Monday, June 27, 2011

Keith Hurley is latest to join CMS board race

Keith Hurley, a mortgage lender and CMS dad who comes from a family of educators,  says he's joining the race for an at-large seat on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board.

Hurley,  an unaffiliated voter,  has never run for office.  He got a taste of activism last summer,  when he noticed the grass growing out of control at Beverly Woods Elementary,  where his three kids go to school.  He called public officials and the media,  but also organized parents to help spruce up the grounds.

He writes frequent letters to the Observer forum,  most taking city and county officials to task for wasting money.  But when he talks about CMS, it's not budget-cutting but stability he focuses on.  Teachers,  parents and the rest of the community are weary of constant flux,  he says.  As the board begins a superintendent search,  he hopes members will "look internally,  hard,  for someone who's not going to run every four or five years."  He says departing Superintendent Peter Gorman did some things well,  but "I truly believe he checked out eight, 10, 12 months ago."

Hurley says he's "a firm believer in the neighborhood schools" with magnets as an alternative, thinks closing schools was a mistake and hasn't made his mind up about teacher performance pay. Although his background is in banking, his parents, brother and sister are teachers and he says he hopes to revive teacher morale.

Hurley,  45,  works for BB&T,  runs,  coaches youth sports and volunteers.  He jokes that a countywide campaign will be "the triathlon I've never done,"  but believes he can make it all work:  "I juggle things a lot." 

Filing starts Friday and runs through July 15. We're posting campaign web links in the rail to the right of this blog as we get them, and check blog archives for reports on other candidates who have announced so far.

For the next stretch of this summer, Eric Frazier will be taking over as your correspondent while I delve into some project reporting. I promise that's not a euphemism for "fired," "in rehab" or "Peter Gorman's taking me with him to News Corp." It's just a long-awaited chance to break off from the daily grind and go a little deeper. We'll see how long it takes me to start twitching when I don't have daily blogs or bylines.


Wiley Coyote said...

Mr. Hurley,

A great place to start is demand accountability in the School Lunch Program.

Where do you stand on that issue?

keith hurley said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wiley Coyote said...

Thank you for the response.

I'm sure you, as well as I, don't want to take anything away from a child that truly is in need of meals. That is NOT the intent.

But when money is drying up these days and sample audits show potentially 60% don't qualify, that's a ton of money that could be redirected into the classroom.

That doesn't include everything else that is attached to the FRL designation - free sports, tests, etc.

The USDA is currently testing a program in Chicago that would give FREE lunches to ALL students at schools where the poverty level is at 40% or higher. MORE money thrown into a program already rife with mismanagement and fraud.

Here is the link ot the Chicago story. People need to be aware of this.

Anonymous said...

Was that really Keith Hurley posting? If so, spelling and grammar need to be cleaned up a little before the campaign begins.

Ann Doss Helms said...

I don't think that's Keith Hurley posting, but I haven't been able to reach him by phone to confirm or deny.

Keith Hurley said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wiley Coyote said...

You mean keith hurley might be OMG, an IMPOSTOR?

Maybe, maybe not, but it just goes to show those who rant against anonymous posters now see those posters can also contain a real looking name.

Anonymous said...

No, I'm Keith Hurley!

Anonymous said...

Loved you on Lost.

Anonymous said...

I understand the tons of waste in the Free Lunch program. Unfortunately, the FRL program is FEDERAL and the local school board cannot do anything about how people qualify or the misuse of the program because if the local BOE begins to investigate the program then CMS loses all the federal monies associated with the FRL program and maybe even other programs. SO, unless you know of other money available to the school system to feed the children without the subsidies from the government then go ahead and start an investigation. Until then, your fight is with the FEDERAL government not the school board.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 8:40..

I fully understand the school lunch program and the management of it by the USDA.

The BOE, you , me and our elected state officials in Washington ALL have a stake in ensuring the program is available only to those who truly qualify.

Because people like you who throw your hands up and turn a blind eye to the problem continue to enable the fraud.

