Carroll County Times Opinion

Carroll County’s school board attempts to silence the public; how has Biden helped America? | READER COMMENTARY

School board attempts to silence the public

I would have never thought the Board of Education would operate like communist Russia or China. Shameful that barely a month on the job the new superintendent is showing such disdain for the public, parents, students, and employees by setting in place a policy to silence the public participation and control the narrative. Yes, the revised policy states that they will select the speakers and topics. How nice that they get to cherry pick only the things they want to hear.

Limiting comments to only Carroll County citizens when county business owners may be from out of county but have legitimate business before the board. A board member told me specifically, “We need to keep out of county people from the meetings.” What a nice and inclusive attitude.


Limit comments to only that night’s board meeting? What if I can’t make this meeting but have an issue I wish to present in public? The BOE and administration say too bad, you missed your turn and should forever be banned from speaking on the topic. Will they implement the same rules for the bargaining units?

They think we will buy the doublespeak of “we want participation” while at the same time deliberately moving to silence the people. This is literally a page right out of a communist government handbook. Kenneth Kiler: “The public has become a burden.” Well, that sums it up. Patricia Dorsey: “The new policy alone would be 45 minutes.” It is clear you don’t want to be bothered with us, you just want us to hand over hundreds of millions of dollars a year and then shut up.


Whatever your intention is with this policy, you lose the high ground. You will forever be known as the board that attempted to silence the public. A board member told me, “Other BOEs around the state don’t even allow any citizen participation.” Well congratulations, you are on the path to the gutter with those other boards. I give it less than a year before you determine that 15 is still too many people [to speak] and you lock us out completely.

I sincerely hope you all reconsider this and do not move forward with the changes. Many will be there at the next meeting to show our dislike of this policy and your desire to control the narrative. After all, it might be the last time we ever get to speak publicly in that room.

Andy Smith, Westminster

How has Biden helped America?

I am really beginning to wonder: What is Mr. Zirpoli’s issue with the GOP? I really think he doesn’t like Donald Trump as is shown in his column from time to time. He always complains how bad the GOP of Trump is and all the nasty things it has done, However, he never mentions anything about the disaster that is being caused by the Democrats and Joe Biden.

In the column this past Wednesday (8/24/2022) he mentions the things Biden has done to make this country better and how this bill that he signed is just another feather in his cap. The only thing I can say to Mr. Zirpoli is, do you look at the world around you or just the four walls in your house? If you would look at some of the polls, 70-75% of citizens say the USA is going in the wrong direction, 68% say that we are in a recession (by the way even some Obama people are saying that), 58% say our best days are behind us. You also mention he has lowered unemployment. Well, let’s see. Inflation has gone from 1.3% to almost 9% during his first 1½ years. Gasoline has gone from $2.20-$2.30 a gallon to as high as $5 a gallon. So, where has he helped America? I hope you are ready when the 75,000 IRS people descend upon all the middle- and lower-class people for their money. Don’t tell me they are going after the higher-class people. You think Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer would have voted for that? I don’t think so.

Did I mention that we have gone from energy independent to energy dependent with a stroke of his pen? What about all the jobs he eliminated at the stroke of his pen? Right now, the only thing that he can do, and even with some difficulty, is read a teleprompter.

I am in sales and transportation. I talk with shippers and receivers on both the domestic and international end. They want Biden out and Trump back in, or at least someone from the GOP. They were all a lot better off, and prices were down not only for normal transportation, but also for diesel fuel. I speak to CEOs, VPs, buyers, as well as the guy in the warehouse and they say that it is hard to get people to work since Biden gives them a free check to stay at home. Again, does that help the country?

I think you need to take a look outside your little area and see not only this state but others, and speak with businesspeople, and maybe you won’t think Biden is such a great guy.


Pat Bussard, Westminster

Voting for the school board

With Carroll County in back-to-school mode, it’s a terrific time to prepare for the very important test that is the Board of Education election this Nov. 8. As an enthusiastic supporter of incumbent Dr. Patricia Dorsey, retired 33-year CCPS teacher Mr. Tom Scanlan, and occupational therapist/professor Dr. Amanda Jozkowski, I was thrilled to see them finish as the top three vote-getters in the primary! This is proof positive that the public recognizes their superior qualifications, professionalism and fitness to lead.

All three have dedicated their professional lives to helping young people reach their potential. In addition, their combined time in classrooms and academic institutions as adult educators or students of higher learning adds up to over 100 years. This includes Dr. Dorsey’s time as an elementary school administrator. Her Ph.D. is in education. Mr. Scanlan put his master’s in reading to good use as specialist at the high school level and is also ESOL certified. Dr. Jozkowski’s Ph.D. in occupational science and graduate certificate in clinical, biomedical, and translational investigations give her a thorough understanding of special education and the needs of diverse learners.

I have also had a chance to get to know them as Pat, Tom, and Amanda — the “PTA ticket” if you will — and can vouch for their kindness, energy and enthusiasm, steady temperaments and passionate commitment to students.

All are parents. Amanda has three young children, Tom recently became a grandfather, and Pat is a great-grandmother. They are all truly wonderful, family focused, community oriented people.

Patricia Dorsey was born in Carroll County and attended the Robert Moton School when it was still segregated. She is very active in her church, serving as an organist and in leadership roles. She assists with the “My Brothers Keeper” food pantry.


Tom Scanlan is musician who plays traditional Irish music with his wife. He loves the outdoors, tends a lush garden, serves on the Carroll County Environmental Advisory Council, and regularly removes litter from area parks with friends.

Amanda Jozkowski was a student athlete who won a diving scholarship. Like so many, she and her husband moved to Eldersburg several years ago because Carroll County is a great community to raise kids. She serves on her daughter’s PTA.

Pat, Tom, and Amanda are parents, teachers, and advocates who are the clear choices for strong, student-centered schools. I encourage you to vote for the “PTA ticket” this fall!

Muri Dueppen, Mount Airy