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Show Down Over School Security Program Could Come To A Head Tonight

June 11th, 2013 by WCBC Radio

A show down that began in March over funding and implementation of an enhanced school security program may come to a head tonight when the Allegany County Board of Education adopts its FY 2014 budget. The school board has been at odds with the County Commissioners for several months now- with a myriad of disagreements on the subject- and an apparent lack of basic communication on the issue.  The points of contention range from who should be part of the county appointed committee to study security; when the plan would be ready for consideration; and how much funding is required and who will receive those dollars. Perhaps the most obvious sign that the two sides have serious communication issues came to light at a Friday meeting- when it became clear that members of the board were not aware that Sheriff Craig Robertson was the chair of the committee.  Several, often times heated exchanges dominated the 90 minute session including Commissioner Bill Valentine indicating that not only is the county looking at security for the public school system- but also for private schools. Board President Ed Root disagreed…


One Response to “Show Down Over School Security Program Could Come To A Head Tonight”

  1. June 11, 2013 at 7:19 am, Commissioner Bill Valentine said:

    Sadly, they said they had no information at the June 7 meeting, and the following letter was sent in May, they offered all the info, Also, Bob Ferrel, head of BOE security is a committee member:

    May 23, 2013

    Edward L. Root, Ed. D.
    Board of Education of Allegany County
    108 Washington Street
    Cumberland, MD 21501-1724

    Dear Dr. Root:

    My office is in receipt of your letter regarding the Boards desire to hold a joint work session to discuss the Sheriff’s committee report on public safety. It has been communicated to me by the Sheriff that he does not envision his planning process to be completed by June 6th. Similarly, the County is also waiting to receive a formal recommendation from the Allegany County Health Department and their proposal to expand the Kids Program in support of mental health resources to deserving area students. I understand that the Health Department staff has been unsuccessful in obtaining information from the Board that is necessary to determine the feasibility of expanding this program. That being said, when each agency is sufficiently prepared to make a formal recommendation to us, we will then set a date and time for a public work session.

    As publicly reported, the County has created a contingency fund to support school safety and mental health resource enhancements for our community. At this time, these funds have been earmarked for either the Sheriff’s office or the Allegany County Health Department. Once we have received formal recommendation from both of these entities, the County will then make a decision as to a level of appropriation for each agency. We deeply regret that the County does not have unlimited resources to address every need of every outside agency that we fund. We are however, prepared to make the difficult decisions that are necessary with the limited resources that are available to us.


    Michael W. McKay


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