Commissioner Race Gets Going

Finally! I tell you this July primary business is tough on us political junkies. It was sad to watch May 4, which should have been the date of our primary, come and go with only the thought of an election in the air.

A few newcomers will be challenging the two incumbent members of the Orange County Commision this year. Since this is such a "liberal" community (ha ha) most of the excitement will be played out in the primary election since the Democrats always win the general race in November. (Anyone know how long this consistency dates back? Have I asked that before?)

However, we usually have one brave Republican (or Indepdendent/Green) attempt to challenge the hegemony, and this year is no exception. Jamie Daniels will be making his second attempt for this office. So far he has no primary opposition for the Republican nomination. Here is what I know about him so far (thanks, Google): he is 32; ran for commisioner in 2002; lives at 617 Sinai Circle, Hillsborough, 27278, 919-225-6795; served on the Technology Plan Committee in 2000 for Orange County Schools; practices Ninjitsu (The Art of the Ninja) at Hillsborough Bujinkan Dojo; and has almost no chance of being elected to the Orange County Commissioners. (That wasn't so hard was it? Ask yourself why this is more information than you get from paid journalists.)

Another recently-announced challenger is Democrat Pam Hemminger. According to the Chapel Hill Herald: Pam is 44, married to a UNC professor, has four children in the city school system, opposes merger (shock!), is an advocate of parks and of more public input regarding them, is a member of the board of Rainbow Soccer and of the Ephesus Elementary School Governance Council.

And the third challenger so far is Valerie Foushee, a CHPD employee and Chapel Hill-Carboro School Board Member who we have already been chatting about for a while now. She has not yet officially filed for office.

There are five members of the Orange County Commission, but the seats are staggered so that only 2 or 3 are elected every two years to their four-year terms. This year both incumbents - Margaret Brown and Moses Carey - intend to run to to keep their seats. I'm sure we'll hear lots more about them later.

Again, the Democratic primary on July 20 is the one to watch. We will have at least four candidates vying for two nominations. Candidate filing is open until this Friday so this could get even more interesting.

P.S.: You must register by June 25 to vote in the primary. Contact the Orange County Board of Elections.




I also heard that some candidate was talking about a landfill in Orange County. I'd also like to know who it is and what they are proposing.

I consider the failure to site a landfill in Orange County and the subsequent decision to ship our waste elsewhere to be the biggest failure of leadership in the last fifteen years. We should be taking care of our own waste.

The comment "18 mile trip quoted in the Sierra Club forum was in fact round trip to Chapel Hill" is incorrect. It is one way. I have driven it. I am amazed that we talk about Smart Growth and still have a site like this (with sidewalks). Sidewalks to where?

The notion that a Republican supporting a Democrat is a detriment to any Democrat’s campaign is interesting.

Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that F.L.’s notion is correct. If this is the case, then NC House Candidate Barry Jacobs (D) most certainly has a “death nail” in his campaign.

While the policies he has passed and support he has garnered as an Orange County Commissioner would be considered to be liberal and “progressive” by most, Barry has found his “conservative” side during his bid for NC House Seat 50 (Orange and Caswell County). On his campaign literature, he bills himself as “conservatism with compassion”. Does this statement ring familiar? In a conversation with him last Friday, Barry told me that he believed that less government interference in our lives was better.

Apparently his campaign rhetoric has been well received because registered Republicans who are elected officials in Orange County (yes, they do exist) are supporting him. Long time Hillsborough Republican and Town Commissioner Evelyn Lloyd vigorously supports Barry Jacobs. She has his sign posted in her downtown Hillsborough pharmacy along with his literature and business cards inside. She even co-hosted a fund raising event for him. Another elected official, who is also a registered Republican, Hillsborough Town Commissioner Mike Gering, has also expressed his support of Barry Jacobs. According to their voter registration with the Orange County Board of Elections, they can’t even vote for Barry on July 20th.

So if we were to apply F.L.’s logic, Barry Jacobs might as well hang it up and go home.

I certainly do not presume to speak for Barry, he can do that for himself. I would imagine that Barry would say something to the effect that Republican support of his candidacy is a testament to the broad appeal of his message. Perhaps he would say that there are issues that both Republicans and Democrats can agree on and that is why he has the Republican support that he does.

So if the liberal and “progressive” Democrats of Hillsborough and Orange County can find acceptance in Republican support for NC House Candidate Barry Jacobs (and even co-host fund raising events with them), why can’t Chapel Hill/Carrboro residents do the same when it comes to their County Commissioner choices?

