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Last week's discussion about needing to provide language assistance to Carroll Transit System riders as a condition of receiving federal money provided an opportunity for our Board of Commissioners to revisit the last board's "English only" ordinance, and the current board should continue that conversation right up to repeal of that divisive measure.

The genesis of Carroll's ordinance, which the board enacted in 2013, was then Commissioner Haven Shoemaker's expressed displeasure with "pushing two for English" on the phone and thought it was high time something be done about it.

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Of course, private businesses have nothing to do with government actions, so unless he is dealing with a government agency the ordinance likely didn't resolve Shoemaker's personal issue. Likewise, local ordinances can't usurp state or federal laws, so even if the county said it wanted nothing to do with anyone who didn't speak English, it would still have to abide by other laws.

That point came up in last week's meeting when County Attorney Tim Burke reminded the commissioners that the ordinance included language to ensure the local law could not supercede state or federal laws.

The commissioners were hearing a presentation on federal transit funding. Because the number of people in Carroll with limited English proficiency has reached 1,045, according to the latest Census, in order to get the money the county has to provide language assistance to those who need it.

Carroll Transit drivers will be equipped with a translation app on tablets that they already have. Jodi Glock, transportation grants coordinator, told the commissioners the cost of implementing the Title VI plan would be less than $100. Not doing so would cost the county about $300,000.

The tradeoff seems rather simple, but Commissioner Richard Rothschild, one of the leading proponents of the English only ordinance, still objected, but the proposal passed 4-1.

The commissioners should have used the opportunity to put revisiting the English only ordinance back on their calendar. Ordinances of this type are divisive in nature and, as we saw last week, are basically meaningless because the county cannot ignore state and federal laws.

As was the case back in 2013, if the commissioners truly care about teaching everyone English, they should put more money into English as a Second language classes and provide more opportunities to help members of our community who may not be as proficient in the language.

This board can right the wrong of the previous board, and return Carroll to a county that welcomes everyone, regardless of where they came from or the language they speak.

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