EDGEWOOD: Better with EVERYONE’S Help!
A Thriving, Diverse and Compassionate Community that Welcomes All Citizens!
January 2009 Edition
What’s Been Happening?
Happy New Year to all our residents of the great community of Edgewood! We hope you will enjoy good health, an optimistic attitude and experience only positive events throughout the new year.
The December 2nd Tree Lighting Ceremony and Visit from Santa Claus held at the Edgewood Farmers Market Pole Barn brought nearly 150 people together to celebrate the spirit of the season. The event sponsored by the Edgewood Alliance was a fun filled evening of special speakers, a tree lighting, visit from Santa, and caroling. Hot chocolate, coffee, hot tea, cookies, and cupcakes were served by the Edgewood Lions Club. The decorated Christmas tree was dedicated in memory of Derald Guess.
The December 12th Holiday Movie and Fun Night at the Edgewood Boys and Girls Club was another success story. The program featured the holiday movie ELF and wonderful pre-movie entertainment was provided by Steve Gambrill of Extreme Family Outreach. Considerable effort is needed to make good things happen in our community and MANY thanks go to the supporting organizations and numerous volunteers who have contributed their time and talents and services to benefit our community this fall. Here are some of the people we thank: Alan Doran, Mary Barry, Tanya Cook, Susan Deeney, Suzanne and Rick Streeter, Jamie Church, Tom Cleaver, Tanya Cook, Dave Ensminger, Steve Gambrill, Bill Fritz, Mike Goodson, Tom Hammen and men from the Edgewood Lions Club, Jackie Holsopple, Rob Thomas, Dion Guthrie, Dan Riley, Sheriff Jesse Bane, Jesse Spruell, Jamie Thiess, Richard Moats, Tom Cleaver, Lynn Shaw, Jim and Chef Clarence, Marty Pratt and a special heartfelt thank you to Michelle Guess and her entire family.
We graciously acknowledge the many sponsors and persons who donated items for these events: Mountain Christian Church, PNC Bank, Edgewood Lions Club, Richlin Ballroom, Hess Hotels Group, M & T Bank, Thompson Automotive Group, WJSS Radio, Sleep Inn and Suites Edgewood, Boys and Girls Club of Harford County, Clarence’s Taste of New Orleans Restaurant, Custom Direct, The Abingdon Fire Department, Extreme Family Outreach, Freedom Federal Credit Union, Harford County Public Library, Harford County Office of Economic Development, and Harford County Department of Community Services.
At the 2nd annual Legislative Town Hall Meeting held in September WE THE PEOPLE informed our elected representatives that their performance in meeting the expectations of our community would be evaluated. The first annual performance appraisals were completed in late November and assessed such matters as soliciting our community on issues, collaboration, visibility and attendance, proposing solutions to key issues and communication skills in keeping our community informed along with an overall rating. The Edgewood Community Council (ECC) tabulated these results and the findings are provided for your information at the end of this newsletter.
Where’s the Action?
Your ECC consists of volunteers who are working to make our community a better place to live. We need for you to become active in supporting the ECC and in making issues known so that action can be taken. Committees include Safety & Security; Historical & Cultural; Education; Business Development; Ministerial Alliance; Neighborhood Youth Panel; Special Events/Independence Day Celebration; Laws & Legislative Actions; and various subcommittees. Volunteering and service are key elements leading to a better quality of life and a more neighborly community. This is your chance to see what’s going on and to help improve our community.
Here’s More News!
BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure ) Job Fair – Susquehanna Workforce Network, Inc., CECOM LCMC and Army Team C4ISR will be holding a BRAC Job Fair on Saturday, February 7, 2009, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The event will take place at the Harford Community College Chesapeake Center, 401 Thomas Run Road, Bel Air, MD. Recruitment will be for Government Positions at Aberdeen Proving Ground including, but not limited to: Budget Analyst, Computer Scientist, Contract Specialist, Engineer, Logistics Manager, Management Analyst, Operations Research Analyst & Accountant, Program Analyst and Program Manager. Registration at www.swnetwork.org is REQUIRED in order to attend. For further information, call (410)939-4240.
