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May 5, 2014

Vetting Candidates a Necessary Task

Jill King

Yes-sir-eee, it is campaign season and there are still some candidates left who preach – or are running for a reason that only the voters can weed out. Here are a few more that the Frederick County Teachers Association (FCTA) has endorsed.


First of all, many don't understand the process behind the FCTA endorsement. According to Gary Brennan, union member extraordinaire and chief, the FCTA has a Board for Elections. This board consists of 13 voters.


The board then decides on candidates and sends out a yes or no list to the other members. Just like any other endorsement, we will never know how many actually turn in the ballot. Since no one provides a percentage, we can just perceive that the numbers are low.


If no one has noticed, the FCTA did not endorse one candidate in the District 4 race, possibly because the majority is Republicans, with few if any challenges.


As this week has gone, watching an unraveling of Elizabeth Barrett’s sermon on fiscal responsibility on the Internet a bonus prize was awarded when she continued it into a Frederick News-Post Letter to the Editor.


Elizabeth Barrett is one of the propped up candidates for Board of Education by the FCTA and it seems to be backfiring.


First and foremost, we are unsure how long she has been a resident in Frederick County due to her April 17, 2014, finalization of foreclosure on her and Michael Doerrer's home in Carroll County. He happens to be Director of Communications for Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS).


According to the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) web site, 4113 Sequoia Drive in Westminster, Maryland, was purchased by the two on March 8, 2006, for a generous $610,000. The first hyperlink shows that there was a loss of $180,100 at sale.


In accessing the Maryland Judiciary Case Search site, the two have been facing this for a while, including a bankruptcy case filed by Ms. Barrett.


It is one thing to be poor and attempt to live within your means, but most wouldn't feel sorry for the McMansion buyer during a not-yet improving economy who preaches about fiscal matters.


Ms. Barrett has gone on to acknowledge that she and Director Dorerrer are co-parents of children, but in the past has called him a husband on Facebook posts and wore a wedding band.


Now, we should give her the benefit of the doubt with the term "co-parenting" since it does speak to the fact that they share children responsibly. The question though is what other potentially privy information do they share when it comes to FCPS?


Just when the week was winding down and research for Ms. Barrett stopped, The Frederick News-Post squeaked out a Letter to the Editor on what? Once again, Ms. Barrett is preaching more fiscal responsibility, against the only three who have tried to rein in spending with the Board of Education.


We know times can be hard and people struggle, but her past financial decisions – the only financial decisions we have on record – which are not that of a fiscally prudent representative.


Call it any way you want... This is not like the matter of a robo-call made in the Frederick City elections, where times fell hard and people get behind. It is a matter of poor fiscal decisions and an effort by the FCTA to get rid of responsible Board of Education members Colleen Cusimano, Brad Young, and April Miller.


These are matters that the public deserves to know, not when she is being told how to fix things by the union.


It is always important to remember to vote with your conscience; no one has to know who you voted for except you.


Who likes being told someone is making bad choices, when they are not a pillar of successful financing.


Good grief! It isn't enough of a slap in the face that they are endorsing FCTA family then they go on to endorse a County Executive candidate who has a great many issues in filling out a questionnaire.


As seen in the hyperlink, there are scribbles where he miss-spells friends, then makes it difficult to follow having to go back and forth through the questions, answering at the bottom, instead of in the space provided.


These are not qualities that any teacher should uphold; many should have been reaching for the red pen after reading his answers. Many Human Resources staffers would have pitched this one in the trash.


Seriously people, the board at the FCTA is truly showing its partisan interests and not vetting candidates. It is our job to inform ourselves; sometimes the findings are not what one would expect.


Retraining my brain for the future, conferring with the past...



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