As a side note, if things don’t work out for Barry Jacobs in his bid for NC House this year, it will be interesting to see what his message will be when he runs for re-election for Orange County Commissioner in 2006. That will be a race where Chapel Hill / Carrboro residents can vote for him. Will he be touting “conservatism with compassion” then?


"First Efland/Mebane is NOT northern Orange County, it is southwestern Orange. I guess a number of you city folks failed the map reading section in school."

- Patrick Mulkey


Efland and Mebane are precisely due West of Hillsborough. If Efland and Mebane are in Southwestern Orange County then that would put Hillsborough in Southern Orange County.

I kindly suggest taking a look at an Orange County map before accusing anyone of failing a map reading section in school. Large Orange County maps can be purchased from the OC Land and Records department for a nominal fee. ;-)


Here's a map. Hillsborough is almost dead center in Orange County. Mebane is also about midway.

Here's a map. Hillsborough is dead center, and Mebane is midway, neither north nor south.

Paul -

you've got to be kidding. Bary Jacob's is calling himself

a compassionate conservative??

Isn't that what Bush calls himself...

Do you have a link to post with this?

try Mapquest,

Please allow me to clarify my last posting. Hillsborough is in the center of the county and has been traditionally considered a part of Northern Orange.

My point was that Mebane and Efland (which are both immediately due West of Hillsborough) are not in Southwestern Orange County as Patrick Mulkey suggests. If they were, then Hillsborough would be in Southern Orange County ... and it is not.

That is why a one way trip to Mebane from Chapel Hill probably is 18 miles (or more).

Sorry if I was unclear.


Informed --

In the end isn't this whole thing all about taxes??

If the commissioners are not afraid to raise them - they can do it immediately without a merger plan at all.

so to say taxation is too simplistic or not relevant is not totatlly accurate. Isn't the only reason we have this discussion because town folk voted to tax themselves more for education??

Also, I think there is nothing wrong with people trying to have their voice heard .. if it means changing parties so be it...

I'm not sure what kind of democracy it is if you tell 18% of the populace to go take a long walk off a short pier.... I'm sure the Kurds feel a similar democracy in Iraq.

UV - The tax rationale was offered by an extremely hostile repondant as a reason for the republicans ferociously backing ostensibly democratic candidates in this election...

Republicans DO have a voice - it's called the November general election - and saying you cannot win there means you can cheat, lie, and mislead in the democratic primary, well, that's Bush-worthy, right there. Being ignored is not the same thing as being outvoted; sorry.

And no, UV, it's not all about taxes; not to people who care about things like the environment, and greenways, and recreational facilities, and social services, and a sense of community in orange county. It's not even about a merger, despite what the "no-merger" PAC would have everyone believe.

Chapel Hill and Carrboro are part of Orange County. The

citizens of these towns pay the same county taxes and deserve

the same county services as those in unincorporated Orange

County receive. Since Chapel Hill and Carrboro contain

about 70 pct of the county citizens and since these two

towns are located in the SE corner of the county, it is

quite reasonable to expect that the county commissioners

would place facilities, recreational and otherwise, in the SE area.

It is far more efficient for the county to serve ALL of its people

by placing facilities near the bulk of the people.

For years, we have endured this tug-of-war between rural and

urban county citizens; it accomplishes nothing and artifically

divides us. We ALL live in our county, and we are ALL represented by our commissioners.

I noticed that in May there was some back and forth about whether the single-issue candidates for county commissioner were Republican-supported. Now that some of the campaign literature is circulating, complete with lists of supporters, this is no longer a debatable point. Even more alarming to me, and I would hope to other registered Democrats, is the reactionary Republican PAC "Citizens for a Sound Economy," that is working durectly with anti-merger candidates Hemminger & Foushee. I would like to know how many times they have met with HIllsborough members of this organization. Those who are interested in learning about the bed-mates of our "Democratic" candidates can go to

News flash ... just in .. Republicans always oppose a 20-25% increase in property tax..C..L..U...E ..L..E...S...S

Another news flash....Republicans in Orange county have no say and no Vote in who will be the next County commissioner....sleep well republicans can't vote in the democratic primary... They can only be ignored in November when the county elects another 2 democrats.

However, your name calling technique (the lowest form of debate) does not change the FACT that per pupil spending as recovered by property tax (the only way possible by merger) is the same whether or not the county is independent or acquired in a hostile takeover by chapel hill/carrboro.