Anna’s House – Assistance for Homeless Women and Children
Anna’s House is a transitional and permanent housing program for homeless women and children. The Anna’s House mission is to provide a safe, secure home for displaced women and children. They assist by providing family case management using community services offered by Harford County. Education, employment and empowerment are the paths to self-sufficiency. Volunteers and staff help the families on a journey to independence.
To learn more about Anna’s House please contact Patsy Jackson at (410) 803-2130 or email email@example.com . Donations and volunteers are always needed.
Harford Transit is proud to present Saturday service beginning January 10, 2009 on the following fixed routes: the 1/1A (Havre de Grace, Aberdeen, Bel Air); 2/2A (Joppatowne, Abingdon, Edgewood, Bel Air); and 6/6A (Aberdeen, Edgewood). The service will run from 7 AM to 5 PM (except the 6/6A, which will run from 6:55 AM to 4:56 PM). See an update on MTA cutbacks in State Delegate Dan Riley’s report below.
For more news about Edgewood check out Dave Stansbury’s excellent website for our community that provides many links and interesting information. On the Web at http://town.edgewood.md.us
The Greater Edgewood Education Foundation also has a website with information pertinent to our community. Check out http://www.myedgewoodmd.com
You can also look at the Harford County Public Schools website at “www.hcps.org” for information. It is time to BE PROUD of Edgewood, our schools and our status in this county.
What’s Up Next?
ECC meeting, January 14th, 2009 will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Edgewood Recreation and Community Center (ERC), 1980 Brookside Drive. The following months meetings will be on February 11th and March 11th at the ERC.
The Sons of the American Legion and The American Legion Auxiliary Edgewood Service Post Unit 17 located on Edgewood Road will hold a Quarter Auction for February 7th, 2009. Doors open 5 pm Auction starts 6 pm. Pre-Sale $3/paddle 2nd paddle Free. Cost at door $3/paddle 2nd paddle $2.00 Bake Sale/Snacks/Food Available. Variety of items: tools, Tupperware, Home Interior Longaberger Baskets, Cookie Lee, and more.
Call Keith 410-937-3421 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Edgewood Library Programs
Our Edgewood Branch Library has a full range of excellent programs for all ages. The library is located at 629 Edgewood Road. Here are SOME of the offerings:
Adults and high school students can join our Winter Reading Program, Go Nuts About Reading!, at the check out desk or the information desk during library hours or online at www.hcplonline.info
Some of our January and early February programs:
LAB: Age Group: Middle/High School
Middle and High School Clubs and Groups
Day of the week Tuesday Event Date Jan 13 Start Time Library Hours Contact No. 410-612-1600 Event Description Leadership, Academics and Books: Reach out in the community, get some homework help or talk about a book. We’ll cover it all.
LEAP: Diabetes Diagnosed Age Group Children
Age/Grade Grade 4~8 Event Type LEAP
Day of the week Wednesday Event Date Jan 14 Start Time 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM Contact No. 410-612-1600 Event Description One out of every 17 people in the US may become diabetic in their lifetime. By testing simulated blood and simulated urine from several “patients” we will diagnose diabetes. Registration required and begins 2 weeks prior to all program/class dates Please Call 410-612-1600 . This program is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services
Yu-Gi-Oh Dueling Club: Age Group Everyone
Age/Grade Grades 5 and up Event Type Library Event
Day of the week Saturday Event Date Jan 17 Start Time 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM Contact No. 410-612-1600 Event Description Activities include beginning instruction, tournaments and free play.
