Howard County Board of Education Election of the Board Chair and Vice Chair for 2020 on December 17th

After the Howard County Board of Education (HoCoBOE) was unable to come to a decision on December 5, 2019 (starting at the 5:59 mark of the video) they will attempt again to vote for Chair and Vice Chair of the Board of Education on December 17, 2019.

On December 5th HoCoBOE member Kirsten Coombs nominated HoCoBOE member Vicky Cutroneo for Chair of the HoCoBOE. Also on that evening HoCoBOE member Sabina Taj nominated Mavis Ellis to remain as Chair of the HoCoBOE. After two votes that ended in ties (one can assume that both votes ended in 4-4 ties as the student member is allowed to vote) no member was elected to the Chair and no vote on Vice Chair was conducted.

These votes are done in secret but after watching the video of the meeting on the 5th we can all guess who voted for which candidate.

After the first vote ended in a tie the current Chair of the HoCoBOE made the following announcement:

She made the announcement (one can assume) based on the comments of other HoCoBOE members being concerned about a HoCoBOE member being elected Chair while running for office.

The second vote also ended in a tie.

After unable to come to a majority decision after two votes the board decided to kick the can down the road until December 17th and try again.

Here is the full video of both votes for those interested:

December 17th is coming soon and it will be interesting to see if both of the same HoCoBOE members are nominated again and to see how the votes end up this next round.

If it ends in another tie…what happens? I am seriously asking this question because I am not sure. Do the current members continue to hold the positions they hold for another year? Does something else happen to break the tie? If you have any insight to the process…let me know in the comments.

I understand the want to keep consistency on the board leadership…I also understand the want to have new leadership on the board. This past year has been very difficult when it comes to the HoCoBOE and the school system. I also believe that this next year will be difficult (especially with the budget).

I have a guess how the vote will go on the 17th but will hold my thoughts until after the vote. My hope is that the current HoCoBOE members vote who they think will best serve the school system and the community over the next year.

It should be interesting…so be sure to tune in Tuesday at 4:00pm here.

Scott E

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  1. This voting process is the epitome of the boards issues. They are deeply divided and they don’t care who knows.

    The fact that Ellis allowed the superintendent to put forward an unrealistic plan that drove the community apart only to disregard all plans and half the board members think she “did a good job enough to put her on chair again” means they are deeply entrenched in an ideological battle. People like this are destroying the great things we had.


  2. I looked for the procedure of a tie, and there is not one in Robers rule of law, or the HCPSS bylaws. They will have to amend the bylaws to address this. My guess is they will give the superintendent the tie breaking vote, or remove the student vote. Those would make two different outcomes in my opinion.


  3. Quite well said there.
    I would go a step further however and argue that they (collective board) are just a mere cog in the hoco power system. Remember the County council voted for the Martirano redistricting equity boondoggle we are witnessing and BOE also were proponents of this. They go lock-step with the party agenda.

    Reports are now surfacing of the ties and links to the vested interests, the influencers and developer input. It was not about helping these FARM scores after all.
    At any rate, they were totally unprepared for the avalanche of opposition and under pressure inadvertently displayed their agenda with the poor public broadcasts and haphazard school move designs. Given that the FARM goal was defeated and replaced with something else suiting the BOE’s needs, they are scrambling to save face. No one wants to touch that issue with a 10ft pole especially when the intended beneficiaries are virtually silent and not even showing support.


  4. Here’s the thing. The Board of Education is essentially a feeder system for the County Council. Until Howard County voters remove their Democrat Sunglasses and realize this, you are going to continue getting exactly what you vote for. You are choosing the “most powerful” from the Democrat party election after election.

    You are voting over and over for the ties to developers, the campaign donations, etc. Did anyone actually expect Calvin Ball to not be a puppet of the developers? Enjoy the overcrowding and temporary trailers everyone. You asked for it.


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