Tuesday, October 29, 2013

District 1 won't be part of WTVI debate

WTVI's televised school board debate won't include north suburban District 1,  and incumbent Rhonda Lennon isn't happy about that.  Fifteen-minute segments on each of the other four contested races will air from about 4-5 p.m. Sunday,  after the Charlotte City Council debates.

District 1 challenger Christine Mast told me she couldn't make today's scheduled taping because she has  "other commitments with parents."

Lennon says she offered to adjust her schedule to fit with Mast's,  but instead the sponsoring League of Women Voters pulled the District 1 segment.  "The policy is that if one candidate in a 2 candidate race is unable or unwilling to participate there will be no debate,"  emailed Amanda Boo Raymond,  the league's executive producer.  "I appreciate your understanding and best of luck in your campaign."

"I am very disappointed I will not be allowed to participate since my opponent cancelled," Lennon told me. "I would have loved the opportunity to talk about my record and my priorities going forward for CMS."

The league's voter guide has been released, with 15,000 print copies going to libraries and other locations, but there are a lot of gaps from candidates who didn't reply. There's no school board race with all candidates responding, and neither contender for Charlotte mayor replied. I'm not sure what this says about this year's campaign and the way candidates are trying to connect with their voters. But check the right rail on this blog for links to the Observer's voter guide and other sources of more complete information.

And an update on campaign finance: The pre-election reports, which were due Monday, are still trickling in as the mail arrives and the Board of Elections gets them posted. Lennon says her total is more than $4,000. And I just plain messed up on Bolyn McClung in District 6: He reports having $11,337, including $10,800 in loans. We've corrected it online, but the print story is off.


Anonymous said...

I will be voting a big NO on bonds next week. Got the "cms sales pitch" from our school principal yesterday, yet none of the money or programs will affect my children in South Charlotte. And what about the overcrowding at Community house and Ardrey kell? No thanks.

Anonymous said...

Same here with our school. VOTE NO

Stop spending money when there is little to no return on the investment.

Anonymous said...


There's a proposed K-8 STEM school proposed for Ballantyne and a replacement of two buildings at South Meck HS. The whole county chipped in and built the schools your kids attend now. How about you step up and do your part?

And 8:27,

Why do you think there's no return on investment? CMS sends kids to some of the most competitive schools in the nation. Tat is a return on investment. Time to get rid of your pessimistic world view.

Garth Vader said...

Comments like 9:27's are why people are going to reject this bond package... if you're not in 100% agreement with the powers that be then you have a "pessimistic world view".

Um, no. We just don't like the idea of hundreds of millions of dollars in additional debt.

Anonymous said...

If one candidate can't make it then give the one who can and is willing to move her schedule around time to make her case on her own.

If you are running for office, you need to make time for the electorate. At least it makes voting easier in this case.

Anonymous said...

If you honestly belive that a magnet is ever going to happen in Ballantyne-you are insane.

Thanks for the laugh!

Anonymous said...

I don't know what Christine Mast's commitment is at the scheduled time of the debate, but I think it speaks volumes to her dedication to the race. But Ms. Lennon needs to realize that just because your debate opponent doesn't show up, that doesn't mean that you get a long form commercial.

Anonymous said...

9:39, you're right. The people of Ballantyne will do whatever is necessary to keep a magnet school out of their district.

Anonymous said...

@9:55-you are so funny.

Yes, its the people of Ballantyne who choose to have overcrowded schools, kids sitting on the floor, etc.

We here are just so powerful that CMS bows to our every need.

Everyone that I speak with would love a STEM magnet here, but Ballantyne is way at the bottom of the CMS list. Example: see how long it took them to agree to build another suburban high school.

Thanks for the laugh and I'm scared of your delusional thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what some of you people are complaining about. Myers Park High School has had mobile classrooms since before some of the schools in other parts of the county were even built. Part of the stadium was condemned last year. The cafeteria looks like it did when the school opened in 1951. And this is at one of the highest performing schools in the state that will soon have in excess of 3,000 students. It's a disgrace.

So, I'll be voting yes for the classroom and cafeteria renovations at MPHS and the other important projects that this bond package includes.

Anonymous said...

League of womens voters is not going to impact this race. I think Ms. Lennons term choices will make her case. I think people that want a change will go with Ms. Mast.
I vote NO on the bonds as CMS has no trust or accountability. I would (if I could) vote for Ms. Mast in D-1 for her accountability and accounting knowledge. I have seen her correct CMS budget errors for years and that will win TRUST in the future. Keith W. Hurley

Wiley Coyote said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

A NO vote on ANYTHING is anti-Charlotte.

I heard it from a cannon.

Wiley Coyote said...


It could take many years before those projects are completed - if then, based on history...

Some schools are still waiting for promises to be kept from over six years ago when the last bond package was approved.

I learned a long time ago to stop throwing good money after bad. It's too bad CMS has never learned that. CMS is still a screwed up mess and I see nothing different coming from the current BOE or CMS administration that will be changing anytime soon.


Anonymous said...

I think CMS is planning a Zulu cultural immersion magnet for Ballantyne.

Just so they can say that Ballantyne actually has a "magnet".

Just nothing they'd actually want.

Anonymous said...

9;27 I do my part. I took my kids out of CMS and pay taxes for your kids' schools and I pay tuition for private school now. You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

Neither D1 candidate is worthy to be on the board. Would be better to find a write-in candidate.

David Knoble said...

I think it is interesting to see adults say they will not vote for a school bond because they do not get anything from it. Especially when the south district received four new elementary schools, a middle school, a high school and a rebuilt elementary school through the last round of 'hundreds of millions of dollars in additional debt.' I know, I live there.

