Recently, my girlfriend and I visited Hackney Haunts located in the TownMall of Westminster. As we waited in line we were greeted by a psychotic clown on stilts and Michael Myers from the “Halloween” films. By the time we entered the haunted house, my girlfriend was already spooked and we had to quit before we had even moved on to the second room.
While this local scare factory provides some real horrors for Carroll residents, the only thing more frightful is if Marsha Herbert, Donna Sivigny, and Richard Titus are not re-elected in November’s General Election.
Recent events have shown us how important of a role the local Board of Education plays in our lives. Under the leadership of the Board President Donna Sivigny and Vice President Marsha Herbert, the school board has made some tough and courageous decisions.
In August, the Board of Education voted to send students back to school starting next Monday using a hybrid model, allowing children to receive in-person education two days a week and virtual education on the other three days. When other counties were delaying the in-person return date for months, Sivigny and Herbert led the charge and made sure that Carroll’s kids were back in the classroom as soon as possible.
Last week, the Carroll County Career and Technology Center expansion project officially broke ground. As previously reported by the Carroll County Times, this project will add 108,205 square feet to the existing facility. After 20 years of talking about it by others, Sivigny and Herbert took action and made the expansion a reality.
Carroll County’s teachers have also benefited under Sivigny’s and Herbert’s tenures on the Board. Sivigny and Herbert were able to develop fiscally-conservative budgets that have made it possible for teachers and other staff to receive significant raises over the last four years.
When you enter the voting booth this election, do not forget to vote in the last race on your ballot, Board of Education, for the bottom two options — Marsha Herbert and Donna Sivigny.
Voters will also have an opportunity to vote for Judge of the Circuit Court in this election. After being vetted and nominated by the Carroll County Judicial Nominating Commission, Gov. Hogan appointed Richard Titus to the bench in late 2019. Judges appointed to the circuit court in Maryland must run in the next election in order to keep his or her seat.
Judge Titus has been a resident of Carroll County since 1992, and has practiced law in Westminster for over two decades starting in 1994. As a trusted member of our community, Judge Titus is known as the announcer of Westminster High School football games and for volunteering as a judge for the Carroll County High School Mock Trial competition.
More importantly, Judge Titus has a proven track record of being both tough and fair. Recently, a jury convicted a 56-year old New Windsor man of raping a 6-year old girl. Due to the heinous nature of the case, Judge Titus sentenced the man to 40 years of incarceration, double the maximum time recommended in Maryland’s sentencing guidelines.
On Election day, Judge Richard Titus deserves your vote so he can continue to serve Carroll County from the bench.
However, it is important to note that this election is unlike others in the past in that there are several different ways to cast your vote. For folks who prefer to vote by using a mail-in ballot, applications must be received by the Board of Elections by October 20. Once you fill out your mail-in ballot, you can either mail it back, postmarked on or before November 3rd, or drop it off at one of six drop boxes between now and Nov. 3. Early voting will take place at the Westminster Senior Activities Center and the South Carroll Swim Club from Oct. 26 to Nov. 2 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Finally, Election Day is on Nov. 3 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters can choose to vote at any of Carroll County’s 13 voting centers on actual Election day. Most importantly, the last day to register to vote is tomorrow, Oct. 13. For more details, visit elections.carrollcountymd.gov.
If I had braved the way through Hackney Haunts, I am sure that I would have encountered some ghosts and ghouls that would have made me jump out of my skin and make my blood curdle. As scary as that sounds, it is even more terrifying to contemplate our Board of Education without Sivigny and Hebert and our Circuit Court without Titus.