It’s ironic, the way Harford County Board of Education President Tom Fidler chose to issue a lecture about the limits on the official authority of the County Council-created Board of Education Nominating Committee on unofficial stationery.
For such a ponderous pronouncement, supposedly agreed upon by the entirety of the Board of Education, you would think Fidler would have used the actual Board of Education seal and letterhead. You know, just to drive home how official the position is. Instead, it looks like he whipped up a cut and paste job at home on Microsoft Word before dashing it off to the Harford County Council.
Some highlights from this obnoxious tutorial by the soon-to-be Ex-President of the Board of Education for the edification of the President of the County Council:
Even though Fidler clearly states “This will serve to advise you of the position of the Board of Education” there is no public record we can find of the Board of Education having voted on this position.
Fidler has suddenly re-positioned himself as the champion of unnamed community members, who he says are “not appreciative of their lack of presence” on the committee, but these are the same people he fought off with a stick when they wanted the right to vote in elections for the Board of Education.
Finally, three of the four bullet points are not positions, they are facts and they were also true of the Permanent Nominating Caucus the Board of Education was so eager to shove down everyone’s throat. Only # 4 is an actual position, and the only welcome news in the whole letter.
Here is the full text of Fidler’s letter to Harford County Council President Billy Boniface:
Dear President Boniface:
This will serve to advise you of the position of the Board of Education regarding the above Committee which the County Council created by formal action last month. Inasmuch as there appears to be confusion on the part of various persons, mainly concerned parents and community members, regarding the authority of this committee, this will serve to advise you of the Board of Education’s position regarding the Committee’s authority to nominate persons for selection to the Board of Education (“Board”). Frankly, many of the parents that supported the Council and its members’ initiatives in the past with an “elected” Board, are not very appreciative of their lack of presence and participation in this Committee, and, its membership. Regardless, the Board’s position is as follows:
1. The Board recognizes the Committee, but only as an entity that can make non-binding recommendations to the Governor;
2. The Committee is neither the exclusive nor required process by which a person may apply to be a Board of Education member;
3. A person may simply write to the Governor’s office expressing interest in becoming a member of the Board of Education without submitting their name or undertaking any interview with the Committee;
4. The Board of Education will express no position regarding any person nominated or recommended by the Committee for a Board position.
Be assured that I applaud the efforts of the County Council to advance some form of committee/group to begin rebuilding the formal process for future Board of Education appointments. I felt it necessary to clarify our position. I ask that, at the appropriate time, you include in your general comments during a Council meeting, some of the above points so that our citizens are clear on this Committee’s intent and authority. Please advise should you have any questions regarding the above.
Given his tone to the County Council in detailing the limited authority of the Nominating Committee, the irony is just too good to pass up if Filder sent this letter without first securing the proper authority from the Board of Education at large.