The first thing I noticed when I arrived at the Oakland Mills Village Center last night was a Mike Smith campaign sign planted in the ground, which I found to be rather cheesy. I don't know what the rules were for last nights Candidate's Forum, but my gut feeling is that candidates were not invited to plant signs on Village Center property.
Once I parked my car, I noticed candidates Mike Smith and Christine O'Connor chit-chatting out front by his campaign sign. From the other side of the parking lot came a friendly shout, "Well, look! There's my favorite candidates!"
It was current Board Member Ann DeLacy.
The candidates' response was rather odd.
"Shh!" They shushed her.
"What do you mean, Shh?"
"Shh! You're not allowed to do that anymore."
"Didn't you see?"
At this point Ms. DeLacy had reached them and they bent their heads together in private conversation. I just kept on walking.
I can't wait to find out what all of that means. It was weird.
I want to thank the Villages of Columbia for organizing the Board of Education Candidate's Forum, and especially Sandy Cederbaum and the staff of Oakland Mills for hosting it at the Other Barn. They had a great turn out. Board Member Jonathan Edelson did a wonderful job of managing the introductions and getting the evening started. And staff from HCC's Mediation & Conflict Resolution Center were there to moderate the event.
As you already know, I think that this election is extremely important and I was thrilled to see so many people taking an interest. People from "inside The Bubble" and "outside The Bubble" were represented. And that's good.
I am going to save my analysis for tomorrow, as I have a lot of notes to sort through. I will say that Zaneb Beams drew spontaneous applause from the crowd twice during her remarks. And Allen Dyer produced possibly the only titter, when he suggested that we must "bus teachers--bus them to where they are needed most."
So, until tomorrow: here are the questions the eight candidates were asked to answer before last night's event. Are there any others that you would like to see addressed?