Foushee Running for Commissioner

You want some merger debate, I got yer merger debate right here: The Chapel Hill Herald reports that Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board Member Valerie Foushee will run for County Commissioner this year. I have to say, it will be a loss for the school board where I think Valerie has been a strong advocate for disadvantaged kids.



C'mon Arbol. She just announced her candidacy last month. She'll figure out what she stands for in due time. She has unequivocally stated that she cares.She is a huge supporter of good manners. Rumor has it that next month she will hold a press conference to announce that she believes we should all drive on the right side of the road. Please don't criticize this visionary leader. It's all for the children. You are not against children are you?

Sugar Bear

Keep it productive, Sugar (and others). I won't tolerate personal attacks here, sarcastic or otherwise.

I just want to know what she is going to do about the roads in this county. Has anyone noticed that the NC roads department tears up huge stretches of the pristine environment to start or to widen a highway, and then never actually builds a road???????

Occasionally, you will see a guy walking around measuring something, but people really don't ever work at these road building sites at all, as far as I can tell.

county commissioners should not allow one single new road to be started until all state roads projects in this county are one hundred percent complete.

surely the commissioners have some say in the state roads located in this county. Anyone know exactly how much?

I read above that Foushee is in favor of children. But what will she do about the roads the children are driven on?

Still don't see it, this question some are so anxiously raising of where Valerie stands on the issues - her "platform". Read what I said - she is only DAYS into the campaign declaration period for County Commission ... the real accomplishments Valeree has lead and the tough positions she has publically taken as a School Board member are clear, and very public - - - in my mind, those are just a prelude to what we can expect.

Did anyone observe the public inqusition by the BOCC at their meeting Monday night over the School Board? It was very unsupportive of the schools in general.

What have Carey and Brown have made clear? For example, what is their position on school merger (yes or no)? What is their position on APS (now that we "SORT-OF" have a decision, why did it take 5 years under their leadership)? Lets not forget the important debate on the protection of "fantasy" circus animals in the County (that was significant). How are we coming with needed improvements to County Human Services facilities?

It has been clear to many that some are not holding Carey and Brown to the same standard they purport to be holding Valerie to, and prefer the same-old, same-old.

Dan's column was based on what is fairly indisputable based on statements made by Foushee and her supporters. There is no documentation of any substantial positions or perspectives on a broad range of county issues - solid waste, land-use planning, budget priorities, agricultural support, economic development, regional carrying capacity, etc.. I've only seen cliches and platitudes. In case I've missed something, can anyone point me to detailed positions that Foushee has publicly documented?


Ok Ted and Bobby Ms. Foushee is a great person in your opinion.

Please tell me where I can find her positions on the issues? Dealing with high school reforms is not a Commissioners' issue. Providing leadership is but it goes beyond one issue.

Our county commissioners take way too long to make a decision on anything. They study it and beat it too death before taking a vote. Thank god they have to have a budget in place each July 1 or they would still be debating that.

I think it is important for our County Commissioners (and any elected official for that matter) to remain consistant with their beliefs and be open and honest with their opinions on the issues.

For example, if we had a candidate for local office who lead and participated with many of his core supporters in opposing the OC Bonds of 2001 but that next year, at a candidates forum, announced that he voted in favor of all of the bonds. That candidate (regardless of his position taken on the issue at hand), would have a serious honesty and credibility factor to deal with.

OC government doesn't need that type of leadership.

Dan -

Thanks so much for your comments; I appreciate them and their tone! Perhaps I did interpreted the column as giving too much credit to Carey and Brown. But, if one takes a look at the issues which Valerie (as Chair) and the CHCCS school system Board has taken-on recently, they have been volatile yet outcomes oriented. Just look at the heat the Board is taking now for its reform work.

By contrast, I just don't see the progress and dynamic leadership from our Commissioners - as an example for many, the whole APS thing has lasted for YEARS, and the Commissioners have frustrated the best of intentions.

For many, there is concern that the status quo of Carey and Brown will prevail, and where I'm coming from is that (school merger or no) the content of your recent column does not give credit where credit is due (or criticism where it is due).

It is unfair (in my view) to expect clarity on the issues from Valerie at this stage. In fact, I don't see the clarity from sitting Commissioners Margaret and Moses; have they been clear on school merger, APS (in less than a time-span of 5 years...)?

What you are seeing from me and others is a quasi-political grassroots support base for Valerie and what she stands for (perhaps her views will become clear, as you have rightly emphsized the need for, as the campaign heats up).

In fact (heads-up), you will see a critical letter from me in the paper regarding your column, as it seems necessary in this envirnment of an election year for those who back Valerie to be on top of the need to be vocal. By the way, I have no formal linkage with her election committee; I'm just active in the community, and can be pushy.

By the way, I thought your comment about the whole numbers thing is right-on in terms of vote garnering in order to win the upcomming Commissioner election.

Wow, I've been way too winded, but was pleased to read your column (as usual) and know you will be fair and open minded.

Bobby Clapp

Note: The Herald, whose editors carefully review my work, does not allow columnists to make political endorsements in their columns.

I for one am really happy that we will finally have someone running for commissioner who is nice. She is a strong supporter of citizens having a voice. What a breath of fresh air! We know she likes children and clearly has the political courage to stand up and say so. The only thing missing from her platform that I can see is her stand on pets. From her previous statements I'm guessing that she likes them too and wouldn't do anything to hurt them. Will other candidates show the same courage of their convictions?



Thanks for letting folks know about my column. I myself don't read it as critical of Foushee. I say explicitly that I don't know enough about her goals as a commissioner to either praise or criticize her. The one point I am critical of is her decision thus far to avoid issue positions. You yourself have written repeatedly in support of her but have never provided any specifics of how you think she'll improve things over the incumbents nor have you or she explained how she is not a "status quo" candidate. Her statement that she wants to "make good government better" does not imply much in terms of criticism of the status quo. I'm sure I'm not the only voter who'se looking forward to learning more about her campaign.

It's also interesting that you interpret my words to mean that Carey & Brown are "doing a great job." I merely list a bunch of issues they've been involved with and point out that they've been popular with the voters so far. The interpretation is your own.


Did anyone else besides me see the Dan Coleman column in the Herald today, Sat., Apr. 24th? He is already being critical of Valerie Foushee even before the official filing deadline; makes it sound as if Moses Carey and Margaret Brown have been doing a great job as Co. Commissioners. Between Carey and Brown, they have nearly 30 years to show as Commissioners. Yet, what do we as a community have to show? We are still bogged down with numerous issues requiring leadership...APS, School Merger, development...on and on...

Quite frankly, many are tired of the status quo, and Valerie Foushee can bring more diversity to the Commission, from a political, ethnic and socio-economic viewpoint.

Hopefully those of us who will be Primary voters will choose Valerie as one of the two candidates, and reject the status quo. It's time for a change.

As for all this talk about Valerie running on the merger issue, she says she's not:

"Some have suggested that an anti-merger stance is the cornerstone of my platform. While it is no secret that I have opposed merger, this issue is not what motivates me to run. In fact, I applaud Commissioner Moses Carey, a 20-year veteran whom I admire, for raising our consciousness of this issue, having the courage to speak for what he believes in, and for encouraging both school boards to work together on initiatives that mutually benefit our students."

Even if she doesn't want it to be the "cornerstone" of her campaign, I think it will still be a central issue in the race.

For sure, the merger issue will be big in the upcoming County Commission race. Valerie, knowing her as I have through the schools, is more than a "one issue" candidate. She is life-long resident of the area, a minority candidate, and someone who in her public service experience has had to struggle with many of the key issues the Commissioners are now dealing with.

Personally, I like the diversity she brings to the Commission. There will be other important issues, however, besides the schools. For example, how long is the Commission going to keep talking about the shelter issues before making a decision on which direction to take? Geez, animals are being limited in terms of adoption options, euthenized...

Taxation in the County is also a big issue, and one of the sticking points on the merger question. Some have not been happy with the lack of leadership by Margaret Brown as Chair of the Commission this year. At the public hearings on merger, she was downright gruff with the public.

