Yesterday's big news was the post from Fatimah Waseem of the Howard County Times that the Chair of the County Council, Calvin Ball, was filing legislation authorizing the Howard County Office of Law to take legal action against HCPSS for lack of cooperation with the County Auditor. This move was approved unanimously by the council and now CB 64-2016 will move forward to a public hearing on September 19th.
The County Council was really serious about that audit, but it appears that the school system didn't take that too seriously. This reminds me of the quote from Maryland State representative Terri Hill:
"It seems to me that they treat the public with absolute disdain, and then they go back to try to figure out how to manipulate within the system to treat them with disdain again," she said. "It's just really infuriating that the response we get from the school board as a whole is that there is no problem, and that the citizens and the rest of us must be imagining things."
This should provide some interesting topics of conversation at the next Citizens Budget Review Committee meeting as they attempt to make some headway in examining information which may or may not be forthcoming. I believe the issue of what to do if the school system refuses to cooperate with the committee's requests has already come up.
I wonder why.
In the meantime, I am hearing some disturbing reports of a whole lot of shredding going on at Central Office. I want to stress that this is "through the grapevine" information at this point. I can't verifiy it. But it does seem to be coming from more than one source, and it is persistent. Of course every organization engages in routine shredding of documents. Under ordinary circumstances no one would think anything of this.
These are not ordinary circumstances.
When the County Council is contemplating legal action against the Board of Education due to noncompliance with County Auditor requests, it kind of makes you wonder exactly what is being shredded out there. Possibly a whole lot of things we, as citizens of Howard County, ought to know.
This would be a good time to remind you that there's a school board election in November and that you have a chance to elect candidates who believe in transparency, responsiveness, accountability, and to remove an incumbent who is a contributing member of the team that got us into this mess. Howard County needs your vote. Don't sit this one out.