Billy Saunders

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Billy Saunders
Billy Saunders.jpg
Former candidate for
Board member, Calvert County Board of Education, At-large
Elections and appointments
Last electionJune 24, 2014
Term limitsN/A
ProfessionMortgage officer
Billy Saunders campaign logo
Billy Saunders was a candidate for an at-large seat on the Calvert County Board of Education in Maryland. He lost election against four other candidates in a primary election on June 24, 2014.


Saunders has worked as a residential mortgage loan officer for 1st Mariner Mortgage since 2000.[1]



See also: Calvert County Public Schools elections (2014)


The June 24, 2014, primary ballot included incumbents Dawn C. Balinski and Eugene "Gene" Karol as well as challengers Pamela L. Cousins, William J. "Bill" Phalen and Billy Saunders. Balinski, Karol, Cousins and Phalen faced off in the general election on November 4, 2014.

Cousins and Phalen defeated the incumbents in the general election.


Calvert County Public Schools, At-Large Primary Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngWilliam J. "Bill" Phalen 23% 4,196
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngPamela L. Cousins 22.3% 4,082
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngEugene "Gene" Karol Incumbent 20.8% 3,805
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDawn C. Balinski Incumbent 19.4% 3,540
     Nonpartisan Billy Saunders 14.5% 2,647
Total Votes 18,270
Source: Maryland State Board of Elections, "Official 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election results for Calvert County," July 16, 2014


Saunders reported $2,090.00 in contributions and $209.91 expenditures to the Maryland State Board of Elections, which left his campaign with $1,880.09 on hand.[2]


Saunders did not receive any official endorsements in this election.

What was at stake?

With two incumbents, one former board member and one newcomer challenger running for the two seats up for election, the Calvert County Board of Education was guaranteed to return at least one victor with board experience in the 2014 general election. Eugene "Gene" Karol sought his third consecutive term and Dawn C. Balinski her second. They were challenged by Pamela L. Cousins and Billy Saunders in the primary on June 24, 2014, as well as William J. "Bill" Phalen who served on the board from 1993 to 2010. Saunders did not advance to the general election.

The November 4 ballot did not mark the only changes to the board in 2014. With one resignation officially announced and another potential, the board could have seen as many as four incumbents replaced in 2014.

Issues in the district

Unexpired terms

Joe Chenelly, the District 1 board member first elected in 2012, announced in October that he would be resigning from the board on November 1, 2014. Vacancies on the board are filled by the County Commissioners for the entire remainder of the term. Additionally, District 3 representative Kelly McConkey ran for the District 3 county commissioner's seat. If elected, McConkey's board position would have to be filled by a commission appointment.[3]

Budget issues

Teachers' compensation

Unrest over teachers' compensation was voiced in the district following a decision in the summer of 2014. Budget constraints in the district lead the board of education to cancel yearly raises for teachers in the 2014-2015 school year. The Calvert Education Association attempted to boycott open houses at the schools in the fall of 2014, but later backed down due to contractual language which prevented such a strike. However, the association bought advertisements publicizing the boycott and criticizing the board's failure to provide for the raises.[4]

At the board's September 11, 2014, meeting, Eugene "Gene" Karol defended the board's budgetary decisions. He stated,

First, let me make it very clear that by state law we legally must adopt a balanced budget. In order to do so it was necessary to take $2.6 million of unassigned fund balance money to balance our FY [fiscal year] 2015 budget. This did not even include the new funds that were promised by the commissioners. Over the past three decades, you will see that our boards have done much better than most systems in Maryland in compensating their staff.[5]

Eugene "Gene" Karol, (2014), [6]

Healthcare plans

In addition to the salary disputes, the board also had to deal with rising healthcare benefit costs in 2014. The board voted in an October 2014 meeting to share costs with Carrroll County Public Schools for insurance consulting services which Carroll County's board contracted through Bolton Partners. Healthcare is a negotiated agreement with the education unions in Calvert County. However, the unions did not participate in the discussions of the healthcare committee which reported to the board at the October meeting.[7]

Dominion Foundation grant

On September 11, 2014, the district was presented with $22,000 in grants from the Dominion Foundation, a charitable giving branch of the energy company Dominion. The district received $10,000 to create forest and outdoor classroom, as well as $1,000 for Sunderland Elementary School's garden program and $1,000 for Mill Creek Middle School's composting program. The remaining $10,000 was allocated to the PLANS program in the county's high schools. The program allows students to study phytoplankton dynamics in Chesapeake Bay.[8]

About the district

See also: Calvert County Public Schools, Maryland
Calvert County Public Schools is located in Calvert County, Maryland
Calvert County Public Schools is based in Prince Frederick, the county seat of Calvert County, Maryland. Calvert County is home to 90,484 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.[9] Calvert County Public Schools is the 13th-largest school district in Maryland, serving 16,553 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[10]


Calvert County underperformed in comparison to the rest of Maryland in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 29.5 percent of Calvert County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 36.3 percent for Maryland as a whole. The median household income in Calvert County was $92,395 compared to $72,999 for the state of Maryland. The poverty rate in Calvert County was 4.9 percent compared to 9.4 percent for the entire state.[9]

Racial Demographics, 2012[9]
Race Calvert County (%) Maryland (%)
White 82.0 60.8
Black or African American 13.4 30.0
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.4 0.5
Asian 1.5 6.0
Two or More Races 2.6 2.5
Hispanic or Latino 3.1 8.7

Party registration, 2014[11]
Party Number of registered voters
Republican 23,750
Democratic 23,461
Unaffiliated 11,826
Other 489
Libertarian 248
Green 134
Total 59,908

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[12]

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