The only way to avoid a "hostile takeover" of the OCS by Chapel Hill is to vote OUT the commissioners who are in favor of merger, Carey and Brown, onJuly 20.

I personally want to know who backs the candidates, and republican backing - regardless of the incredibly rude and simplistic tax basis response - is a cause for at least investigation...

My point is made perfectly by the rude response above - republicans think they are "ignored" and "have no voice" when they are actually outvoted (we call this democracy) - and respond by urging voters to change registration to manipulate a democratic primary...which they have no business at all being a part of, under the electoral process of the state of NC...

Isn't the head of the local republican organization listed on Hemminger's materials as a supporter (without, of course, his title listed next to his name?) This is something I would like to know...

I heard the 18 mile trip quoted in the Sierra Club forum was in fact round trip to Chapel Hill...I will drive it and check - should have done that first, really. Perhaps that is well and good for the soccer fans of Northern Chapel Hill...but this is orange county commissioners, not Chapel Hill town council, and distance to northern Chapel Hill - where land is not cheap, not available, and not flat, is part of the whole picture that some candidates seem not to grasp. That was the point - there are candidates who seem to think time spent on finding space is wasted time, and that money spent on regrading is negligible. Driving distance to Chapel Hill is one factor - but not a determining factor.

I agree completely that there are very important issues that are peripheral to the issue. Not saying it's an environmentalist or visionary victory to find cheap and flat - just saying if the land had been in need of extensive regrading and expensive itself, that would be the attack that people would seize upon as the faux issue - "Look at how much they spent! They are wasting our money! Why didn't they find better land for it?" And in an effort to prevent a Sportsplex situation, there is a demand for such a facility (so I hear) up north, and it is part of a school. Seems to me the peripheral issues were extensively addressed, and as a result, some candidates are claiming that it took too long. You cannot win with this - either it's too fast, too expensive, and there were issues ignored, or it took too long and the will of the people was denied. I'd rather it take a few years and be done correctly, myself.

And I agree - any land obtained by the county is a good thing for the county.

First Efland/Mebane is NOT northern Orange County, it is southwestern Orange. I guess a number of you city folks failed the map reading section in school.

Have any of you looked at the recreation facitilies available in rural Orange? We had to drive 30 to 40 minutes to practice basketball and 25 minutes to play a game for my 6 year olds and if we play soccer the same will apply. Bonds were the only way for us to get anything built with these commissioners.

In the mid 90's I was chair of the County Recreation and Parks Advisory Council (RPAC). As Chair I met with Hillsborough Town Commissioner Ken Chavies(sp?), Hillsborough Town Manager, County Recreation Director Bob Jones, and two gentlemen form the soccer business in Hillsborough. They were proposing that the County build a soccer complex (6-12 fields) on the land owned by the Town and County i.e. the Fairview Park. When I asked how much money was the Town and soccer folks were willing to commit, I got total silence. The unwillingness of the Town and soccer folks to offer some dollars would mean the County would not be interested in moving forward on the deal and I was right. At the very least a missed opportunity.

Don't mislead people ...

It is more like 18 miles each way from northern chapel hill.

Also, land will not get cheaper in the multiple Towns -- only more expensive and hard to find...

One could argue securing sites in areas where we know it is less available first is smarter. But I don't disagree that securing land EVERYWHERE for parks, fields and conservation is good.

But that is all fine (the location the timetable etc...).

What really gets me is for anyone who considers themselves a visionary and envrionmentalist to say we did it because the land was cheap and flat... That should not be the main defense..

That type of economic analysis is similar to the ones corporations use when they forget to mention the pollution or costs to the state for not providing adequate health care to employees....

peripheral issues to cheap flat land are very relevant long term..

I am unclear on how 10 miles is too far to drive to play soccer. It "promotes driving" ? I thought the justification given for envionmentally horrible minivans and SUVs was this exact reason - people need them to haul around 10 kids to sporting events. Maybe these people who claim it "promotes driving" could carpool??? Not everything can be in your backyard - and if there is this crushing demand in this county for soccer (and I doubt this even exists), then it seems that going to Mebane is not out of the question from the main population centers. And it's being built in conjunction with a school - not as a stand-alone facility.

Also as to the alleged delay in implementing this idea - finding sufficient acreage for soccer fields - without spending a fortune in regrading to make the land flat - in an area with names like Chapel HILL and HILLSborough seems like it might take some time.

Attacking the current board is shortsighted and frankly ignorant of the issues at hand. Some of these neophyte candidates seem to think they could have a soccer complex up and running within 2 months of a referendum...

