In today’s Gazette Peggy Higgins, who owes her Vice-Chairmanship to the vote of Edward Burroughs, today endorsed the anyone but Edward proposition. Why? Well it is not because he has not represented the voices of the 8th district well, it is not that he hasn’t been an advocate for teachers and students, it is also not that he has not been able to understand the information presented to the board, her sole reason for being against Board Member Burroughs is he is too young.
Remember when Steve Morris played this card in 2010 against Edward Burroughs? The voters in the 8th district showed their contempt for that type of dismissal of a young man who has been on the board twice as long as Higgins by electing him with over 58% of the vote or 3,710 votes more than the older, more mature, Morris. Actually if you look at the numbers the only candidates who won their seats with more votes were Higgins, Jacobs, Boston, and Beck. Burroughs did better than Johnson, Waller, Armwood, and Eubanks. We say this to say, the people in his district have examined his age and ruled it doesn’t matter. He has the experience and judgement they wanted.
The craziest thing the Vice-Chair says in this attack on Burroughs as well as candidates David Murray (District 1) and Ahmed (District 2) is that;
Board members who have not had self-supporting jobs and have not paid taxes and mortgages are not able to bring knowledgeable perspective when taking action on taxpayer dollars.
Want to know why this is crazy? The board has nine elected members, only three of them have jobs and only four own homes. Is she saying that the other members who are retired or on unemployment should be booted from the board? How about the one that rents a home or rents a trailer?
Last December when Ms. Higgins took her seat as Vice-Chair some in the county said for a community overwhelmingly black, it was wrong to have a white person in the vice-chair seat. When she was elected in 2010 some said in a deeply social conservative county like Prince George’s her being gay should deprive her the right to serve on the board. The people who said both of those things were wrong. Had they decided to vote against her because she would become a rubber stamp for the superintendent, they might have a point. Had they said she would lack the backbone to stand up for teachers and students who weren’t being served well in schools in her own district, that might be a valid point. Since they only opposed her election to these offices because of her race and sexual orientation they were wrong. She is wrong for opposing these fine upstanding citizens, not because of their positions on the issues, but solely on their age.
Peggy Higgins should be a more thoughtful leader for the county, that she is not makes one question her readiness to lead. You really have to question how she will be able to “form consensus” with Burroughs and Murray should they both be elected in November. God bless her should Ahmed be successful at knocking off Jacobs and joining them.