Nuts and Bolts of DTV Age Group Adult
Event Type Library Event
Day of the week Saturday Event Date Jan 17 Start Time 10:30 AM Contact No. 410-612-1600 Event Description Everything you need to know about the conversion to Digital Television on February 17, 2009. Registration required and begins 2 weeks prior to all program/class dates Please Call 410-612-1600 . Radio Shack
Fun with Spanish Age Group Children
Age/Grade 2-5 years Event Type Children’s Story Times
Day of the week Tuesday Event Date Jan 20 Start Time 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM Contact No. 410.612.1600 Event Description Presented by staff from Fun with Foreign Language. Registration required and begins 2 weeks prior to all program/class dates Please Call 410.612.1600
Game On! @ Your Library: Age Group Middle/High School
Event Type Library Event
Day of the week Tuesday Event Date Jan 20 Start Time 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM Contact No. 410-612-1600 Event Description Match your skills against fellow gamers. Participate in some friendly and sometimes competitive play of Xbox and Nintendo Wii video games.
LEAP: Doctor! Doctor! Age Group Children
Age/Grade Grade3~8 Event Type LEAP
Day of the week Saturday Event Date Jan 24 Start Time 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM Contact No. 410-612-1600 Event Description We’ve all been poked, stuck, and prodded at the doctor’s office. Now’s the chance to find out what it all means as you take blood pressure, measure temperatures, test urine and more! Registration required and begins 2 weeks prior to all program/class dates Please Call 410-612-1600 . This program is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services
Beat the Winter Blues Bingo: Age Group Everyone
Event Type Library Event
Day of the week Saturday Event Date Jan 24 Start Time 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM Contact No. 410-612-1600 Event Description Liven up your winter fun with games of bingo. Children not reading on their own must come with a reader. Registration required and begins 2 weeks prior
Babies Love Books: Age Group Children
Event Type Children’s Story Times
Day of the week Friday Event Date Jan 30 Start Time 10:30 AM Contact No. 410-612-1600 Event Description Playgroup follows for meeting and mingling. Registration required and begins 2 weeks prior to all program/class dates Please Call 410-612-1600
Beginning Origami: Age Group Children
Event Type Library Event
Branch Edgewood Day of the week Monday Event Date Feb 2 Start Time 6:30 PM Contact No. 410-612-1600 Event Description Learn basic folds and make easy shapes. Registration required and begins 2 weeks prior to all program/class dates Please Call 410-612-1600
Nuts and Bolts of Reverse Mortgages: Age Group Adult
Event Type Library Event
Day of the week Tuesday Event Date Feb 3 Start Time 10:30 AM Contact No. 410-612-1600 Event Description Learn everything you need to know about this government-sponsored program from a mortgage specialist. Registration required and begins 2 weeks prior to all program/class
Anime Club: Age Group Middle/High
Event Type Middle and High School Clubs and Groups
Branch Edgewood Day of the week Tuesday Event Date Feb 3 Start Time 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM Contact No. 410-612-1600 Event Description Teens discuss Anime and Manga. Registration is not required
History of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.; Making a Difference: Age Group Everyone
Event Type Black History Month
Day of the week Saturday Event Date Feb 7 Start Time 10:30 AM Contact No. 410-612-1600 Event Description Dwayne Adams will present the history of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc, the first African-American national fraternal organization founded at a historically black college. Members of the Fraternity will present to the Library the book, Others Thought I Could Lead, by James Avery. Registration required and begins 2 weeks prior to all program/class dates Please Call 410-612-1600.
African Tales: Age Group Children
Age/Grade age 4 – grade 2 Event Type Black History Month
Day of the week Monday Event Date Feb 9 Start Time 6:30 PM Contact No. 410-612-1600 Event Description Delight in stories and folk tales from Africa and make a craft. Registration required and begins 2 weeks prior to all program/class dates Please Call 410-612-1600.
Harford Transit has started a new Demand Response Service for eligible senior citizens, individuals with disabilities and low-income wage earners. The service is available from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays. The fare is $2 (Harford Transit-issued vouchers will be accepted) to take eligible participants wherever they need to go. Reservations must be made by 2 p.m. the working day before travel is planned.
The service area includes parts of Aberdeen, Bel Air, Edgewood and Havre de Grace, and areas in between. A map of the service area with boundaries is online at “www.harfordtransit.org”. Individuals with disabilities are given priority for this service. Passengers must verify their disability through an existing service: ADA Paratransit, SSTAP/Demand Response, or the Reduced Fare Program. Residents 60 and older may use the service if they are registered with Harford Transit. Low-income residents of any age may use this service if they are referred to Harford Transit by Harford County Department of Social Services or Susquehanna Workforce.
Harford Transit dispatchers will determine eligibility for those with disabilities and senior citizens, using existing procedures. For low-income residents, dispatchers should have a written referral from one of the referring agencies (e-mail is acceptable with documentation). All trips will be on a first-come, first-served basis, but in the event that a priority needs to be established, those with disabilities will get first priority.
Edgewood Senior Center Winter Class sessions are now ongoing through March 13th. For other scheduled activities and lunch services please visit the Center located at 1000 Gateway Road.
What Else is New?
Citizen’s Police Academy Accepting Applications
The Harford County Sheriff’s Office is once again offering citizens of the county the opportunity to attend the annual Citizen’s Police Academy. The 15-week program provides citizens with a better understanding of their Sheriff’s Office in an effort to foster a partnership between the agency and community.
This year’s academy, which is free of charge to residents of the county, will be held every Wednesday evening beginning March 4th and will continue through June 11, 2009. The academy is open to any Harford County resident 18 years of age or older. Additionally, community groups, businesses and elected officials are encouraged to nominate individuals to participate in the academy.
Weekly classroom instruction will include overviews of many aspects of the Sheriff’s Office, including patrol services, community policing, criminal investigation, the K-9 unit, dive team, and crisis negotiation. Deputies will provide information on topics such as personal safety, drug identification and gangs. Attendees will supplement their classroom training with field trips to the Harford County Detention Center, Emergency Operations Center, Sheriff’s Office Evidence Collection Unit, Harford County Circuit Court and the Broad Creek Firearms Range.
During the academy, attendees will have the opportunity to use the agency’s Firearms Training System (FATS). This state-of-the-art video training system allows students to experience, in a realistic setting; examples of scenarios police officers are confronted with, including those requiring life and death decisions.
The Harford County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Police Academy was created 16 years ago in an effort to better inform and educate the public as to how their Sheriff’s Office works in today’s society. Enrollment is limited to 25 students so apply ASAP! Closing date for applications is February 27, 2009. We encourage as many Edgewood residents as possible (especially youth leaders) to attend this Academy. A sample application form is appended to this newsletter for your convenience.
How can I Help?
Attend the next ECC meeting and learn about ongoing projects and programs: volunteer to record the meeting minutes;
Help is needed on our special project to create a positive image of Edgewood with the development of a “Why Edgewood” booklet/brochure. This will be MOST important considering the anticipated influx of BRAC personnel;
Support our Edgewood merchants and the Route 40 corridor Business Associates;
Take your family to a place of worship of your choice and become more involved;
Support our volunteer Fire Departments. Only 20% of our community households donate during their annual appeal for dollars to be used for equipment and training. Support those who protect us and respond if we have a fire and also become a volunteer fireman or woman if you are able to do so.
Important People to Contact.
Dion F. Guthrie: District A County Council Representative for Edgewood/Joppatowne. 410-638-4109 x1403 or via e-mail: email@example.com.
Jane Walker: Harford County Office of Government and Community Relations.
410-638-3355/410-838-4284(fax) or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jansen Robinson: Chairman, Edgewood Community Council. 410-676-1589 (h),
410-258-4552 (cell) or via email: email@example.com.
Art Stuempfle, Editor, Edgewood Newsletter firstname.lastname@example.org
American Legion Post 17 News
Do you play BINGO, come join us at the American Legion Edgewood Service Post 17, 415 Edgewood Road, Edgewood, MD 21040, 410-676-1147, every Sunday, doors open 5:00 pm, play begins 6:15pm, door prizes and food available for purchase; under new management of the American Legion Auxiliary, come support your local veterans organization.