So is merger an organ of very little use that can burst during appendicitis and cause harm?

Mark, I don't want answers from you. You are asking questions about Val Foushee's schoolboard decision to abstain from the AG vote. I'm just giving you a way to find out for yourself.

It also seems to me that - given the high visibility and controversial nature of the issue - that an abstention voye would be accompanied by a public explanation. Especially when that person is running for County Commissioner. And especially when citizens are being encouraged to vote for her because of her stated commitment to open process, good communication, respect, etc.

The Sierra Club has endorsed Margaret Brown and Pam Hemminger for County Commissioner.

Mebane soccer project won't work in isolation


The Chapel Hill Herald

If the Orange County Commissioners are serious about backing up their decision to build a new soccer complex near Mebane by finding a site for something similar on the south end of the county, their decision to go ahead now with the Mebane complex is entirely defensible.

As the main answer to the community's enduring shortage of soccer fields, the Mebane project would merely replicate the mistake the county made a decade ago with the Triangle Sportsplex.

The Sportsplex is a fine facility, but the hopes officials had for it were compromised from the start by a location distant enough from Chapel Hill and Carrboro to discourage casual users.

In a truly community-based parks and rec program, not everyone who uses a field or a swimming pool gets there in an automobile. But from day one, the Sportsplex has been car-dependent.

Given its surrounding population base, the Mebane soccer complex will suffer from the same flaw. But, as the commissioners have noted, there is enough pent-up demand for soccer facilities in northern Orange County to justify the investment there.

The key is making the Mebane complex part of a network, rather than asking it to be a standalone solution to the current problem.

Fields at Chapel Hill's Southern Community Park and the county's Twin Creeks Park will help. They'll also be a reasonable walk away from nearby homes, which will go far toward establishing their place at the heart of the community's recreation programs.

The task now for the commissioners is finding land in or near Chapel Hill and Carrboro that combines the virtues of those plans with something like the capacity of the Mebane site.

Anyone familiar with the local real-estate market will understand that this won't be an easy thing to accomplish. Most of the land in southern Orange is already spoken for.

But based on the comments of commissioners Chairman Barry Jacobs, the good news is that county officials seem to have a prospect in mind. The bad news is that they haven't yet been able to make a deal.

Until they do, skeptical soccer enthusiasts will keep wondering if county officials are going through with the Mebane project more for the chance it gives them to say they addressed the problem and less because the concept makes sense.

Jay & teacher/mom,

It appears that, for some reason, you want me to give you answers to several things, but here is an answer to a question I haven't been asked.

The merger issue is the appendix of the body politic.

Gerry, thanks for the clarification. I did not know that. Of course, to say that you know something I don't about NC law is to say the very least of the matter. Thanks.

It still strikes me as odd that a veteran school board member would not vote on an issue that has been in the forefront for so long.

The more I hear about Valerie Foushee, Carolina North, carbohydrates, and Al Quaida the less I really know about any of them.

Mark, again I urge you to email Val and ask her for her reasons. That is the only way you will find out

Hi Mark --

I can't figure out Farmer Brown's position on merger despite 8 years on the board and a detailed county report by the county manager..

I actually heard someone say they liked maragaret brown because she is AGAINST merger... Does an elected offcial have any responsibility to make sure the public knows where they stand? or is it by design to confuse the electorate?

As far as differentiation the INDY endorsed Elizabeth Carter and Ed Sechrest but not Gloria Faley despite IDENTICAl voting and policy decisions among all 3 -- explain that one? Maybe policy and positions don't matter after all. Maybe appearance matters more?

The automatic "yes" vote for abstaining applies ONLY to town governing boards and NOT to school boards. See House Bill 1099 of the 2003 legislative session which PROPOSED to apply the rule to school boards and got nowhere

preface to the bill:

Whereas, G.S. 160A-75 provides that no member of a city

council is excused from voting except when a conflict of

interest arises, and that provision is enforced by counting as a

"yes" vote all abstentions by members who refuse to vote or have

left the meeting without being excused by majority vote of the

remaining members present; and

Whereas, G.S. 153A-44 has the same requirements for

county commissioners being excused, but no provision enforcing

it; and

Whereas, North Carolina law imposes no duty at all for

school board members to vote; and

I believe that Val Foushee abstained from the vote because she arrived late and was not privey to the discussion and therefore did not feel informed enough to cast a vote.

