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February 4, 2003

Delaying School Board Appointment Serves No One

David 'Kip' Koontz

The names are in and the interviews are completed for the candidates for Board of Education. Well, most of them. Yet the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) will wait until February 14th to interview the three finalists for a second time.


It was decided by the BOCC to interview every candidate on January 27th for 20 minutes each.

However, Bill Eyler, a former schoolteacher, Thurmont businessman and BOE hopeful, was unable to attend the Q&A session as he says he was out of town chaperoning students on a trip in Europe and was thus unable to attend the 27th's meeting.

Mr. Eyler wrote a letter to the commissioners stating as such, and he was, in turn, given a special dispensation until February 10 when they will conduct his initial 20-minute interview.

While chaperoning is an honorable task to undertake, can one not question how important the BOE position is to Mr. Eyler if he is unable to adjust his schedule to accommodate the schedule that was determined to be followed by the BOCC?

It brings to mind a few things.

As Mr. Eyler will be interviewed the morning of February 10th, and the commissioners intend to go into executive session that afternoon to make their decision as to whom they will call back to re-interview on February 14th, will being the last person heard (especially since it will have been two weeks since the other candidates were interviewed) give Mr. Eyler an unfair advantage as his answers will be the freshest in the commissioner's minds?

Who knows, his answers may stink, or not be what the commissioner's have in mind, but one might suggest, as a former teacher, he would have the ability to speak well and/or be persuasive.

Since the commissioners decided to exempt one hopeful from the January 27th interviews, why did they just not move all the candidate interviews to February 10th?

The basic gist of this is simply that it seems a bit unfair to those folks who managed to make it on the 27th, who sat around and waited to be called to answer those questions, that they now have to wait this additional time to find out who is going to make the "Final Three."

There is an old quote, "They also serve who only stand and wait,"(John Milton: On His Blindness) which can be looked at in this situation as follows: are the commissioners really serving those who are sitting around and waiting?

Are they serving the needs of only one person?

Are they serving the needs of the Board of Education?

Just pick someone, already! The talent pool from which you already have to select seems to boast some pretty qualified people.

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