Could be, although we had a similar situation arise when I resigned from the Town Council in Chapel Hill. The argument was advanced at that time that the incumbent who was unseated about that same time (ie not me) was someone who had just been explicitly rejected by the voters of the Town and should not be appointed to the vacancy. And, in fact, Flicka Bateman (who had never before run for office) was appointed instead.

a bigger question is why in the world the county commissioner elections are partisan?? The primaries should be open - or not have primaries at all. It is not clear to me why partisan commissioner elections are needed.

It basically ensures that the democrats elected in the primary win the general election and likely would never represent segments of the county who's votes become meaningless in a county where there are more unaffiliateds than republicans.

disclaimer I am a registered Dem.

Good, solid comments. I agree!

I think some of the important issues are:

1. Getting districted elections for at least some of the County Commissioners and School Board, so that the members would be responsible to a smaller geographic area. I can see the use of some at-large members trying to ensure a 'broader' view, but there is a need at the Commissioner level to actually pay attention to constituents instead of playing to the state-wide audience.

2. Carolina North DEFINITELY is a county-wide issue, since the traffic jams which are currently promised for us will not be limited to Chapel Hill. When I asked at one of the public information sessions, what the effect on Airport Rd would be, the answer was that it would be at 100% of capacity (ie grid-locked). Auto traffic always seeks to use alternate routes in such a situation, and that will jam every other road in the area. The county has a clear role in requesting and studying other transportation options, and possibly non-transportation issues like putting more housing right next to the jobs.

3. School sizing and siting is a joint responsibility of county and school districts and towns. In some cases they have done a sad job of reserving school sites which were unbuildable, or were distant from where the actual students are. Smaller schools, though possibly slightly more expensive per-seat, could reduce traffic around the county, increasing family satisfaction with public schools noticeably, and helping to build community. Schools are the original community center. I still remember when a boy moved into my home-town from Illinois, and told me that "you think your libraries are soo great, but back where I come from they were open until midnight every day of the week". We tend to buy into this statistical stuff about needing so many computers or books or whatever, and forget about the advantage of simply having public facilities open and useable during the non-work hours of the week, when more people might actually be able to use them!

4. The information time lag on County Commission meetings is frightful. The minutes don't get posted until 3 months later, so if the newspapers don't happen to consider an issue noteworthy, you are unlikely to ever hear about it. This could be solved almost overnight by posting 'informal' transcripts subject to later revision by the existing official minutes correction process.

Does anyone think this scenario is likely: Foushee (the only new declared candidate) and one incumbent win the Democratic primary in July, and the election in Nov. Jacobs wins the new district election at the state House level, and resigns from the BOCC. The Democratic Party selects a replacement, who is: the incumbent who was rejected by the voters in July!

I don't know Ms. Foushee personally, but I am excited about anyone who wants to take on the mantle of public service iin Orange County with a desire to unify and build bridges. There is far too much "us/them" dialogue between Chapel HIll/Carrboro and the rest of Orange County. There seems a general lack of interest in reconciling the two groups and pulling together to make this county a fantastic place to work, live, and raise a family. We need to remember that many state and federal funds, as well as many private grants and money for initiatives, are awarded based to COUNTIES based on COUNTY information, a COUNTY's ability to work together to achieve common goals, and a COUNTY' s need. Sales taxes are collected by COUNTY. Why can't we be happy that in this one county, we have so many differnt options for living, working, and education for ourselves and our kids and stop setting up such advesarial structures for communication and alleged cooperation?

My initial point was NOT about the actual decision, but about the process. Let me repeat that, because I think it is important to read carefully and understand what somebody posts before responding. My disappointment was due to something far more important than the actual decision. It was about the way the decision was made - the process and approach taken by all the school board members. The reason that the process is so important is that - no matter what the particular issue - the same standards for dealing with the issues will likely be repeated.