As far as Gordon's proposed supplemental tax, it was a good first step that was shot down by the incumbents on the BOCC and unfortunately the OCS lost out on additional funds that could have been provided had this been put to a vote and added to the ballot. It is time for a change on the BOCC. There are at least two new candidates, Foushee and Hemminger, that are more than willing to explore ways to increase funding for the OCS w/out merging.

Wasn't this gifted child/differentiation plan something that has been discussed thoroughly for a long time?

I am only speculating as to why she abstained. I haven't spoken to her lately. You could email her and I'm confident that she would answer your question. Her email address is VPFoushee@aolcom.

Mark M, anyone can abstain, but a board member can only be 'recused' for a Conflist of Interest. Recusal means that you are counted as though absent. Abstention under North Carolina law is treated as an affirmative vote. So I read the CHN report to mean that she cast no vote (abstained), but her failure to vote is counted as though she had voted yes.

As a larger matter, you will see elected boards vote all the time and not hear or see every member cast a vote. Those who did not overtly vote 'no' have thereby voted 'yes.'

I am telling you NC law with respect to votes taken by public bodies. Roberts' Rules of Order treat this topic a little differently, I believe.

Maybe it's just the OWASA Board, but only COI allows a board member to abstain from a vote.

And, logically, that's the way it should be. Elected officials should be responsible for making a decision - not just floating past an issue without recording a decision.

the "community" has mentioned options to achieve more funding equivalency. Equal spending per penny may not be what gives "equal justice". the price to do business and live in chapel hill carrboro will always be more the efland or mebane. so penny for penny equality is kind of a random criteria of social justice.

the county wide supplemental has already been proposed by commissioner Gordon and is a much better first step than trying to slam merger on people. Try this first. Unfortunately Gordon is not the "right" person to propose it so it probably won't go anywhere.

I guess bickering and divisive issues are more the order of the day for some of our local elected officials.

Scott, The increasing transience of this community, with people coming here primarily for the schools, keeps this problem of funding equity between the two local districts from ever being solved. Transient residents do not have a long-term investment in this community, so they vote for what is immediately within their scope of interest and to hell with the future and the rest of the community.The issue of funding equity has been on the table for nearly 20 years, in part due to the constantly changing constitution of the county commissioners. I have no doubt that the transients will win yet again this year--and the community will continue to fight among themselves as a result. However, I do not think the issue of funding equity will go away quite as easily as it has in the past.

The Chapel Hill News reports that Valerie Foushee abstained from voting on the gifted child/differentiation plan. My understanding is that the only reason a board member can abstain from voting is for a conflict of interest. Can anybody clarify this?

in almost all cases anyone can abstain.

unless the school board is unique.

one does not even need a reason to abstain usually.

COI is one reason but if someone doesn't feel sure about the decision they can too.

This is pretty straight forward for me. I lived in Charlotte and realized that a quality eduction would cost around $7,000 to $9,000 a year for a single child in a school such as Charlotte Country Day. I moved back to Chapel Hill, bought a smaller house than I would have been able to afford in other cities, Durham, Cary or Charlotte in order to acquire a quality eduaction for my children. I am more than happy to fund additional taxes to support the school district, obviously the majority of people in Orange County do NOT share this view. I don't want merger as I am happy paying higher taxes for schools. The merger plans put forth last year would hold funding static in CH which equates to a reduction every year. I believe the timeframe was 5 to 7 years but do not recall the exact timing.

I intend to vote in advance as it offers a failsafe method to ensure my vote, no lines, no waiting and I have TIME, which might be a precious commodity on voting day if I am sick or traveling on business. If you want to ensure that your vote is made, please do the same.

Y'all are way out of hand. The veiled attacks are completely inappropriate and unproductive. Please believe me that you are not advancing your causes (whatever they may be) by acting like jerks.

I am just one stupid comment away from shutting down this thread. Please try to act like adults. And use your own names!

Hi y'all,

Just a reminder that the Sierra Club will

sponsor the first forum for candidates for Orange County

Commissioners tomorrow night (Weds) at 7pm at Chapel Hill

Town Hall. It will be televised live on cable channel 18 in

Chapel Hill and on corresponding channels in the rest of the

towns and county. Members of the audience will have the

opportunity to submit questions, so please come. Also,

all seven candidates have indicated that they will participate.

This is pretty straight forward for me. I lived in Charlotte and realized that a quality eduction would cost around $7,000 to $9,000 a year for a single child in a school such as Charlotte Country Day. I moved back to Chapel Hill, bought a smaller house than I would have been able to afford in other cities, Durham, Cary or Charlotte in order to acquire a quality eduaction for my children. I am more than happy to fund additional taxes to support the school district, obviously the majority of people in Orange County do NOT share this view. I don't want merger as I am happy paying higher taxes for schools. The merger plans put forth last year would hold funding static in CH which equates to a reduction every year. I believe the timeframe was 5 to 7 years but do not recall the exact timing.

