012 at 07:41 PM
KK: You're hurting your constituents, here, leave it alone, please: "County lawmakers sought revenge on Kamenetz by taking some of his bill requests as hostages and openly criticizing him on the floor of the House and in interviews." Don't play quick and dirty again, this year, please. And, Calm down, please notice that nobody here supports your boss.
Robert Frisch October 12, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Mr. Kamenetz continues to believe that he knows best regardless of what the collective judgement of the many people who are elected at the state and local level to speak for their constituents. Obviously Mr. Kamenetz learned nothing from his earlier meddling in this matter. His arguments against an elected school board do not bear the credentials of conviction but rather smack of political arrogance.
Buzz Beeler October 12, 2012 at 02:08 AM
The king has spoken. I don't like being told what to think by someone who doesn't know the meaning. I'm old enough to know how to not only think but express those thoughts.

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