It is my observation that that the school board members were lax in not questioning a last-minute casual comment by their lawyer that was presented with absolutely no substantiation. Additionally, they felt it was okay to conclude their considerations without specifically addressing any of the statutes that were in question.

If you want to dismiss my observations as being clouded by my personal feelings on this issue and take this opportunity to disparage me, then so be it. All I can say is that I am quite capable of seeing past my personal feelings on the issue and assessing the fairness of the process.

This process was characterized by a lack of intellectual honesty, blank acceptance of school superintendent and staff assertions, and a disrespect for the citizens who hoped to get a timely answer and clear reasons for the eventual decision. It is for this reason that I could not support any of them in a bid for a leadership position.


If you feel that I disparaged you, my apologies. Not sure I dismissed your observations, much less attributed them to a sense of you being clouded by personal feelings on this issue; I have no basis to do so. I for sure disagree with what you have said on this matter, both in terms of home schooler rights and the caliber of school board members we have.

I was curious though to read that you seem to be ruling out any of the School Board members as solid representatives of the people of Orange Co. based on your view regarding the fairness of the process on THIS ISSUE of allowing kids outside of the school to be on a school team?

In READING what you wrote, I note that you attribute your position to what you believe to be a lack of intellectual honesty and the board's blank acceptance of school superintendent and staff assertions? And, disrespect for the citizens who hoped to get a timely answer and clear reasons for the eventual decision? I don't see it, especially given the context of this request by a parent (being one myself, with 3 kids attending public schools in Chapel Hill). The answer was clear, and made within weeks of the request and subsequent appeals to the board - it was NO. And the reasons were specific. Some may not like the answer, but it is what it is.

This home schooler issue is so low on the priority list of important needs the School Board has to address, it was really on the verge of being a waste of time to even discuss, much less put a lot of time and research into - on its very surface, the conclusion was correct. It's a non-issue, and it is not an matter of a "right" someone has to access these teams. My personal view below on the numerous substantive and common sense reasons for what the school board decided on this issue:

1.Being on a sports team and representing the school is a privilege, even for kids enrolled in the school;

2.What's the point of making an exception for home schoolers for this purpose? Next is it kids in private schools such as a Durham Academy or Trinity Christian school.

3.There are kids in the Durham school system, who happen to have a Chapel Hill address and their parents pay property taxes here - wouldn't they have a right to then play sports at a Chapel Hill public schools, and potentially representing a Chapel Hill school in a sport opposing the same school they actually attend?

and 4. (I have many more reasons), allowing such a privilege creates a potentially bad incentive for kids who might want to move to another school just for the purpose of advancing their athletic career through that school, when they should be attending their districted local school.


P.S. I know virtually all of the school board members - they are great!

I too am disappointed that Valerie will not be on the School Board any longer. However, then I ask myself the questions...who has experience, excellent leadership capabilities, solid principles and clear communication skills? Or better yet, who has a track record of being for neighborhoods and the families of this community? And then most importantly, who has recently indicated a willingness to serve the people of Orange County as a Commissioner? It's Valerie Foushee!

I was thrilled this past week when Val formalized her campaign for Orange County Commissioner, to be determined by the approaching election this Fall 2004. While there will be much more information to follow her announcement, many are anxious to see the potential for Ms. Foushee to represent us.

A community leader with years of elected and civil service experience, Ms. Foushee will be excellent for this community, and will bring representation on the County Commission which is more representative of the community as a whole.

It was surprising, however, to bring up the home schooler issue as a negative for Valerie, when those who advocate for home schoolers to have access to school sports teams don't seem to realize that such a policy would disenfranchise kids and families who are fully vested in our public schools - such a policy would mean that a child and family not directly associated with the school would take a team spot away from a child who is fully vested in the school.

Solid judgement and leadership by Valerie.

Here's the 2002 Democratic platform/resolutions if you are interested.

I can't understand why people focus their unhappiness on Moses Carey. Seems like Margaret Brown is the loose cannon on the ship of Orange County. At the Commissioner meetings that I have gone to, Ms. Brown has spent the whole time trying to gum up the works rather than get anything done.

