February 13, 2014
Gov. Pat McCrory was obviously having a good time back at his old high school. After the speeches and doing one-on-one interviews, McCrory was talking to some students and looking at the annual from his senior year. He said he wanted to find the boys’ volleyball team picture because there was no boys’ volleyball team. As school president he said every day he made an announcement about the boys’ volleyball team practice, but there was no team. He and bunch of his buddies got together to have the annual photo taken, and there they are – right over the girls’ volleyball team, which actually did exist.
After looking through for pictures of himself and friends with long hair, he said, “I don’t have my class annual.” Someone said, “Governor, you can take that one.”
McCrory said, “I don’t want to steal one.” They assured the governor that they had another annual from 1974 and he could have that one.
So along with having a good time seeing his old school and making an important announcement about education, Gov. McCrory scored his senior class annual while he was in Jamestown on Monday.
It was McCrory’s second trip to Guilford County in three days. McCrory was at the tribute to Congressman Howard Coble in High Point on Saturday night and then back at Ragsdale on Monday morning.
It’s great to have a governor who knows where Guilford County is and likes to come visit. To many of us who watch state government from 80 miles away, it has appeared that Guilford County has gotten the short end of the stick. With President Pro Tem of the NC Senate Phil Berger representing a big chunk of Guilford County, that isn’t likely to happen this term, but it doesn’t hurt to have a governor who grew up in Sedgefield.
McCrory, in looking at his annual, remembered that in high school he was still called “Yankee” because he moved to North Carolina from Ohio in fifth grade.
The Guilford County Board of Education is all bent out of shape about the North Carolina General Assembly changing the way teachers are compensated. The State of North Carolina pays most public school teachers in the state. Local school boards hire a few teachers but the vast majority are paid by the state. Since the state, not the county, pays the teachers, it seems reasonable to most people for the state to decide how to pay teachers and how much to pay teachers.
If Guilford County Schools wants to pay its own teachers then it should get to decide how and how much to pay them. But no one is suggesting that Guilford County Schools, which has no independent source of revenue, pay the teachers.
What the Guilford County school board wants to do is to tell the North Carolina state House, state Senate and governor how teachers across the state should be paid. Does that make any sense?
But the long and short of it is that the Republicans control the state House, state Senate, governor’s mansion and state Supreme Court, which means the liberal Democrats who control the Guilford County Board of Education are probably out of luck.
The Guilford County Republican Party went through a significant change this week, one that would likely escape all but the party regulars. Justin Conrad resigned as executive director of the Guilford County Republican Party before he filed to run for the Guilford County commissioner seat currently held by Commissioner Linda Shaw, who is not running for reelection.
Conrad was replaced as executive director by chairman of the High Point Republican Party Paul Norcross. It looks like the Republican Party in Guilford County might give up its dual personality and actually become the Guilford County Republican Party rather than the Guilford County Republican Party (except for High Point). Chairman of the Guilford County Republican Party Michael Picarelli and Norcross should be congratulated for this successful negotiation. In fact, if this deal holds, maybe Picarelli and Norcross should be sent to the Middle East to see if they can work their magic on an international scale.
The 6th Congressional District race continues to be a hot one, at least in the Republican primary. Bruce VonCannon has been running television and radio commercials for weeks, and last week Phil Berger Jr. stepped up with his own television commercials. The primary is in May and this is February, so it is early to be running television commercials because once you start commercials it looks bad if you stop.
Mark Walker doesn’t have a campaign commercial up on his website, which is a good indication he doesn’t have one. Zack Matheny said he wasn’t ready for prime time this early in the campaign. It doesn’t look like anyone else in the race has the money to start doing commercials yet.
It’s a big district, and candidates who plan to campaign by going door to door are going to be sorely disappointed. But just a reminder, print media is also great way to advertise.
President Pro Tem of the NC Senate Phil Berger sent a letter to the Guilford County Board of Education about the state’s effort to do away with tenure for public school teachers and replace it with four-year contracts. The Guilford County Board of Education still voted to take the state to court, but none of this was out of the blue. Berger, who is an attorney, had a long private discussion at Ragsdale High School Monday, Feb. 10, with Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Education Alan Duncan, who is an attorney, and Guilford County School Superintendent Mo Green, who is also an attorney. It was a private discussion, so the three of them could have been talking about the Super Bowl, but it was a serious discussion and it seemed likely it was about this issue. For a few minutes Gov. Pat McCrory joined in the discussion, but it was mainly Berger, Duncan and Green.
What the discussion indicates is that Duncan and Green were not surprised to receive a letter from Berger and Berger was not surprised that the school board voted to take the issue to court. It appeared to be a serious but very cordial discussion.
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