Raleigh Chamber comes down against county commission | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Raleigh Chamber comes down against county commission

Posted by on Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 5:17 PM

In defending county commissioner’s hostile takeover of school ownership, commission chair Joe Bryan recently told INDY Week that the measure had widespread support, going back years.

He was quick to say the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce had pushed such a proposal in the mid-2000’s—as if the Chamber’s blessing signals that all reasonable people should agree.

But yesterday, the Raleigh Chamber’s endorsment didn’t mean quite as much to Bryan.

The Chamber wants both bills that have come as a result of the commissioner’s legislative agenda—one that would redraw Wake County school board districts and another that would transfer school ownership to the commissioners—to be quashed.

Bryan’s response: “It’s a little late in the day for the Chamber, and they’re not presenting much,” Bryan told the News and Observer.

How convenient.

In a February interview with INDY Week, Bryan put far more stock in the Chamber’s opinion.

“If you look back to 2006, I think it was the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce that said commissioners should have the authority to build, own, and maintain the schools,” Bryan said. “These views are generally representative of the business community and also the education community.”

I’ve interviewed Bryan twice in the past month about the county commission’s legislative agenda regarding the school board, which many have called a “power play.”

On both occasions, he earnestly defended the agenda as nothing more than good policy.

Bryan argues that it makes sense for county commissioners to own the schools, since county commissioners have to ask for tax dollars. Fair enough.

He also argues that people in Wake County deserve to be able to vote in more than one school board race. That also makes sense, even though the gerrymandered districts that legislators have come up with do not.

The point that Bryan wouldn’t take on is that regardless of whether or not the measures are good policy in a vacuum, the political reality of Wake County also comes into play.

Political reality number one: the county commissioners and school board members, more or less, hate each other.

Any time one body asks the legislature to change the power dynamic between the two boards, without getting the other board’s agreement, that amounts to a sort of power grab, no matter how pure your intentions.

Political reality two: several key issues, which don’t factor into Bryan’s arguments, indirectly hang in the balance. The school board is currently working on a new student assignment plan and both boards are supposed to agree on a new construction bond.

One of the bills, as I have previously written about, has the potential to completely upend the new assignment plan. That’s something the business and education communities in Wake County can almost undoubtedly agree on: more student assignment chaos.

Let’s be clear on another point. The Chamber is a very moderate organization, and doesn’t always come down on the side of the Democratic-controlled school board. The Chamber, for instance, was vehemenently opposed to former superintendent Tony Tata’s firing.

Bryan’s “good policy” argument is somewhat compelling. But when he cites an organization or disavows it based on whatever suits his agenda—well, that sounds more like politics.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

In the words of Donald Trump, when questioned about the future ramifications of his meeting in North Korea...

"We'll …

by Alan L. Falk on Here's What North Carolina's Representatives in Congress Think of Trump's Performance at Putin Summit (News)

I just wish some of these people who are so "russia, russia, russia", crazy. Cared about russia when they took …

by Timothy Oswald on Here's What North Carolina's Representatives in Congress Think of Trump's Performance at Putin Summit (News)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

In the words of Donald Trump, when questioned about the future ramifications of his meeting in North Korea...

"We'll …

by Alan L. Falk on Here's What North Carolina's Representatives in Congress Think of Trump's Performance at Putin Summit (News)

I just wish some of these people who are so "russia, russia, russia", crazy. Cared about russia when they took …

by Timothy Oswald on Here's What North Carolina's Representatives in Congress Think of Trump's Performance at Putin Summit (News)

Pretty sad world we live in when a briefcase is more important than your child.

by Scott Gurtel on Pro tip: To avoid leaving child in car, put important briefcase in backseat next to less-important kid (News)

AS long as the hog industry is polluting the poor neighborhoods it is ok...according to the idiot republicans...and they are …

by Tony Dockery on The NCGA Wants to Give Hog Farms Carte Blanche to Spray Pig Crap Wherever They Want, Neighbors Be Damned (News)

I agree with the post by forourgirls. If you watch the video, you are stunned by the number of times …

by localteacher on Montessori School of Raleigh Directress Says She Was Fired for Talking to the Cops About Sexual Abuse at the School (News)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation