Larry Pretlow (candidate for HoCoBOE in District 2 in 2020) made the following comments on Facebook about the HCPSS budget process:

Calvin Ball Games!

It’s no secret, I am not the biggest fan of our county executive and so I won’t pretend to be – instead, I’ll amplify that he’s playing hard ball politics with tax payers, our children’s education and our first responders.

I have great respect for my friend Liz Walsh, and I recognize the effort she’s making with her colleague Deb Jung to move $8M in additional funding to our school budget. From my understanding each councilwoman would agree that the budget funding challenges impacting HCPSS will not be magically resolved in one year’s budget. However, I caution that we must be careful to make sure one-time funding is not used to supplant recurring funding for recurring costs. Therefore, we must not overreach with our expectations for resolves.

Let’s just be reminded that one-time funding largely contributed to the Health Fund deficit, and amongst other bad fiscal decisions the recovery continues to threaten classroom sizes, funding teacher salary increases and even substitute teacher’s pay. Anything else?

Oh yeah…The Kirwan money is a one-time funding that will expire in another year or so. It is now being factored into an already bad equation.

One-time funding will never balance the budget. So, if we get this $8M, we must understand that it may go somewhere but it will not necessarily “Find A Way.”

So far, we are already working against the reality of the challenges we have and will continue to face each school year until we secure recurring county funding for our county school budget. This will require a more fiscally responsible budget by our county executive and county council.

It is important to understand that we shouldn’t fund salaries, building maintenance, the health fund, etc. with one-time funding. I believe one-time funding should be used as a supplement to non-recurring costs, including special task (purchasing textbooks, etc.) or dedicated maintenance projects (sprucing up a school, etc.)

It is imperative that I call out the games being played by the County Executive. Mr. Ball I say to you: While actions speak louder than words, words can make all the difference too.

I find it deeply insulting that our County Executive used a tornado warning to interject his tacky bid to put funding for our school budget up against the funding for our county services – to distract us from securing recurring funding for our school budget. Could it have been a more perfect timing for him to do that?

It is his job to find a way. Cuts will be made – it’s called fiscal responsibility and that requires some compromises. However, the people of District 2 will not continue to be left behind and forgotten another year.

Mr. Ball you and your colleagues must “Find A Way” to fund our schools and fund our first responders to protect our county services. That’s your damn job. So, Do it! Your divisive fear tactics are coming to an end fast.

In District 2 our schools are underserved, overlooked and counted out. Despite, the cringeworthy fact that Mr. Ball has served as Councilmember in District 2; and his frat boy successor Opel Jones has essentially fundamentally done nothing to advance our schools.

We must elect leaders who champion Fiscal Responsibility over making promises that grow the deficit. I believe in securing a budget with recurring funding to consistently balance the budget each year.


Ok…wow…so many comments…first let me start with this…

Pretlow is the only candidate that has officially announced he is running in 2020. So that alone makes this a story. The 5 current HoCoBOE members (Delmont-Small, Taj, Coombs, Ellis and Mallo) up for re-election want some coverage…announce you are running and you will get it (at least here you will).

Next…some advice for Pretlow…stop with the personal attacks…the comments about Opel Jones are not necessary and not needed in posts like the one above. Look…we all get you are not a fan of his…but dude…stop. Want to be taken seriously…then act serious.

Lastly…I love the idea of multi-year budgeting…it probably will not happen anytime soon…but is a good idea.

Ohh…one last thing… looking at CB 68 – it appears as if $7.7 million of the $8 million is one-time non-recurring funding – amendments 2 and 3. So if approved, we will very likely have the same type of budget issues and discussions next year as we are going through this year. Since Pretlow mentioned it above…I felt like I should mention that as well. I am sure many are fans of adding this money this year…but I hope some remember the comments made a year ago about the $11 million (one time funding) added by the Kittleman administration. If you thought that was a bad idea a year ago…how can you be in favor of this funding now? How many years will we continue to add “one-time funding” without a long term plan for that funding? I know we have a new county council…but I wish they had a better plan than what is out there right now. It is a very short term look at the problem…not a long term plan to fix the problem.

That is all I have for today. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend.

Scott E


    • Maybe if they took that approach in Howard County something great could happen for our education system. LP is on the right track.

  1. Mr. Pretlow’s multi-year budget is a great idea for HCPSS. Everyone gives this guy a tough time but he’s the guy! He has strong views and still holds to his convictions even when his views aren’t so popular. That’s what we need!

  2. “Want to be taken seriously…then act serious” Okay…what do you think he’s doing… I met Larry and his kids in River Hill at the Giant earlier last year (we went to meet him). My Mom and I were really impressed with him. Thankfully, since we now live in District 2…that’s 2 votes here. LP is a very serious candidate. Stop slandering him for speaking up. In my opinion he’s the guy to beat.

    • Let me be clear about my statement about being serious…in his statement “and his frat boy successor Opel Jones” was not necessary for the post. It is also not the type of rhetoric we need in elections. The rest of the post was fine (for the most part)…but that line in the statement immediately made me just shake my head.

      • This is what makes LP different!……”not the type of rhetoric we need in elections” – first we have to have actual candidates who aren’t beholden to each other or running their turn! He has proven to have his own mind and a vision with solutions…..Yasss! Shake some things up! HoCo is soooooo suck on political correctness – but nothing’s progressed that way….We will be voting for LP!

      • Mr. Pretlow did not attack Opel Jones in his comments. The facts are the facts. Mr. Ball did in fact select his frat brother to inherit the District 2 council seat. Shifting focus to that doesn’t permit a person to look away from Mr. Pretlow’s overall comments on the school budget process. Additional funding (non-recurring) does nothing to help the situation without recurring funding in a longterm plan.

  3. Please understand Mr. Pretlow hasn’t launched an exploratory committee for BOE — he’s actually running for BOE. He is fully aware that he is a candidate for BOE in District 2. His path to the Board of Education is not through the in-crowd or the establishment party politics that intends to nearly bankrupt our public education system. He’s been really nice to a lot of people despite how they treat him.

  4. Here’s the crux of the issue – there just isn’t enough money to go around. Ho Co. can’t tax their way out of the problem either….
    Some how the cost of $17,000/ student, per year needs to be contained.

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