Friday, August 26, 2016

Coming Back at You

I just want to start by acknowledging that I had no idea of the truly bad pun coming your way when I wrote this post last week, "Ball in Your Court, #HoCoGov". So the following is not intentional.

Yes, when it comes to mold in our schools and getting transparency and accountability, we seemed to be at a standstill when the the firm commissioned to investigate by the County Executve's office was basically discredited by a contractor hired by the school system. Top it off with the news that the (independent?) investigators were not permitted to speak publicly without permission of the school system.

Ball in your court, #HoCoGov.

It turns out that there is indeed a chance to turn this game around because the ball in HoCoGov's court is Calvin Ball, Chair of the County Council. (I know, I know, but stay with me here.)

The saga of mold has gotten so complicated that I had forgotten that Dr. Ball authored and got legislation passed to have the Environmental Sustainability Board evaluate all air quality reports for our schools. This actually happened before the Memorandum of Understanding from Mr. Kittleman's office. And it's still a happening thing. The report is due in/around October.

So we have the contractor paid by HCPSS who only says what they tell him to say. And we have the firm hired by the County Executive's Office who only talks when HCPSS tells them they can talk. And we have an editorial in the Howard County Times that says, "What the heck?" What we really need is a comprehensive and independent report where the only allegiance in play is to providing citizens with the facts and what they mean.

I don't want to get overly excited here, but it looks like Dr. Ball and the County Council have laid the groundwork for this to happen. This could be a very good thing for the health of our students, faculty, and staff.

The game goes on. I'm feeling more optimistic about how it will turn out.


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