I intend to vote in advance as it offers a failsafe method to ensure my vote, no lines, no waiting and I have TIME, which might be a precious commodity on voting day if I am sick or traveling on business. If you want to ensure that your vote is made, please do the same.


I am confused. Even though it is a class 3 misdemeanor, that makes it okay to litter?

Dear Sam,

No, _I'm_ confused. Where did I say it was OK to litter?

The world really isn't that black and white, Sam. There's too little information in my post to draw conclusions, and it's the rare person who can read between the lines of language properly, anyway. Take my question for exactly what it was-- a request for more information. The charge was included in the bill of particulars against Ms. Brown, but it was accompanied by so little context that I couldn't draw a proper conclusion. I'm not one of those people who can read between the lines of language properly, so I needed a little more information.

I'm also one of those folks who thinks "charged" doesn't necessarily mean "guilty," and who thinks the phrase "in trouble with the law" is a gutless locution.



if people are going to be asing for more explannation, how about more explanation for this:

I heard of this reporter, but I reckon she's new and got to learn. Nancy Vecchia didnt "resign" because she wanted to work closer to home. Hell no. everyone knows knows that. What's D.A. Fox going to say? And what's poor Nancy going to say, now that she has to try to get a job after getting ran out for no good reason? "I resigned." Of course, hell, but it wasn't for the reasons this Velliquat lady says. they didn't treat her very well at all, for no good reason, and D.A. Fox is a liar.

I believe the preceding announcement violates the rules:

Relax, Courthouse. (In fact, that goes for all you Courthouses. Just relax. Cut folks some slack. It's always "trial, evidence, trial, probable cause, trial trial trial." That's no way to live. Life is not a ceaseless contest of antagonists bent on proving their cases beyond a reasonable doubt ... oh, nevermind, yes it is.)

Seriously, name-calling (in which I've indulged in the past, much to my regret) isn't called for. I'm a little familiar with what you're talking about, and I don't think the "L" word applies.


J and teacher/mom,

Do I understand your argument correctly:

We should keep the school systems separate in order to ensure that Orange County Schools will be inferior, so as to advance affordable housing in rural Orange County?

That is really perverse.


I would really love for someone to explain why SAPFO is so great .. but if you believe it is (margaret brown's claim to fame), a merged system allows any capacity ANYWHERE in ANY school to be used to authorize building permits for new homes whether or not it requires long distance bussing on diesel busses to fill these schools. IMHO this makes sapfo pretty close to useless as a tool. Especially with 40% growth between 2000 and 2020 in the county - it is not a matter of if new schools will be needed only where to put them.

Does sustainable walkable community ring any bells.

Be honest with yourself and be honest with the people of Orange -- this all comes down to a fear of tax hikees. What do you think of Ketih cookes proposal to raise property tax a mere nickel ? Do you think there is any hope the courageous commissioners would take this baby step? I think not.

As far as inferior schools -- kids on the durham county line could walk to rashkis elementary (literally on the county line) in Meadowmont but I don't hear the social justice cries to merge with the Durham schools which are far inferior to the county schools. Where is the consistency in these equality arguments? And by the way it is legal for adjacent school districts to merge in different counties so this is NOT just a theoretical argument to challenge the consistency of ones thinking.

It is all about the will to raise taxes -- one way or another -- and certainly IF spending were as desired (and maybe it is!) there are far more benefits to having smaller districts with more local control than a bigger district. Which as a first step in school merger involves dissolving both locally elected school boards and appointing them with whomever the commissioners choose.

I certainly trust the residents of the county to elect whomever they want to represent THEM and if they can't get a second on the school board for a county district tax I must assume this is what the electorate wants. If al hartkopf wins it will certainly signal no interest in merger on the county's part which is heavily democratic.

Concerned parent: What part of ANYTHING I have said states that Orange County Schools are inferior?!!! FIrst of all, each and every parent, teacher and administrator of OCS should be offended by your statement. I have NEVER said anything remotely close to insulting the quality of OCS. As a former teacher in Orange County, I take offense!! Merger is wrong because it has not been justified. The issue is equal funding and can be solved with a county wide district tax and would avoid both districts losing local control of their schools (amoung many other issues that I won't go into). When refering to me, GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!!!



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