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Dyer is back, but is that a good thing? [Editorial]

Renee Foose

Allen Dyer said the right things on Monday, hours after he filed to run for a seat on the Howard County school board.

Dyer spoke of the importance of the public educational system, the value of opposing views on the board and his desire to work with schools Superintendent Renee Foose. It was reminiscent of a time when Dyer presented a fresh and intriguing option to serve on the board, someone unafraid to challenge the status quo. Someone who didn't go along to get along.

Yet a lot has transpired since Dyer was elected to the school board in 2008.

During his term, he was at loggerheads with his fellow members of the board on numerous occasions and filed several lawsuits when he disagreed with the ways the board handled situations, creating a schism that led to his impeachment. Dyer countered the board's actions with more lawsuits and appeals, though the battle became a moot point because he failed to win re-election from the voters in April 2012. Last November, a Howard County judge did rule that the state board had the right to remove him from office.

At the time, we argued that the board's impeachment was an overreach, saying the voters would and should be the ones who pass judgment on Dyer's performance on the board. So it would be disingenuous to suggest that his new candidacy should be seen differently. After all, there are those who still look at Allen Dyer as someone who won't rubber stamp issues.

However, one has to wonder what good will come from another Dyer candidacy. The antics sometimes turned the school board of arguably one of the most successful school systems in the country into a three-ring circus. Was it always Dyer's fault? Probably not. These things can rarely be blamed on one individual. But did he trigger those antics? Most likely, as his zealous nature pushed a lot of buttons.

Come June, voters will have to decide whether Dyer is one of the best candidates for the four open seats. He said Monday that he believes he will have an easier time getting along with fellow board members should he be re-elected.

Forgive us, four months before the primary election, if we are skeptical. But Dyer has four months to convince us and voters otherwise.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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