First of all, I want to thank all those who came out today to show their disapproval of the resolution to identify school board candidates by their party affiliation. There were several from League of Women voters and our party members.
The first order of business today came from Mike Edney who made a motion to postpone the resolution based on two things: school board members were concerned about the issue and he wants more time to broaden the resolution to include all municipal elections--including the city. School Board Chair, Craven, was present at the meeting this morning along with Jay Egolf. They left when the motion was approved to move the resolution to the February meeting. Andreotta made his spill by reading a poll workers' concern that many voters were asking who a candidate was affiliated with. An argument that supports the continual work by the GOP to strengthen their voting power and extreme ideals throughout this county. We must continue to have our voices heard. Please continue to write to the county commissioners letting them know that partisan elections for school board candidates is not in the best interest of our children, nor their job to make those decisions as a county commissioner. The commissioner emails are below: The next commissioner meeting is February 6 at 5:30. No agenda is ready yet. I'll keep you posted.
GOP County Commissioners at it Again... Hiding a Resolution to posture their GOP agenda.
This time they are requesting the State to have school board candidates identify their party affiliation on the ballot. They have hidden it in their budget agenda and made sure there is no public comment to be made tomorrow morning on the subject.
This is a blatant misuse of power and procedure and a distraction from the job they are supposed to be doing.
Please show your disapproval by emailing the commissioners and showing up tomorrow morning at the Main Street Courthouse. The meeting starts at 9:30 am, but we will gather at 9:15 am so they know that there are many of us who are not happy with this.
Below is an Action Alert from the League of Women Voters and an email from Dawn Kucera asking for the resolution to be removed. Several have sent emails, but the more that are sent will let commissioners know that they are not a voice for many of us. I have also attached the HCDP statement sent to WLOS. District 11 and Mary Ellen Kustin (former school board candidate) also sent similar emails.)
Here is the link to tomorrow's agenda for the Commissioners' budget meeting. Notice that the resolution is amongst the budget discussions: https://www.hendersoncountync.gov/sites/default/files/fileattachments/board_of_commissioners/meeting/136464/01.18.2023_agenda_with_links.pdf
ACTION ALERT: IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED The Education Team and the Board of the League held an emergency meeting this afternoon to address a vital and timely issue: the Henderson County Board of Commissioners has a motion on the consent agenda for their meeting this Wednesday, January 18, 2023 which asks the North Carolina legislature to approve their request to change local school board elections from non-partisan to partisan. The League of Women Voters of Henderson County strongly opposes this item being placed on a consent agenda and voted on by Commissioners without public input. That process lacks transparency. A change to partisan School Board elections is not a trivial detail but a consideration that should be made by an aware community. Our primary concern is that there will be no opportunity for public comment. We are asking you to contact our Commissioners immediately and ask that this item be removed from the consent agenda for the Wednesday meeting and placed on the regular agenda for a future meeting in order to allow sufficient time for public input and comment. Commissioner contact information follows below: Rebecca K. McCall, Chairman -email@example.com Mike Edney, Vice-Chairman - firstname.lastname@example.org William Lapsley,- email@example.com David Hill - firstname.lastname@example.org Daniel Andreotta - email@example.com
It is not surprising that our GOP-led county commissioners are driving national political agendas that we have seen played out across the country. This is not the first time they have presented their bias ideology through local government business when their focus should be on improving and maintaining the infrastructure of the county. No public comment is available at the upcoming commissioners' meeting, and this resolution announcement is out of order among the agenda items for this meeting. The county commissioners have no business making public school decisions; it is an offset to the government business they were elected to do.
Local schools' governance should be a safe place to focus on the public education and well-being of children, and not hinder the complicated, important duties of elected board members to ensure every student receives a free, public education. School Boards should not be a political battlefield to push personal, biased agendas that infringe on the rights, mental health, and diversity of our children.
Partisan politics is not good for our schools. Public schools are a place for equal opportunities for a sound, basic education for all children.