2:21 PM EDT, May 13, 2012
While there appears to be little chance they will do so, we nonetheless urge members of the Howard County Board of Education to end their ill-advised attempt to remove Allen Dyer from the board.
From the start, this effort was overkill, akin to calling in the Marines to hunt down a jaywalker. And ever since Dyer finished eighth in the April 13 primary election, which meant he will not advance to the November general election and therefore already has been booted out of office by the people who should do that booting, i.e., the voters of Howard County, the impeachment has seemed an even sillier waste of time, effort and money.
The administrative hearings in the Dyer ouster attempt began Monday in Hunt Valley, and were expected to last at least three days this week and three days next week. Just how much this is costing taxpayers is unknown. But it's more than it would cost taxpayers if it were not happening, that much is certain. As well, there is the presence at the hearings of top school officials, including almost all of the board members and various other school system bigwigs. Is this really the best way for these people to be spending their days? Wouldn't they be doing the school system more good tending to other business?
On the first day of the hearings, the school board's attorney made the case for removing Dyer by describing his "misconduct in office." She also pointed out that said conduct needn't be "criminal or immoral," which suggested that even Dyer's prosecutors don't think he did anything all that bad, that he was just a nuisance.
We did not endorse Dyer before the April 13 primary, believing that he was in fact something of a nuisance and that his constant carping, while it served a purpose before he joined the board, was too much of a distraction afterward. We still believe that. But what we also now believe is that this effort by board members to oust Dyer as soon as possible is looking less like an attempt to ensure an effective school board than a spiteful campaign to discredit, humiliate and punish someone they consider a thorn in their sides.
Not a pretty picture at all.