Indy School Board Endorsement Misses a Good One

I was sorely disappointed with the Independent's failure to endorse School Board Vice-Chairperson Gloria Faley. I have to admit that I'm not the most consistent watcher of school board actions, but the Indy got this one all wrong. There has been no indication that Gloria ever stopped being a "refreshing, independent voice" on the Board. As a member of one of the other elected bodies Gloria addressed during the "School in a Park" debate, one who ultimately voted against her position, I saw Gloria as professional, articulate advocate -- even as some others who supported locating the school on the park land, were anything but. I hope voters in Chapel Hill and Carrboro remember that amidst the fiery rhetoric of both the School/Park issue and the recent merger fights, Gloria has been a calming voice…in large part because she approaches these issues with a reasoned mind (even if other reasoned minds sometimes disagree with her). Her leadership consistently reminds me of the value of representative government. Additionally, I’ll never forget Gloria’s work at ensuring that Our school system remains a safe place for children, and educational professionals regardless of race, gender, religion, or sexuality.

Here's what the Indy said about Gloria:

“Incumbent Gloria Faley has been a strong leader in several areas, but has been a disappointment when it comes to working with the county. When first elected, she was a refreshing, independent voice. But she carried the ball for a poorly conceived effort to persuade the Town of Chapel Hill to give up plans for a park next to Southern Village in order to site the third high school there (cooler heads prevailed, and the site was changed). The school board should never have put the Town Council in that position. Picking a school site is a key land-use planning process that brings into play all of the other land-use planning that boards and commissions in Orange County are charged with. This school board's clumsiness and indecision have left them open to pressure from parents' groups and created ill will with other elected bodies in the county. Faley's combative attitude on the site issue hasn't helped to change the tone or engendered much confidence that the school board can do its job. For that reason, we're declining to endorse her this year.”



Mark--who do you endorse for Mayor of Carrboro?

(Note: I trust this question is serious, and not one meant to imply I'd only endorse Gloria because of her sexuality.)

Surprisingly, I endorse Mike Nelson. It's not broken...why try to fix it. But then again, it's not my jurisdiction. The Carrboro opponent doesn't seem very educated on the issues though. For example, he advocates improved cooperation between jurisdications to make sure development doesn't outpace school capacity. Well, Mr. Vanke, Mr. Nelson along with the Bd, Town Council, Commissioners, and both Orange Co. School systems have already done this. It took years to get the jurisdictions to agree on specifics, but the Schools Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (SAPFO) was passed in all jurisdictions this past year. Will Vanke now call for a Century Center in Carrboro? How about a Farmer's Market?

While the Indy seems to get it close to right - in this case I think they dropped the ball. Their town council candidate endorsements are more right on. One of the incumbent endorsees is basically invisible. Another has very limited school managment experience. Personally I like Gloria Faley and think a little fire and spunk in representing what the parents of kids in town want is a good thing. So what if there is contention. Didn't only 3 people oppose Weaver Dairy Widening at first? Eventually the other 6 learned they were wrong. Why on earth would someone want 3 high schools 2 miles apart from each other all in the northern part of town??? Why would you want southern village kids and others bussed farther than they need to? Isn't that part of the reason why there is tension with the county commissioners? Third high school placement. It is better to represent your constituents with fire and at least represent them than sit quietly and politely by. The other tension causer is school merger - an absolute political grenade and may cost some of the more progressives a seat on council to the candidates running on an anti-merger platform. If DB or TT wins I am sending a gift basket on their behalf to the county commissioners. The only people the handling of merger has helped is them. I applaud Gloria Faley for representing her constituents well. Excuse my rant.

I was also suprised at this choice by the Indy. I attended only one School Board forum, and Gloria and Elizabeth Carter were the only two who sounded to me like they really understood the acheivement gap between white aned black students, and were really equipped to deal with it. For me, this is the biggest issue in our schools (easy for me to say since I don't have kids... yet).

Also, the fact that Gloria is an out lesbian is important to me. It was only about 10 years ago that the schools were publicly wrestling over anti-discrimination politicie's and that really highlighted how important it is that all student are accepted and welcomed. Whether she wants it to be or not, hers is a role model for so-called "nontraditional" families.

I'll be voting for Gloria -again- on Tuesday.

IT was very disappointing that Gloria was not re-elected to the School Board. She has been a strong advocate for reasoned, thoughtful decisions and I personally have found her the most fiscally responsible of the bunch. I will miss her common sense attitude and "plain-speak" approach.

Anita, are you a parent with a child or children in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro system? I have not spoken to many actual parents of school-age children who were sorry to see Ms. Faley go.

Damion and Incognito 1.0: If you would like to discuss what has just happened on this thread, please e-mail me or take it to the "Welcome to" thread, at . Thanks.


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