COUNTY COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVE
Dion Guthrie’s Report
I am pleased to report that the Board of Estimates recently approved a request that I have been working on for a number of years. They approved a $1,142,864 capital project for the Magnolia Recreation Complex which is basically in back of Magnolia Middle and Magnolia Elementary Schools. Lots of students from both Edgewood and Joppatowne attend these schools so all will benefit. This appropriation will build three soccer fields, two softball diamonds, a new storm water management facility and will expand the two parking lots. I would like to thank Council President Billy Boniface and County Executive David Craig for their help in completing this project.
An update on the old abandoned Normar’s restaurant that is near the corner of Rt. 152 and Rt. 7 – “The Greeks” who owned all of the Greek diners in the area have purchased that facility and will be demolishing it and building a brand new upscale restaurant.
I have had several meetings with APG, Jim Richardson, Director of Economic Development and Marty Resnick who owns all of the Martin’s Catering facilities throughout the State. He is interested in building a Martin’s Northwind somewhere near the entrance into APG. I have known Mr. Resnick for a very long time and he asked me to put this meeting together. I am hoping that success will come from this meeting and we will have our new Martin’s in Harford County.
This just in – The Maryland Public School system has moved to the head of the class according to an independent national report released on January 7, 2009. Education Week, the nation’s leading education newspaper, looked at data in six critical categories over the past two years, and found that Maryland’s State education system is at the very top of national rankings. Maryland placed at the top of the list in Education Week’s tally, just ahead of Massachusetts. Other high-scoring systems include New York and Virginia. Maryland’s ranking is based on student performance and State education policies that reflect more than a decade of work on a preK-12 curriculum; State accountability and standards; and work on school readiness, high school reform, and preparation for college and the workplace. The publication’s detailed analysis of State education systems rated Maryland’s program of transitions and alignment – the policies and programs that take student from preschool through college and work-readiness – as tops in the nation. Maryland scored an A, 96.4 percent.
Information from State Delegate Dan Riley
An update on the MTA cutbacks.
MARC and Commuter Bus service will not operate on federal holidays and the days after Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
MTA will eliminate the last round trip (train #447 and 448), and mid-morning trains 410 and 412 will be combined and operate as Train #410 at 8:30 a.m.
MTA will eliminate the use of ten-trip ticket on MARC.
MTA is eliminating Commuter Bus service on the Route 412 from Bel Air to Baltimore.
MTA is eliminating one round trip from Harford County to Baltimore on Routes 410, 411 and 420.
I know this is very frustrating to many of us who opposed these cuts. There is more information available at the MTA’s website at www.mtamaryland.com or by calling 410-539-5000, or toll free at 1-866-ride-mta. Additional questions or comments, contact Mr. Henry Kay, MTA’s Deputy Administrator for Planning and Engineering, at 410-767-8362 or by email at email@example.com. You can also contact Paul Wiedefeld at 410-767-3943 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
News from Harford County Executive David R. Craig
Harford County to Commission Fire Service Study
Harford County Executive David R. Craig, in cooperation with the Harford County Council, is commissioning a study of the Harford County fire and EMS service. The study will be conducted during 2009.
Harford County is currently served by twelve independent volunteer fire and emergency medical services (EMS) companies operating from twenty-five locations. These companies function under the umbrella of the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association.
“In planning for the future, we want a thorough independent assessment of the current and future needs of the fire service,” stated County Executive Craig. “We are by no means planning to discontinue or eliminate volunteers from our systems of emergency service providers. On the contrary, we want to do all we can to provide the support and funding they require to be effective for years to come,” Craig remarked.
Harford County Executive David R. Craig has announced an initiative to assist homeowners in the county who are facing foreclosure. The Harford County Housing Agency is staffed with HUD certified counselors who provide free foreclosure counseling and help find solutions. All counseling is completely confidential.
In addition, The Harford County Law Department, the Department of Treasury and the Department of Community Services have also joined in the effort through a variety of programs including a Deferred Tax Program for those in danger of losing their homes because they cannot pay their property taxes.