She is supposedly some kind of progressive/liberal, but what has she done besides run around on a campaign to buy up all of rural Orange County. I am not against the Lands Legacy program, but if you think that we can just buy a solution to our transportation and development problems, you are kidding yourself.

Mark, you can post anonymously all day long. But if you want to accuse me of doing so, you should do it more clearly so I can remind all the readers that I have NEVER posted anonymously to this site. I still wonder who most of the anonymous posters are, but I have my theories.

As to the topic, Terri asked what are the issues coming up for County Commissioners. Off the top of my head, here are some things I'd like to see:

- Improved funding and support for affordable housing. I think they have really fallen down on this in the past, in spite of voter-approved bonds dedicated to funding housing.

- Better planning and growth management. I know Hillsborough can make it's own decisions but I am concerned about what seems to be unchecked growth in the northern part of the county.

- Solid waste equity. I want to see the Commissioners try much harder to find alternatives to dumping on and near the Rogers Road neighborhood.

- Leadership on human rights issues such as gay marriage and living wages. They have done pretty well on these in the past, but there's more to do.

SO let's re-iterate some of the upcoming issues:

1)School merger/funding inequities (which we've talked to death--and in circles, solets let that one BE for now, shall we?)


3) Carolina North--except I don't know how this is an issue for the COUNTY commisioners--unless SAPFO comes into play, because it's all w/in the city limits

4) Taxes (always. perpetually!)

5) Economic development (as in how do we encourage it?)

6)I would like to add--County/Chapel Hill/Hillsborough relations. WHY are they so acrimonious? Is it because the rest of the county feels like Chapel Hill is the 800 lb Gorilla? ("Will she appeal to the 30% of the voters outside the Chapel Hill Township?"--case in point) Orange is an odd county--densely populated in the south, more sparsely populated in the North--but that is changing--and we'd better be ready.

I'd like to see some RATIONAL DISCUSSION within the county, rather than the genereal CH vs "The rest of the county" common fare.

Which has very little to do with Ms. Foushees candidacy--and for that I apologise.


Let return to the subject of Ms. Foushee running for commissioner!

Terri asked if there were other issues beyond merger. One would be the impact of increase funding for the schools (both districits) would have on those who are just getting by now. Another is the possible trash tax that is being talked about just below the rader now.

At this time I have no reason to vote for Ms. Foushee because she has not not reached out to those of us who live outside Chapel Hill Township. Will she appeal to the 30% of the voters outside of Chapel Hill Township? Only time will tell.

As for Mark, Terri, Rudy, and RMV maybe you all should work your differences out in a mud pit somewhere.

Patrick Mulkey

May I re-ask the questions I posed yesterday? What are the big issues facing Orange County in the next couple of years? There was a discussion back in January about extending SAPFO to Mebane and Durham as a means of controlling development. Is that important enough to expect a candidate to have a position on? What about Carolina North? What else? I ask this because I will be representing my precinct at the Orange Democratic Party Platform and Resolutions committee meeting in 2 weeks and I want to represent more than just my opinions.

Dear protected anonynmous one,

The school board is not going to take up athletic issues again as part of this process. They are off on a tangent discussing something that no-one asked them to discuss because then they can appear to be addressing citizen concerns.

All I can say is that a fair process should end with specific aspects of the issue being addressed, not - as Terri witnessed - based on anecdotal comments from a lawyer. I witnessed a process in which no-one stood up and said, let's explain our decision properly. I say publicly that I can't respect a process that doesn't respect the citizens and I get pasted. Meanwhile, the "civil" passive-aggressive communication from the school board & staff is totally acceptable. Especially it seems to folks who didn't witness it first hand.


P.S. Can I post anonymously and then answer my own post?

This thread actually proves just my point: See Terri's comments above. Marcopolos is mad because the school board did not lay down and die for him.

"She doesn't value fair process or respect citizen engagement," says Marcopolos. But the fact is that the school board is continuing to discuss the issue. Marcopolos and Terri are describing radically different events. Frankly, I trust Terri as being a good deal closer to objective.

