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July 29, 2010

Candidate Interviews One-On-One

Joan Marie Aquilino

Join me on the Joan McIntyre Show live and unfiltered tomorrow morning. We will be conducting interviews of Frederick County Board of Education candidates on the web – interviews that will be equally live and unfiltered.


Not sure whether this would be considered an article or an advertisement but either way it's to inform and educate. I always try to do that in my more-often-than-not, ‘no nonsense’ effort to point the way.


Starting tomorrow, July 30th, Adam Avery and I will be conducting these interviews on air (via the Joan McIntyre Show courtesy of Nick Diaz has done many hours of pre-interviews for us, some I've attended, some on his own; but with his help and insight we are compiling lists of candidates and what they offer.


Up tomorrow on the “hot seat” will be Jimmy Reeder, Colleen Cusimano, Sarah McAleavy and Brad Young, to be followed by others next week. We will start at 11 A.M. and finish up around 3 P.M.


I've never witnessed the interest – the almost obsession – with a school board election as I’ve seen this year. The Board of Education’s budget could easily break the back of the county and I'm very much looking forward to what candidates have to say about it, especially how they intend to deal with the anger and frustration that is boiling up in the public arena.


When asked of the general public, the impression is that the school board, and all associated with it, demonstrates an elitist arrogance when justifying their spending practices. Is that really the case, or will we find a different perspective from the candidates? What explanations and/or solutions will they offer while keeping the proper perspective on the client – the children and taxpaying public? Quite a balancing act.


Are any of them prepared? Do we need fresh blood or the “same oh same oh” to get the job done? Tune in Friday and then make up your mind.


Keep this little pearl in the back of your mind when considering the budget for the school board. They used in one year the same amount of funding that two counties (Frederick and Carroll) plan to budget for a 30-year process of solving the trash issues in both counties. Ummmm, gives you a moment of pause I hope.


I’m talking dollars, nothing more nothing less. This in no way implies I’m comparing children’s education with the counties trash issues. This is the same Board of Education that gave the superintendent a bonus, yet couldn’t find the money to implement a recycling program in the schools, which would cost less than the bonus.


The Board of Education has an over half-a-billion dollar budget for operating the school system, the money that is earmarked to be used in the education of our children. This “budget” doesn’t include any payments for debt service on bonds sold to build schools, but it does include the money to fund the new central office building. The office building money totals more than $1.3 million in this fiscal year – money that will not go to the education of our children.


I will do my best in the interview process to be fair and balanced; but honestly after 20 years of advocating for the children, and now being against the funding for Frederick County Public Schools, it will difficult. As I've said so many times, money doesn't educate but rather it's the educated use of money that will ultimately make us the best and proudest. We'll see what these candidates have to say for themselves and, hopefully, you will tune in – either live or watch it through the show’s archives – because you can't help the children if you don't know the players.


If you vote blindly for what was because you don't know any better, then you are not voting for education. You shouldn't be casting a ballot for anyone until you educate yourself on the facts surrounding each candidate. That goes for any election but, for now, we are concentrating on the Board of Education. If a candidate won’t give a clear answer to your question, then they are suspect. They are not the people you want in charge. Do your best when forming questions to be asked. Keep it simple, straight forward and, if possible, have it answerable with either a “yes” or “no.” An explanation can follow if required, but if someone can’t answer “yes” or “no” and does nothing but give you verbiage which leaves you wondering what she or he said, then there is a problem. These are candidates that refuse to put themselves on the line and own up to their convictions.


See you Friday and in the meantime feel free to send your questions, thoughts and concerns to:, or directly to me at .



’til next time . . .


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