It would be an overstatement to say that the Tuesday, April 25 joint committee meeting between Guilford County commissioners and the school board members was contentious.
But it would not be an overstatement to say that multiple county commissioners made it crystal clear at the meeting that they want school board members and school staff to start communicating better with the public about the way the school system is spending its $2 billion on school construction, repair and renovation.
The commissioners always have a lot of people coming to county commissioner meetings complaining about county government issues – so they were a little put out at the board’s Thursday, April 20 meeting when speakers came to complain not about county government issues but about school issues instead.
At the commissioners meeting, several speakers, as well as some commissioners, expressed concern over how the school board was communicating with the public on school projects.
So, when the commissioners got in the room with school officials on April 25 they had some things to convey to school officials at the meeting. There were several concerns people had about school board transparency, and many of those concerns centered on a planned new K-8 school near Colfax.
A couple of days before the Board of Commissioners met on April 20, school officials had held a meeting with residents in the area of the proposed new K-8 school.
At the April 25 joint committee meeting, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Skip Alston described the speakers who came to the commissioners April 20 meeting.
Alston said, “A lot of them, when they came to our meeting two days after the school meeting, were very, very upset, about the meeting not being properly noticed, and they talked about safety concerns and traffic concerns.”
School officials agreed that the community meeting structure – an open house format – may have not been the best and they acknowledged that many people didn’t feel like they got the answers they wanted.
Alston said, “I think that therein lies the problem,” adding that he said that it they had a well-structured meeting that explained safety and traffic concerns in a clear manner then there wouldn’t have been the same kind of backlash. Alston said that the school officials, at the start of the joint committee meeting, had given the commissioners clear and straightforward answers and now the commissioners felt better about the project.
Commissioner Carly Cooke said to school officials, “So I wonder if you could explain to us, and to anyone that’s listening, so that we can continue to share this information, what is going to be the process? Because there’s a lot of these coming down the pipe. And how do we learn from this and go above and beyond in transparencies?”
Other commissioners expressed similar concerns.
School officials stated that this was a learning process and they were already planning changes for future school community information events regarding school projects.
Who are you and what did you do with Skip…oh, I forgot, putting on a show.
Communicating better to a neighborhood that you are putting a school at the end of their driveways and they won’t be able to get out of their homes twice a day for a couple of hours? Hope you don’t ever need an ambulance during pick up or drop off! Communicating better that you have been concealing your plans from the community as long as possible to ram it down their throats at the last minute with as little push back as possible? Communicating that they no longer have a say so about their living conditions and you don’t care about them? There is nothing that makes terrorizing a quiet neighborhood with massive traffic and events and noise acceptable. We all know what schools are like. They don’t belong in any residential neighborhood. It’s utterly ridiculous. Buses do safety checks before each run… all those horns honking at 6 in the morning? What can you communicate that makes this better?
They were asked by residents at the open house style meeting to present in a more formal manner where everyone could hear and ask questions. They said that no, they had done this many times before and that the open house format was the best way to control an “angry mob”. Yes, really. So that’s what they were anticipating. Your plans are that good for the neighborhood huh?
“ School officials stated that this was a learning process” Is that a joke? Maybe a double entendres?
This meeting could be summed up by telling everyone that the pot is calling the kettle black.
EVERYONE that serves in any capacity on the County Council, the City Council and the School Board could use some lessons on communicating with the citizens.
None of them listen to voters and taxpayers, they simply proceed with their own personal agendas.
LMAO….the pot calling the kettle black…
Both clowns should have better communications but don’t hold your breath.
Y’all be nice now; and don’t criticize, or ask difficult questions of the board.
Skip why don’t YOU practice what you’re preaching and tell us taxpayers who pay your monthly county stipend the real and TRUE story about Samet and the jail project. Some of us know,we would like to hear your side of this racial boondoggle
The number one concern of Colfax residents is safety. The area of the proposed school is rural with rural two-lane roads that twist and turn. Many parents drive and drop off and collect their children creating traffic jams. NCDOT believes it can make the roads safe by enlarging intersections and widening roads in the area. This will not create safety or eliminate traffic jams that will follow.
High Point may have a plan in their “master plan” for a school in the area but it does not need to be in the proposed location, and should not be due to safety and noise concerns especially since there are alternatives. A school’s location should be based on a community need. Since there are fewer children living in the area, there is no need for a school here, so why this location? Colfax school is not at capacity, so why another school a few miles away? Colfax school occupies over 39 acres. Of those 39 acres, buildings occupy 1.6 acres. This is according to the Guilford County Register of Deeds. So why not build the school next to Colfax school? One response was that the school board does not want a “mega” school site. Well, we cannot always get what we want especially if what you want causes safety concerns for others.
Guilford County and the school board are drunk from having so much money to spend. They apparently fail to realize that they did not win the lottery. This money must be paid back with increasing interest rates. How will it be paid back? Of course, with taxpayer money. Those who voted for Skip Alston’s school bonds voted for higher taxes. If would be interesting to learn the real reason the passage of the school bonds was so important to Alston, maybe to help Deena Hayes?
A school is not always compatible with a community. Many years ago, parents were the driving force behind school locations because education and neighborhood schools were priorities with parents. Now cities, counties and school boards have replaced parents and communities in the decision-making process. With that said, why do the city of High Point and the school board want a school in a rural area with few children? They say it is because of future growth, but do not believe that. The location was chosen to bus kids in from areas other than Colfax. This will cause even more traffic, giving more credence to the Colfax community’s concerns about road safety.
If this area is part of the city of High Point’s master plan, another location can be selected. Plan and location are not one in the same. The land is not contiguous to the city of High Point thus is being “spot zoned” for the benefit of the county and school board to the detriment of the community’s safety concerns. It has been suggested that a school cannot be considered a “spot zone” since they conform with communities by their nature. Schools are not the warm and fuzzy nostalgia of old. They do not always fit into a community. Such is the case with this proposal because of all the reasons stated. There are alternative locations. The most obvious one being next to Colfax school. Why take land off the property tax role when there is already an alternative that does not currently pay property taxes: Colfax school property?
Extremely well put. Let’s put you in charge. Colfax school property makes SO much more sense.
I am a 24 year resident of Boylston road . Caught in the crosshairs of this proposed school. Residents were not notified ( only a few) of this proposal . The minimum by law . We had to find out , after the wheels are turning on this project . I attended the community mtg , which was chaos . The “ leaders” we’re terrible and even shared misinformation. This site is not appropriate. These rural roads( even with improvements) will not be able to handle this traffic . But according to GCS and their analysis everything is “ perfect “ . It’s a major safety issue! Also it was going to be a STEM school , then they picked a too small site , so they took the STEM away . Now they are backtracking & saying it may have a STEM “ lab” … what’s that .. 1 classroom we call a STEM lab !!! Wake up Guilford county , GCS is fleecing us ! Hold them accountable for better decisions!!
Bill Goebel will get them straight….the people of his district elected him for his honesty and integrity….ohh wait….uhhh forget I said that !!
The school board and their attorney are responsible for Bill Goebel. It seems believing that someone is divisive is enough to prevent the person from holding office. The school board’s attorney tucked tail and went to Raleigh to find some loophole to prevent Michael Logan, Republican choice, from holding the school board seat. Well, I believe Deena Hayes is divisive. So, when is she going to be removed? Hayes sees everything through race lenses. Must be a miserable life. Not one I would choose to live.