With all the talk about compromise on a plan to change how the members of the county school board are selected, one thing has not changed:
Sen. Bobby Zirkin plans to introduce a bill that creates a partially-elected board in Baltimore County.
"Compromise is not a dirty word to me in politics," Zirkin said. "But any compromise bill has to have the baseline of a true democratic process."
Zirkin's comments come days after reports that County Executive Kevin Kamenetz is talking to state lawmakers from the county about a compromise.
"We're having conversations about [a compromise]," Zirkin said last week. "I'm always looking at ways to compromise but no compromise is acceptable if that doesn't give county residents some right to vote for school board members."
But some took that conciliatory tone to mean that Zirkin was giving in on an effort he's been involved in for more than six years.
"The reason I am striking a conciliatory tone is that this is the first time the county executive is talking about this," Zirkin said.
The plan Kamenetz is apparently discussing with legislators includes the creation of some form of nominating process that includes a commission similar to one that vets judicial appointments. Members of the commission would be selected either by the governor or county executive. Once appointed, members would have to stand for retention election in the next election.
"The ideas being floated are interesting to talk about," Zirkin said. "But I'm strongly in favor of a hybrid board if we can get that done. I'm not wavering from that position at all."
In October, Zirkin said he was planning on pre-filing the same bill that nearly passed the General Assembly last year.
That's still the plan, the senator said Tuesday.