Timeliness is of utmost importance when dealing with foreclosure. The sooner a homeowner contacts the Housing Agency the better the chance of avoiding foreclosure. For additional information, visit the Harford County Housing Agency online,
Guidance from Sheriff Bane
Preventing Theft Of & From Motor Vehicles
Vehicle thefts often increase during the colder months. Many of these thefts occur when cars are parked but left running in driveways or at convenience stores. In addition, thefts from vehicles have increased over the past year. Many of these thefts occur when cars are parked in driveways or along neighborhood streets. The popularity of GPS, radar detectors, cell phones, computers, and other electronic devices often attract thieves.
Teenagers as well as adults often commit these crimes in residential areas, walking from vehicle to vehicle, lifting door handles to see if they can find one unlocked and/or running. “These circumstances are categorized as crimes of opportunity because unless the opportunity presents itself, the perpetrators usually do not commit the crime,” said Sgt. Kevin Thomas, supervisor of the Community Policing Unit. The opportunity arises when vehicles are left unsecured, running, and items of value are left in the vehicle. When the perpetrators find an unlocked vehicle, they will open the door and take whatever is easily removable from the vehicle.
The Sheriff’s Office offers the following tips to reduce the risk of being a victim of theft from your car.
Always turn your car off when not occupied. Maryland Vehicle Law section 21-1101 prohibits the following: “…a person driving or otherwise in charge of a motor vehicle may not leave it unattended until the engine is stopped, the ignition locked, the key removed, and the brake effectively set.” Violation of this statute may result in a fine of $70.00 or more.
Always lock your vehicle when it is parked. Criminals prey on the easy victim. By simply locking your vehicle the criminal will usually move on.
Hide or take it with you. Do not leave purses, wallets, or loose money in your vehicle. If your purse or wallet is taken you could become the victim of other crimes such as stolen checks, credit cards, or even identity theft. Electronics and their accessories including cell phone holders, suction cups, power cords, etc., should be placed out of site, when you are not in your car.
Park your vehicle in your driveway or garage when possible. If you have a garage or access to a garage, use it and lock it. If you have an attached garage make sure the door between the house and garage is always locked. If your garage door opener is stolen from your vehicle, you risk giving the criminal access to your entire home.
Park in a well lit area. Lighting is a deterrent. If a thief has to work in the light, the greater the chance he/she will be caught.
Consider starting or actively participating in a Neighborhood Watch Program. Neighborhood Watch is designed to reduce criminal opportunity and prevent crime through awareness, education, and cooperation between the community and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. To learn more about Neighborhood Watch, contact the Harford County Sheriff’s Office Community Policing Unit at “email@example.com”.
And while you are at it, check out www.crimereports.com for an up-to-date listing of crime in your neighborhood.
A Discussion Regarding an ELECTED BOARD oF EDUCATION
95% of school boards in the nation are elected by the communities they serve.
In Maryland, 18 out of 24 counties elect their school board.
In Harford County, the school board is appointed by the Governor without any input from the citizens.
Years ago the Permanent Nominating Caucus (PNC) used to make recommendations to the Governor for board of education appointments, but this organization has ceased to function.
The PNC process, even when fully functioning, had drawbacks.
Delegates to the PNC had to meet certain criteria, which created barriers to participation by all citizens.
Currently, there is no mechanism by which the public provides input into the governor’s selection of board of education members.
It should be noted that the Board of Education sets policy, approves curriculum and oversees more than $400 million taxpayer dollars, representing approximately one half of the operating budget of Harford County government.
The following is a brief overview of the pros and cons of school board elections:
Con: Elections make the school board “political”
Pro: (1) Political connections are currently the only way to get an appointment to the school board. (2) While elections are certainly political, school board elections must be non-partisan by law and the public is included in the political process
Con: Wealthy contributors can influence elected school board members.
Pro: (1) Candidates for elected office must file financial statements and publicly disclose the names of campaign contributors, unlike appointed members, who are not required to make financial disclosures to the public. (2) Statistics from the National School Boards Association (www.nsba.org) indicate that 75% of school board candidates spend less than $1000 on their campaigns, funded primarily by family and friends.
Con: Elected board members may be more likely to disagree with each other or the school administration and create “dysfunction”.