Mark, you are a firebrand on this issue (the school/sports issue). I actually agree with you, but it sounds like the Board did not have all the information it needed to make a decision the other night. Indeed the lawyer admitted he had inadequate information (ie anecdotal information).

So the Board will consider the matter further. What did Valerie Foushee do to show her supposed contempt for citizen input? Like I said, this is typical of you. If someone doesn't do what you say, then they are a horrible, mean, undemocratic, irresponsible person. Give it a rest, Mark.

Think how effective you are being as a lobbyist for your cause, Mark. The Board will take this matter up again in the future and you will have to go back to Valerie Foushee and all the other people on that Board that you just insulted. How effective will you be in advocating your own cause? Not at all. You will be lucky if they are highbrow enough to overlook what an ass you have been about the matter.

But what else is new? You alienate the people who fail to obey you and then attack them publicly and then they conclude to ignore you. How shocking! Not.

Sorry for the rambling comment here, but I have to also address the claim that we simply can't stand your radical opinions. Wrong again. Generally I agree with you on a lot of substantive issues. You make a lot of good points. You just have a tendency to do it in a highly alienating (and therefore ineffective) way. Do you really think that Ruby Sinreich and Alex Zaffron are so terribly different from you politically? They are not. But dissent from your party line is unacceptable, so out they go with the bath water. Instead of advocating for the advancement of these two budding progressive political figures, you beat up on them. I don't know enough about Ms. Foushee to say whether the same is true for her.

Oh and one more thing, why do you think I posted anonymously here? I'll tell you why: Because I don't care to be the next person to bear the brunt of your misguided fury.

Mark -

as far as fairness and open ness.

For all the county commissioner public hearings greater than 2 to 1 spoke against merger, yet moses still says there is public support for it.

do you think he is fair and open.

My favorite commissioner Carey quote

"We don't need to know all the answers" to merge the schools.

that certainly seems slow and deliberate and fair.

Terri -

I believe the campus you are referring to would like nothing better than SAPFO to apply to them. Why? Because if I understand SAPFO correctly than CN would not have to build housing - which they don't really seem enthusistic about anyhow - but could still build the office space. (I could be wrong but I think that is close to correct)

Mark --

The commissioners should have no role whatsover in choosing curriculum for the school boards.

However, Mark if the schools are merged Mike Kelley and everyone else will be fired and a method of reconstituting a new school board will be designed (appointed temporarily???) by the commissioners. And I would guess if Moses comes back and merger is approved Mr. Kelley may not be someone who gets an appointment.

To not support Val Foushee because you are critical of current SCHOOL BOARD (not commissioner) issues makes no sense if you don't want the schools merged. If you want the schools to merge vote for moses. If you do not want the schools merged vote for Val Foushee. Of course there are many other issues I think Ms Foushee would be better than the incumbent on too.

As far as SAPFO this has been talked about before. But it has taken years to get the parties to agree on what we have now and if the schools merge what we have now will not be very useful.

Am I correct that there will be 3 middle schools in the county and 3 in town in 2006 with twice as many kids in town as the county. Why do these commissioners keep building schools were density is very low. I thought these guys favored "smart growth"?

I still don't understand how we read about Wake County bussing and redistricting (8000 kids this year) and think we would want anything that looks like Wake here?

Whatever happened to the countywide supplemental tax on the ballot that commissioner gordon proposed???


I deny that any positions I have taken have been "personal" attacks. My beliefs have caused me to take certain stands, but I have tried my best to engage in fair debate.I have sometimes pointed out where I thought someone was out-of-line. As just about anyone has who assumes an activist role; it comes with the territory.If any activist has managed not to mention a person's name in a critical manner, then they aren't really engaged on the issues. I think it really boils down to who the person is - i.e. maybe nobody posting is friends with Tony Waldrop so a critical comment on him may be allowed to slide where a critical comment on (fill in a friend's name) will be met with indignation.

