Letters to the Editor

09/27 – Letters: Mike Lee, and Del Snow

DPS hitting the mark

Durham Public Schools is off to a smooth start to the school year! Those of us on the Board know that this year will be a great one, because DPS has the greatest educators and staff in North Carolina.

Durham’s educators work hard for every child. Our community believes in equity and inclusion for every student – we are committed more than ever to fight for these values. Daily, we work to serve close to 34,000 students and their families with precision, care and love. We extend immense gratitude to all of our educators who are working tirelessly to ensure that our students are receiving a quality education.

MikeLee2
Mike Lee

In recent months, we have experienced a lot of changes in our district. Dr. Bert L’Homme has been a strong stabilizing influence on DPS. We are grateful for his service and wish him well in his upcoming retirement.

The true test of a great leader is to leave an organization in better shape than they found it. The steady academic growth over the last few years shows that Dr. L’Homme —working with our educators — has hit that mark. We would all like student achievement to improve even faster, but our Board recognizes that we are moving in the right direction.

Please rest assured, the Board is carefully and thoroughly interviewing superintendent candidates to identify the right leader who will continue these accomplishments and build upon them. We will pick a candidate whose vision of excellence complements our community’s values. I am a firm believer that no one role will make or break Durham Public Schools, because of hard-working and talented educators working collaboratively in our system. Yes, a superintendent may steer the ship, but our educators continue to power the ship.

DPS is a strong school district getting stronger. Our Board is behind our educators, 100 percent, and we ask that our community continue to support our students during this academic year.

Mike Lee

Chairman, Durham County Board of Education

Probe candidates’ proposals

It’s election season again – the time of campaigns and campaign promises.

It’s pretty hard to figure out what distinguishes one candidate from the other – after all, they each care about Chapel Hill and want to do their best. All the candidates say they want to increase affordable housing, help us get around, and that they care about what citizens think.

snow
Del Snow contrib

How, then do we decide for whom to vote? I suggest you probe beneath surface presentations and ask yourself whether a given candidate is offering specific policy proposals or generic feel good answers. Does the candidate appreciate the scope of what is financially possible to do? Does he or she voice concerns widely shared by Chapel Hill residents or only those of a narrow segment of the population?

Do you sense that the candidate understands how most local issues are interconnected, such as:

▪ Land-use intensification (“development”) and flooding?

▪ Population increase and the increased cost of government services and demands on schools?

▪ Profit-driven construction of upscale housing and loss of affordability and inclusivity?

▪ Traffic congestion, budget constraints, and promises of increased local transit?

Many of these problems arise from the cumulative impact of development and the lack of comprehensive town planning. It is crucial to seek out candidates who will advocate for the use of good data analysis, ask probing questions of applicants and staff, and who have the resolve to remain true to their principles.

Lastly, consider all of a candidate’s prior service to the town and learn whether the candidate has demonstrated an ability to respect differing points of view and be open to new information.

I believe this list is one that we can all agree on and can use to help guide our choices. Good luck to all!

Del Snow

Chapel Hill

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