Pro: (1) Lively debate can often produce new ideas and positive outcomes. (2) The school board is the oversight body of the school system and therefore should not act as a rubber stamp.
Con: Elected boards may not be balanced in terms of skills or knowledge or represent the diversity of the community.
Pro: (1) There is no assurance that a governor will create balance in school board selections. (2) Our current board of education, while appointed, does not have a member who has ever been a teacher in Harford County Public Schools.
Con: Harford County Public Schools have always had an appointed board – why “mess with success”?
Pro: (1) Since the Permanent Nomination Caucus disbanded two years ago, there is no public input into the selection of school board members. (2) There must be some mechanism for local input. (3) Opponents of school board elections want to try to fix the old PNC and make it mandatory by law, meaning any taxpayer excluded from voting in the PNC, would have no voice and the Governor would still make the final decisions. (4) Elections are an accessible, fair and time-tested method of selecting the school board.
Con: Harford County Public Schools’ performance is near the top despite ranking near last in funding.
Pro: (1) There is no evidence that this is due to the appointed school board and research indicates there is no correlation between funding and performance.
(2) Many top-funded school systems have low performance (i.e. Baltimore City) Harford County Public Schools was once considered the number two school system in the state (behind Howard County, which has an elected school board), but performance has dropped to the top half or top third. (3) Research indicates that whether a school board is elected or appointed board does not impact performance, although studies indicate elected boards are more responsive to public concerns.
Con: Candidates will use the board of education as a stepping stone to higher political office.
Pro: (1) Being an effective board of education member is a difficult job involving a substantial portion of public funds. (2) Candidates who aspire to “higher” political office will first have to prove themselves to the voters through their performance on the school board.
Con: Elected school board members would have to be paid, costing the taxpayers money.
Pro: (1) There is no law requiring that elected school board members be paid and there is no law stating that appointed school board members cannot be paid.
(2) Statistics from the NSBA indicate that nationally, two-thirds of school board members are not paid, and only 1 in 5 of paid school board members receive $10,000 per year or more. (3) Planned legislation to create an elected school board for Harford County does not include payment for board members.
ELECTED BOARDS OF EDUCATION:
Provide accountability to parents and to the taxpayers who support public schools
Provide the public with a way to keep effective board members for more than one term
Provide the public with the opportunity to choose among candidates for open board seats
Create campaigns which increase public awareness of issues in education
Owe their allegiance to the public, rather than to the governor or to other political patrons
ANNUAL PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL RESULTS
OFFICE REPRESENTATIVE Solicits input from our community to identify issues important to us.
Works with our community and the other political party to seek solutions to our problem(s).
Attend activities and events held in or sponsored by our community.
Proposes legislation and programs that reflect what is important to our community.
Keeps our community informed about the status of issues identified as important to us.
CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE Dutch Ruppersberger 2 3 3 3 3 2.8
COUNTY EXECUTIVE David Craig 2 3 3 3 4 3.0
COUNTY COUNCIL PRESIDENT William Boniface 2 2 2 2 2 2.0
COUNTY SHERIFF Jesse Bane 4 5 5 4 4 4.4
COUNTY COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVE Dion Guthrie 4 5 5 5 5 4.8
STATE SENATOR Nancy Jacobs 2 2 2 3 2 2.2
STATE DELEGATE Mary Dulany-James 2 2 2 3 2 2.2
STATE DELEGATE Daniel Riley 2 2 2 3 2 2.2
BOARD OF EDUCATION Mark Wolkow 2 2 2 N/A 3 2.25
132 responses returned out of the 500 disseminated.
There were as many as 9 and as few as 6 responses electronically.
The balance was hard copy responses.
Not all of the elected officials representing Edgewood were evaluated.
All responses indicated that they were from registered voters.
5 = Outstanding: (Consistently fulfills expectations of our community)
4 = Excellent: (Regularly fulfills expectations of our community)
3 = Average: (Generally fulfills expectations of our community)
2 = Below Average: (Often fails to fulfill expectations of our community)
0 = Unsatisfactory: (Has failed to fulfill expectations of our community)
N/A = (Not Applicable)