All I ask is that people stick to the facts. I clearly stated that it was my perspective that the school board's process was not fair. It wasn't people not "bowing down to one guy on one issue". I could explain the details, but I don't get the sense that there is enough interest here to warrant that. It's a little tough to have witnessed a process in some detail, to have experienced the way the people in that process avoided key issues and expended significant effort crafting reasons to deny the request without expending hardly any effort looking at possible ways to grant it, only to be branded simply as a personal attacker by people who have no way of knowing the full story. And some people posting anonymously to boot.


I realize the door was cracked open a bit, but on issues that I believe served as red herrings. The request was a simple one relating to athletics and the fact that - among other statutes - the High School Athletic Association rules don't clearly apply to middle school.Nobody asked to use the library or whatever. Homeschoolers already take driver's ed at schools and the world still spins on its axis without all the terrible repercussions that Pedersen spoke about.

However, to satisfy my craving for personal destruction - did anyone see that apparently John Cole (the yahoo cartoonist for the Herald-Sun) ripped off his idea for today from another cartoon? No-one might have noticed except that the Chapel Hill Herald simultaneously ran the cartoon that I bet that sniveling, small-minded, plagiarizing, sophomoric, poor excuse for a cartoonist Cole cribbed his from.


"Could it be that my opinions on some things are hard for some of you to stand and that's what provokes the personal responses here?"

Sometimes yeah. But sometimes it's because of the personal attacks you have made on so many people over the years. How could that not cause some personal responses? It seems that you expect other people to treat you better than you treat them.

Sorry, but it raises some hackles for me to see Valerie attacked politically for something the entire board did. It makes it sound like you are looking for a reason to oppose her. There are probably better ones that that. Not listening to others is something yourself could also be accused of.

I might oppose Valerie's position on merger or other stuff, but I won't oppose her just because she wouldn't bow down to one guy on one issue.

I thought the lawyer's comments were anecdotal--he didn't say this is the way it is or that he had researched it thoroughly, only that he had asked around. I feel sure if the board had said we can't make a ruling until we have a formal legal statement that he would have given the issue more attention. I thought it was curious that the superintendent hadn't asked for a legal ruling back in December when you first made the request. The question last week came from a board member toward the end of the discussion. I also think there's a possiblity that the (state) Non-Traditional School policies may be in conflict with the athletics association policies. That's why I don't understand the harsh tenor of your response. I left the meeting thinking the door had cracked open--you left thinking it had been slammed shut. It could well have been shut for your friend's son, but weren't you trying to create opportunity for all home schoolers, now and in the future? The home schooling mother who asked for a relationship to be established between the district and homeschoolers was very effective, IMHO, and I think her statement is going to make something positive happen. Think positive Mark.


What did you think of the lawyer saying that he had talked with a few other lawyers and that game forfeiture would be the ouitcome if the kid was allowed to play without ever citing a particular staute? And this "ace of spades" was not even in the report that Pedersen had compliled?

Do you think a closed session for student confidentiality was appropriate? It did ensure that no-one heard the discussion.

It may be that I came to have so many questions after reading statutes and listening to discussions that I was disappointed that so few of those questions were answered. In a way, maybe I expected too much. I just wish the board had taken a more collaborative approach to the process and put a little more effort into verifying that the citizen's questions were answered. If it is the general consensus that the board handled this well, then frankly, I'm glad I don't need to go to very many school board meetings.


Actually Mark I was there. I didn't like the outcome either but I don't think the picture you are painting is accurate. Nor do I think you've shown any inclination to try and understand the position of the board. You asked in your *first* statement that evening for them to give an explanation for why they were opposed to your request. The superintendent said that he was opposed to the idea based on past practices which were based on concerns about finances, authority, and fairness to other students. Two board members said they weren't sure they agreed and wanted to explore further the issue of relationships between the district and homeschoolers--which they all agreed to. Turning that into a unfair, arbitrary process is simply unjust on your part.

Rather than get into another merger/anti-merger debate, I'd be interested in knowing what others think are the big issues facing Orange County in the next couple of years. There was a discussion back in January about extending SAPFO to Mebane and Durham as a means of controlling development. Is that important enough to expect a candidate to have a position on? What about Carolina North? What else?

