The Dagger has learned that Harford County Board of Education President Patrick L. Hess will resign from the board during a regular business meeting scheduled for 7:00 p.m. tonight (Monday) in Bel Air. The abrupt departure comes prior to the expiration of Hess’ second term on the board in 2011 and less than three months into his second term as president.
Hess is expected to explain that he is resigning from the school board to focus on his business. He is the president and chief executive officer of Operations Management, Inc. /WDPB, Inc., which operates a number of Denny’s franchises in the area.
Hess is also believed to have political aspirations within the county.
No official announcement was made of Hess’ resignation prior to the Monday meeting, but the move explains why the board’s published agenda leads off with the following:
7:00 P.M. Call to Order – Robert M. Tomback, Ph.D., Superintendent of Schools and Secretary/Treasurer of the Board of Education
Quorum Roll Call – Recording Secretary
Reorganization of Board of Education President
Comments of Newly-Elected President
The newly elected president is likely to be Mark Wolkow. Wolkow is a past president who was also reappointed to a five-year board term that would normally expire in 2012. But Wolkow’s term may be extended to 2015 under the new law that transitions the Harford board from being fully appointed to majority-elected by 2014.
Also at Monday’s meeting, Donald R. Osman will take the place of Board Member Lee Merrell. Merrell, who was serving as the board’s vice-president, had sought a reappointment but Governor Martin O’Malley instead appointed Osman, a former HCPS teacher currently working in Cecil County. A new board vice-president will also be elected at the meeting.
Not to be forgotten in the school board shake-up, Monday will also mark the first appearance at a board meeting by Dr. Robert Tomback in his official capacity as superintendent of Harford County Public Schools.