Capital Article

Pacella, Rachael, Appointment Commission reopens application process for vacant school board seat, November 27, 2017.

Snider Comment

“After five rounds of voting, the county’s School Board Appointment Commission ultimately selected no one Monday night.”

This may have been a shrewd move, as at least the chair of the commission could not provide a copy of her appointment letter 1) in response my Public Information Act request for them, 2) to the AACPS Public Information Officer who requested them, and 3) the Capital (via the AACPS Public Information Officer, as noted below). The chair has also refused to post such letters on the commission’s website.

Unreported in this article, the commission also took the remarkable step of changing its bylaws by a unanimous vote. The vote allowed commission members to consult the AACPS attorney (this was previously thought to be an obvious conflict of interest). The significance of the unanimous vote was that it treated the change as an emergency, thus bypassing the normal two-meeting requirement to pass a bylaw change. Why the emergency? I suspect that some commissioners are uncertain whether their appointment and email practices may have violated Maryland law and don’t want to wait until early next January, when the SBAC next meets, to find out.

“Schools spokesman Bob Mosier provided emails between the various groups tasked with selecting commission members and himself, in which officials conveyed their appointment for each spot on the commission.”

I would encourage the reporter to carefully read the provided emails to see if they are what the spokesman purports them to be. I have not seen the spokesman’s newly provided emails, but his past emails were not what he purported them to be. For example, sending an email concerning appointment to the School Board Nominating Commission is very different from sending an email concerning the School Board Appointment Commission. Similarly, merely asserting that one has been appointed is different from showing that one has been appointed via due process. If the reporter wants to investigate this further, she should not rely on the protestations of the school spokesman. A good starting point might be reading my Public Information Act correspondence, including the pseudo appointment emails, available at I’d ask the County Executive for a copy of his official, SIGNED appointment letters, since the commission’s chair now claims—after providing a pseudo appointment letter in response to my Public Information Act request—to have lost her appointment letter. As for the stakeholder appointments, the public should be informed that they are not what many might reasonably presume.