Dang - that was a good little whuppin.

Single issue voting? Can't stand anyone with an opinion? Many victims? Give me a break...That's not what I said or what I have been saying and I think it is unfounded. (Could it be that my opinions on some things are hard for some of you to stand and that's what provokes the personal responses here?) I enjoy these debates and am certainly not trying to slam people. I also think these debates are more interesting if ideas aren't soft-peddled too much.

On this particular point I made, I thought I made it very clear that I was expressing concern about a fundamental approach to serving as an elected official - that fairness and openness is of paramount importance. I wasn't talking about the outcome of the issue, but about how it was handled. I don't think any of you were there and can accurately refute what I am saying. What I simply am sharing with you all is that the school board members did not address the specific issues raised by the mother, took a very general and last-minute statement by the staff lawyer as proof of a major problem, - I mean you just had to be there to see the game and how they dodged actually explaining their decision. It just plain was not fair. I just thought I'd pass this experience on as a warning as you decide whetehr or not Valerie Foushee is worth supporting. Ignore it or blast me for expressing it if you wish, but if you keep an open mind and don't kneejerk reach for the whuppin paddle so fast you might find a grain of truth there.


I'd have to agree with R. M. Voter's analysis above, and I count myself as one among many victims of this phenomenon. But unfortunately, Mark isn't the only one around here who doesn't seem to believe that people hear him unless they also agree with him. This can make for some tedious and contentious meetings!

One of the things that I've always liked about local politics is that because it's a small community, many of us have other relationships with each other besides being political adversaries. For me, it's like I CAN'T dislike people just for not sharing my opinions. However, I may dislike them for other perfectly good reasons. Like being a jerk. And then I have to decide if I can stand to ally with them when we agree on issues. But I digress. Maybe we can start a discussion thread about that.

I don't really know if I would support Valerie. I don't know her well, but I like her and I like what she's done on the school board. Since Moses Carey is setting himself up as the pro-merger candidate, I wonder if she is lining up as the anti-merger antidote. That might make a lot of parents of "gifted" children change their minds about her.

What if I really confuse them and vote for Moses AND Valerie?

Good old single issue voting. Thanks Mark for showing it's still alive and well.

As for this homeschooler playig sports issue, I started out pretty neutral. The more that I hear and read, the more convinced I am that the consequence for the choice made shoud be as it is viewed by the city school officials. What if a student at St. Thomas More wanted to play at one of the schools? Would that be OK also?

Most bureaucracies have the kinds of rules and procedures that they have in order not to have to make independent rulings on each and every single special case. Doesn't justify it, but it sure helps to understand why they act as they do. I bet OWASA is just the same.

Typical Marcopolos crap. Public figure disagrees with Marcopolos. Marcopolos attacks public figure for supposed character flaws.

Attack Ruby in the Independent for being 'bossy.'

Kick Zaffron out of the Orange County Greens.

Attack Ms. Foushee on

What is this guy's problem? He can't stand a woman with an opinion? No, I think he can't stand ANYONE with an opinion. I can't believe I ever voted for you.

I recently had an opportunity to watch the CH-Carrboro School Board engage on an issue - the request that a homeschooler be allowed to try out for a middle school baseball team.

When I try to evaluate local representatives, my main criterion is: Do they stand up for a fair process and ensure that the public is respected and gets their questions answered? This is fundamental to good leadership and transcends particular issues.

Based on this approach, I would not advocate voting for any of the current school board members. None of them were willing to speak up to ensure a fair process.

Only one, Mike Kelly, responded to my e-mail following their dismissal of the issue. To his credit, he wants to meet and learn more about homeschool needs. Actually our needs are few - just wanted an opportunity for kids to play sports and the statutes leave considerable room for interpretation.

At any rate, I wouldn't trust Valerie Foushee as a county commissioner. She doesn't value fair process or respect citizen engagement.



Community Guidelines

By using this site, you agree to our community guidelines. Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will result in moderation or eviction.


Content license

By contributing to OrangePolitics, you agree to license your contributions under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

Creative Commons License

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.