It is that selfish 'me me me' attitude that I hope our children do not inherit from us. I rather hope that they inherit the desire to do good for everyone.

Some of our CMS high schools have programs for participating in large amounts of community service. In fact, college applications today are more interested in the amount of service a student has shown during high school than ever before. I hope others here might learn from that.

The bonds are what is best for our entire school system. Not every district will receive equal funds for each bond referendum, but the right thing to do is vote yes for the bonds and move on to planning the next round.

Anonymous said...

David Knoble- In that equation it would also benefit the tax payers (bond holders) along with the State of NC to issue $8000- education vouchers to all who request them. Families could then use them at any school that would accept those vouchers. CMS would never support such a positive educational move as too many "good families" would leave them. My reasons to NOT support the bonds are as follows.
1) I dont TRUST CMS as a fiduciary steward of budgeted dollars.
2) I dont agree with outside money pooring into a campaign to help try to get voters to approve a package.
3) I dont like CMS sending sales pitches home with my children to support the bond package.
4) The 2007 bonds have resulted in delays in building schools yet CMS wont "own that" outcome.
5) Too much wasteful spending at the downtown level is in view.
6) The school closings that took place was handled very poorly. Far too many lies were discovered in that plan as well.
I could go on , but no need as early voting has started. Mark my word if this bond package does not pass it is a huge loss for CMS. If it did pass you cannot build a school building and not fill it with teachers. I dont see that industry growing anytime soon the way staff has been treated over the years. Keith W. Hurley

Wiley Coyote said...

...."move on to planning the next round"...

CMS hasn't completed the last round from 6 years ago.

CMS poster child for school placement failure - Waddell.

Anonymous said...

3:31 Keith, thanks for your insight. You are correct.

And to 3:01 Knoble, we don't need a lecture from you about thinking of others. I know, I live there too. And I volunteer at my child's school 4 days a week so I know the situation that CMS has created. And I know the value of sharing my talents and time with others, and teaching my children to do the same. What would help CMS more than millions of taxpayer dollars would be to get more parents involved with their own children's education and at their school house.

Vote NO on bonds.

Anonymous said...

Yes, let's "do good for everyone" and buy that alcoholic another drink...

Wiley Coyote said...

A little voting insight:

My wife voted yesterday and saw no one else the whole time she was there.

I just voted (4:50 pm) and the same, no one but me and 8 poll workers.

So much for the sky falling because of compressed early voting days and times.

It took longer for the poll worker to make sure I was the person I claimed to be (my son has the same name) than it did to vote.

Nahhhh...we don't need voter IDs.

Anonymous said...

Wiley, on the voting issue I think turnout will be ten percent which is terrible. The other will complain while you actually voted. Folks this is your chance to make a change so voice that concern at the polls.
On bonds CMS is scared these won't pass and I don't think voter confidence is going to help their either. Should be a very loud wake up call to the CMS and Chamber PR band.

Anonymous said...

Might be better if Rhonda does not speak at the debate. She might have to remind us that she was lockstep with St. Peter in his destruction of the district.

She must go.

Christine in 2013.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately some folks have removed St. Peter and his destructive path thru CMS from their thought process. I agree with you if I was a D 1 voter I would vote Ms. Mast in simple on Rhonda's voting record. I just hope people vote in this off year election. Keith W. Hurley vote NO BONDS !

Anonymous said...

CMS has enough money. Who are they trying to kid? Cut the bloated central office and the area offices and let the teachers do their jobs. Vote NO!

Anonymous said...

The central office has $290 million. Thanks for the heads up!

Anonymous said...

Vote NO on bonds

WALKOUT on November 4th

Finally CMeS Board of Education, MOrrison and the state will get the message.Improve the quality of compensation will improve the quality of the educators.

Anonymous said...

Rhonda Lennon is one of the reasons that Pete Gorman was allowed to get away with his mistreatment of teachers in CMS. Just look at his insider dealings with his former #2 in Guilford County. He is a crook in the Guilford case and he was a crook in CMS. Lennon, Davis, Morgan and Tate allowed that. Boards are supposed to hold superintendents accountable. They are not to simply go alone with what the superintendent wants.

Anonymous said...

Waddell my have been the poster child for the first placement failure. They did finally get it right when Smith Language Academy was moved there. Unfortunately CMS spent $900k to move the school across I-77 and a cool $million for Smith's renovation to administrative offices nearer South Park for the out to lunch bunch. I bet the AC works now.

Wiley Coyote said...


There are more "Waddells" in CMS.

Moving Smith to Waddell doesn't absolve CMS' failure(s).

CMS is still holding onto the old Smith property, hoping to use it in the future.

Get out of the real estate business!

Anonymous said...

D1 and D6 are still far below needs due to the urban extortionists and the white guilt of the uptown crowd when busing got defeated.

Do a timeline for the bond projects and you will see who will still bear the brunt of the court case.

Anonymous said...

Rhonda, thank you for your service. But I still believe in term limits. Larry G stepped down after his 2 terms to give more people a chance to have a voice.

I still believe either make 3 districts of make CMS all charter schools.

Anonymous said...

Many CMS presentations show FOUR transportation districts.

Make that the initial blueprint for splitting up CMS.

Anonymous said...

Vote Yes on splitting up CMS.

Anonymous said...

I am convinced we cannot believe anything Rhonda Lennon says, so I do not feel the debate would have value. Rhonda Lennon has a nerve to state that she, along with colleagues, has made neighborhood schools the foundation of our student assignment plan. What a joke!! She has made sure that Hough high school is a neighborhood school and North Mecklenburg high school has been rezoned to include students transferring from both West Charlotte and Vance school areas, making it more of a city school. Board members take care of their own communities and schools of choice in their areas. Time for a change in District l.