Committees/Observer Teams

Observer Teams, Committees, and Study Teams

An Introduction to the Observer Teams

Our local League of Women Voters maintains three separate observer teams – one each for the Board of County Commissioners, Board of Education and the Planning Commission.  Our observers attend each of the meetings and, when life interferes, they watch video of the meetings.  Through collaboration with team members and other the other observer teams, they focus on:

  • emerging issues,
  • the level of transparency, and
  • whether the observed bodies are acting as honest brokers of information and decision-making.

While meeting agendas and staff support materials are published in advance, the team members observe and report on the discussions and questions concerning the topics.  Those discussion and topics can foretell future issues to be alert for.  The three teams meet jointly approximately every three or four months.

Please volunteer to help us by completing a volunteer form

Planning and Zoning Observation Team

The most recent information appears below.  Please refer to Planning and Zoning Observer Team History for additional information.

The Government Offices closed April 3, 2020 and reopened April 27 but not to the public.  The Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for live stream May 20, 2020 at 7 PM on live stream.  The agenda and minutes will be posted prior to every meeting.   You are encouraged to watch the live stream or on demand by clicking here

The process of updating the Prince Frederick Town Center Master Plan and the Town Center Zoning Regulation has been delayed due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).  Get involved and stay informed because the other six town centers will go through the same process that Prince Frederick Town Center is doing now.

Planning Commission Observers are J.C. Hooker, Sandra Raviv and Maureen Hoffman

Board of County Commissioners Observer Team

The Board of County Commissioners Observer Team volunteers observe the weekly meetings of the Board as well as other Commissioners’ meetings requiring public notice.  Recently, the public has not been able to physically observe the meetings, but the meetings can be observed via video by clicking here.

During the coming year (2019 – 2020) the team will meet monthly, either in person or via telephone conference or zoom, to schedule coverage and discuss observations.

The team will focus on the development of the Prince Frederick Master Plan, which is ongoing, and the team will contribute to the League study of the development of the Prince Frederick Master Plan, if the study is adopted.

Quarterly, the BOCC team meets jointly with the Board of Education Observers and the Planning Commission Observers to share information and concerns.

Team volunteers are Dave Hardy, Lila West, Karen Horton, Ann Mychalus and Sharron Bickel. 

Board of Education Observer Team

The 2019/2020 school year has centered on the unrest and distress of teachers and students throughout the system. Several of the evening Board meetings were focused on hearing from teachers, parents and students who registered their concerns about the disciplinary design and the time it was taking away from students’ learning experience. A primary issue raised was dealing with the disruptive behavior of students at the elementary level in early grades.

Teachers have been injured by young students responding physically in anger and frustration from lack of social emotional control. Additionally, they feel they haven’t enough time to prepare the required written lesson plans which must be submitted to supervisors.

One meeting lasted until midnight so that over 50 teachers and several parents could voice their concerns. To the credit of Board members, they have encouraged these discussions and even called a special evening hearing inviting all teachers to come and express their concerns.

Both teachers and students have urged funding for more psychologists and social workers. Because the school pay scale for these credentials is lower than what professionals can earn in the private sector, there is not much appeal to spend the short periods of time moving from school to school. Nor do the schools have full time scheduling for services daily. And so, Student Services has several vacancies that cannot be filled.

Each year a student is elected to serve on the board to provide an understanding of their experience in the school environment They convey insights from a student perspective that the Board respects and appreciates.  

The Equity project is designed for middle and high school students by the administrator, Sandy Walker, and faculty using a curriculum entitled “Speak Up At School: How to Respond to Everyday Prejudice, Bias, and Stereotypes.” Trainings and other materials are accessed throughout the year for all other faculty and staff as well. The project is being replicated by other school systems in Maryland with Mr. Walker’s assistance.

The Calvert Board of Education took upon themselves four challenges this school year: restoring pay steps, teacher shortages, social emotional learning and closing the achievement gap. Year “One” is underway with many more to follow. A huge undertaking. Definitely years of challenge ahead.

Board of Education Observers are Pat Pease and Gladys White.

Committees

Voter Services Committee

This committee is extremely active, particularly during election years.  It meets monthly except during an election cycle when it meets twice monthly.  Voter registration, candidate forums, and voter education are just some of the activities the committee performs.  Please visit the Voter Services section of this site for detailed information.  The committee welcomes new members.  If you are interested in participating in the events and/or wish to join the committee, please complete our volunteer form.

Gladys White, Chair
Janet Bellizzi, Co-Chair
Janet Ashby, Member
Sharron Bickel, Member
J.C. Hooker, Member

Publicity Committee

Newsletter, e-campaigns, social media presence, website, press releases and ads were developed.  Seeking members for this committee. Please volunteer to help us by completing a volunteer form

LWVCC is currently seeking a chair for this committee.

Calvert County Complete Count Committee

 Two committee members participated in the Calvert County Complete County Committee, which was formed by the BOCC at the request of the U.S. Census Bureau.  The goal was to reach and include in the 2020 census hard-to-reach populations such as non-English speaking residents, immigrants, the disabled, children under the age of 5 or between the ages of 18 and 24, the illiterate, seniors, homeless, as well as veterans.  LWVCC committed to the following actions: 

  1. Post flyers and reminders on LWVCC website and Facebook;
  2. Email all members and partners and ask those organizations to share with their membership;
  3. Work with Safe Nights organization to obtain permission to visit site first week of March for education;
  4. Arrange presentation at Spanish mass at St. John Vianney;
  5. Post posters at Port Republic, Solomons, and Lusby post offices;
  6. Participate in monthly presentations to BOCC.

The final date to respond to the census has been moved to September 30, 2020.

Committee members are Gladys White and Janet Bellizzi

Issue Study Teams

For more information on our current study teams, please click The Effects of Climate Change in Calvert County and The Prince Frederick Master Plan.