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Commissioners Designate English as the Official Language of Carroll County Government

"This ordinance puts into law what the county has been doing by policy for years." -- Commissioner Robin Frazier

The board of Carroll County commissioners unanimously voted in open session Thursday to pass the English language ordinance.

Commissioner Doug Howard said that although he would not have chosen to bring this ordinance forward, that he was voting in favor of the ordinance because essentially county government is already conducting its business in English anyway.

"It would be silly to suggest that what is being proposed is not already policy," Howard said.

Commissioner Haven Shoemaker, who proposed the ordinance in September, said that the ordinance is a "no brainer".

"There’s nothing unusual, despite the characterizations, there’s nothing radical about having English designated as our official language," Shoemaker said. "Thirty-one states have already taken that action, two counties in Maryland have done it and you know world-wide, 92 percent of nations have designated an official language."

Additionally, Shoemaker said, he believes it will offer savings to the taxpayers. He used the example of the school system providing interpreters at parent teacher conferences to show costs that are associated with providing services in multiple languages.

"This is one example of where we've gone as a society," Shoemaker said. "We're at a point where we ought to be encouraging people to assimilate."

A public hearing was held in December at which dozens of citizens shared their position on the ordinance. Some who spoke out against the ordinance said they were concerned that the ordinance seemed discriminatory and anti-multicultural.

“This is the opposite of global citizenship,”  Roxanna Harlow, an education professional, testified at the public hearing. “It makes it more difficult to create a more harmonious school environment … [more difficult] to be competitive and comfortable in a competitive marketplace.”

Some of those in favor of the ordinance said it is a preventative move so costs don't become an issue in the future.

Commissioner Robin Frazier said that passing the ordinance is a matter of saving tax dollars and the economy.

"This ordinance puts into law what the county has been doing by policy for years," Frazier said. "This has nothing to do with discrimination and everything to do with what’s best for our citizens and economy."

Related Articles:

  • English Only Ordinance Sparks Tensions 
  • Proposed English Language Ordinance Goes to Public Hearing
  • Commissioners to Weigh Making English the Official Language in Carroll County
  • Comment: ‘This law will be an embarrassment to Carroll’
Buck Harmon January 25, 2013 at 02:00 PM
O..and by the way JoAnn, when you start the liberal label silliness the argument is lost, I accept your surrender to this topic..
Maria Warburton January 25, 2013 at 02:16 PM
In my experience, regulations beget more regulations. Now that this is a codified policy - will there need to be definitions of what is "official" business and what isn't? It's my understanding that this law applies to employees conducting official business but not unofficial business. What unofficial business do our elected official and county employess conduct? In this age of litigation and the potential recording of one's every action, I have come to know that all business can be considered official business. And for Mr. Shoemaker to remark about a school providing an interpreter at a parent teacher conference as "This is one example of where we've gone as a society," Ishows just how mean-spirited this law appears. Seems to me providing an intrepreter can be a huge cost-savings if it means the student will remain in school, actually be able to learn English, get a good job and pay taxes. Rather than perhaps drop out or do poorly in school and never assimilate and/or be a "beneficial" member of society. It's all just so short sighted. It seems they have broken something that didn't need fixing....
Laura Russell January 25, 2013 at 02:31 PM
I am sorry to hear that this was passed, although not surprised given the make up of the Commissioners. I hope this is a wake up call to the voters of Carroll County to work at changing the leadership of our county and bring it into the 21st century.
Buck Harmon January 25, 2013 at 02:40 PM
Five Humpty Dumpty's sitting on the wall..( Shoemaker being the roundest of them all), It is in fact time for them to take a great fall...
Buck Harmon January 25, 2013 at 03:42 PM
I don't live in Carroll County JoAnn...why wouldn't you run..?
romeo valianti January 25, 2013 at 04:09 PM
Per tutti cpmmissioners. per me e tutti valianti famiglia, fangulo
David A. Grand January 25, 2013 at 04:15 PM
Disappointing, that Shoemaker, who up to now has been the voice of reason and moderationon on such controversial issues as residentual development, would-in this instance-allow his emotions to guide his thinking, and in leading the pack in making a policy decision that's as unwarrented as it is shameful.
romeo valianti January 25, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Mr. Grand, when are thesecommissioners foing to grow up, Commssioner howard is still paying the role of Spanky, Ms Prayers Rob em Fraizer is still trying to learn how to be only a Taneytown Commissioner, Commissioner Rothschild Constitution is always in battle with someone, Leigh Commissioner Raush is still stuck in cement and Commissioner Shoemaker just pissed off every nationality in Carroll County, Can someone advise me when the next election for County Executive , I be most happy to give up these five Commissioners for just one intelligent Executive.
Edmund Klebe January 25, 2013 at 04:57 PM
Romeo -- if you don't even know when the next commissioner election is going to be, why would anyone trust your views of county government?
romeo valianti January 25, 2013 at 05:13 PM
Hey dummy < I am not asking people to vote for the same person that I would like to se run for commissioner. I would just like to know if Carroll Countians will ever have the chance to vote for a County Executive , Do you trust those views Edmund Klebe? Maybe you will be so kind by leading a petition drive to put this question on the ballot in the next Carroll County General Election.
Enid Levy January 25, 2013 at 06:52 PM
Buck, before you attack someone's personal appearance, make sure you have your "facts" correct. Have you seen Haven Shoemaker in person recently, or are you just going by an old, old photo in a newspaper? Do you need to "open mouth - insert foot"?
Buck Harmon January 25, 2013 at 07:58 PM
So then, are you saying that perhaps Howard would run a close match for the roundest Humpty Dumpty..?...Or are you a scorned personal trainer?
Jill January 25, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Do you know her? She is very kind and a strong christian. What does that have to do with English only?
Jill January 25, 2013 at 08:23 PM
How can anyone be against English only? We live in America and English is what we speak! Nothing makes me madder than calling a business and a recording ask me to press 1 for English! Hurray for our commissioners!!!
romeo valianti January 25, 2013 at 08:33 PM
anyone caught speaking any language other than Enlish will be given a jail sentence in the state prison not less than 10 years.
Buck Harmon January 25, 2013 at 08:33 PM
A sound Christian would NEVER participate in such divisive and bigoted behavior... Pretty sure that they all make the perceived Christian claim as well...absolute embarrassment puts it mildly..
Buck Harmon January 25, 2013 at 08:35 PM
Please explain the usefulness of English only Jill..
Native January 25, 2013 at 08:37 PM
So that whole "separation of church & state" thing is pick & choose, huh Buck?
Jill January 25, 2013 at 08:46 PM
The reason the experiment of the United States has worked is because when people have immigrated to our country they assimulated into our society by speaking a common language, English. Having a common language is what has made us a melting pot.
Buck Harmon January 25, 2013 at 08:53 PM
Would seem that the commissioners are behaving that way Native...
Buck Harmon January 25, 2013 at 08:58 PM
Could you offer some proof of that very broad statement Jill...I don't agree with you...in fact, the reasons given by the commissioners for this dumb law can not be justified as being needed at all....share some documented fact to support this bigoted ordinance.
Buck Harmon January 25, 2013 at 09:00 PM
A very discriminating law indeed...law suits to follow at taxpayer expense..
Enid Levy January 25, 2013 at 11:40 PM
Buck, I don't even know who Howard is. And as for a "scorned personal trainer", I am a former Courtroom Clerk for Carroll County District Court. I worked beside Her Honor Judge Ellinghaus-Jones and also His Honor Marc Rasinsky for 10 years. ATTORNEY Haven Shoemaker would appear with his clients before both Judges at various times. One day, I had to do a double-take because he had lost so much weight and I hadn't seen him in quite some time. So, as far as I know, Mr. Shoemaker is no longer "round". I really didn't need to explain myself, but I felt your remark about Humpty Dumpty was quite inappropriate.
Buck Harmon January 26, 2013 at 12:53 AM
Thank you for your comments about my comments Enid...Shoemaker gets what he deserves from my perspective. The stigma and message that this law he proposed is insulting and very discriminating...he doesn't seem to care about the effect of his words related to non English speaking citizens of Carroll or how it might make them feel. He's a big boy, and a bully in my opinion as well, so the Humpty Dumpty reference was rather mild considering what I believe that he deserves... Perhaps you could share your opinion to the actual topic of this thread rather than the focus of being his savior...What are your thoughts about this law Enid Levy? Working for a corrupt court system must be burdensome.
Native January 26, 2013 at 01:06 AM
"Perhaps you could share your opinion to the actual topic of this thread rather than the focus of being his savior..." Interesting choice of words there, Buck! Perhaps you yourself could stick to the issue at hand instead of the personal attacks you are so fond of resorting to.
Sandra Mancha-Wright January 26, 2013 at 01:41 AM
I'm disappointed and embarrassed that this ordinance was passed. In my opinion, it is not necessary and it's offensive. When I visit other countries - it's COMFORTING when I see English as one of many languages in use. I feel welcome. Seeing my own language of English in use in other countries where English is NOT the native language is consolatory and reassuring. I find it discriminating, racist and simply unnecessary.
Buck Harmon January 26, 2013 at 03:48 AM
Native, Any grief that the commissioners get from me or anyone else is earned by their bigoted and very un caring behavior...if you have a problem with that~ it's your problem...you might try a sit on a tack..
Buck Harmon January 26, 2013 at 02:52 PM
Perhaps Richard Rothschild could offer some productive insight to this thread...he seems to be the only Commissioner sound enough to stand by his convictions... Or how about you shoemaker...cat got your tongue?
JoeEldersburg February 04, 2013 at 06:03 PM
Look, it's pretty obvious why these dopes enacted this measure...and it has absolutely nothing to do with what's been advertised. The action is consistent with Tea Party ultraconservatives and other xenophobes and the ProEnglish organization was at the forefront of this legislation. ProEnglish was founded by a known white supremacist named John Tanton. There's much publicly available on this organization that brings a chill, not that our Commissioners have ever shied away from giving a platform to any right-wing nut who might otherwise be dismissed by a more discerning and educated populace. Fake Lord "Climate change is bunk!" Monckton and Jim "All liberals are scum!" Simpson are others that come to mind. We are indeed being manipulated by small, like-minded individuals, who are incapable of rational thought. Here's a link covering how our Commissioners were duped into supporting an obvious white supremacist movement. http://imagine2050.newcomm.org/2012/10/08/local_english_only_measures/
Buck Harmon February 04, 2013 at 10:32 PM
The term "melting pot" is really a "crock of crap".....has no legal meaning what so ever...part of the Shoemaker illusion..

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