I have on two occasions tried to contact the USDA directly without success but I intend on pursuing a more vigorous avenue by demanding the BOE, CMS and our elected officials press for compliance of the rules for the benefit, just as those who have to qualify for Medicare, Medicaid and other government programs.

The problem exacerbates itself when those blind eyes are turned, accept false numbers and give other freebies out based on those numbers.

Larry said...

I may have the solution to the Free and Reduced Lunch Problem.

I have asked on my website that every parent fill out the free and reduced lunch application for their child and make sure to have it in soon.

This way all schools in Charlotte will be listed as needy, and all schools will get the same funding as the Urban Schools.

I have included the applications and the various languages they are in below in case English is not your language:

English (.doc) (.pdf)
Arabic (.doc) (.pdf)
Cambodian (.doc) (.pdf)
Chinese (Mandarin) (.doc) (.pdf)
Farsi (.doc) (.pdf)
French (.doc) (.pdf)
Greek (.doc) (.pdf)
Haitian Creole (.doc) (.pdf)
Hindi (.doc) (.pdf)
Hmong (.doc) (.pdf)
Japanese (.doc) (.pdf)
Korean (.doc) (.pdf)
Kurdish (.doc) (.pdf)
Laotian (.doc) (.pdf)
Polish (.doc) (.pdf)
Portuguese (.doc) (.pdf)
Russian (.doc) (.pdf)
Samoan (.doc) (.pdf)
Serbo-Croatian (.doc) (.pdf)
Somali (.doc) (.pdf)
Spanish (.doc) (.pdf)
Sudanese (.doc) (.pdf)
Tagalog (.doc) (.pdf)
Thai (.doc) (.pdf)
Urdu (.doc) (.pdf)
Vietnamese (.doc) (.pdf)

Please use the website above to download the links above if they are not working.

Remember is we get them at all schools then perhaps we can get some attention to having them verified in the future.

therestofthestory said...

Ha, ha, ha. I like that idea from Larry. Have all 132,000 kids put in for FRL. Then wait and see what the BOE and USDA says.

Wiley Coyote said...


All that does is prove you're not serious about running for the BOE.

Larry said...

Strange you say that I am not serious.

When the system does not want to acknowledge its obvious disregardful ignoring of something so blatant and yet something that the system itself bases its funding for schools upon, then it is incumbent on those of us to use the rules to see all children are protected and given the same benefits afforded.

Remember no one will know your Child has the Free or Reduced Lunch as they have Cards and it is never verified. All you have to do is ask for it. So be sure to get the best for all children today.

Until we make the kind of demands on the system that make it change, nothing will change.

So yes we need more people running who are part of the change and not just willing to be part of a keep the same downfall going in slow motion.

These kids deserve a future.

Anonymous said...


Hurley announces a “grass roots campaign.”

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

Will the real Keith Hurley please stand up? I think a few of y'all need to check into rehab for addiction to Ann's blog.

Anonymous said...

I feel that Larry's commitment to dog photography has forced me to ask all candidates to send a photo with their pet(no Humane Society rentals or neighbor's pets) to Ann or Eric to post in this blog. Vet bills must be submitted to indicate the amount of income spent to stimulate the local economy. Aussies and Blue Heelers get my vote by default. No translations for world languages necessary.

Jim said...

Mr. Hurley (and other candidates and incumbents), how about SOME degree of concern for the development of the intellectually gifted and less on the alchemy of sow's ears >>> silk purses!

Larry said...

Good you asked about our Abby. That picture was taken from a run I did a few years ago in in which the Observer took my face from it only, for the information for story on my run.

This time the Observer did not ask me a single question before they posted my story in the paper, and apparently and this picture pops up, in its full glory. Also everyone needs to read the story in light of the others who are running and see if the treatment of all candidates are in the Observer vein as we have seen over past.

Anyway it made my Bride cry again seeing Abbys picture, as we lost our Abby a couple of years ago, and as you say we did spend good money to try to save her and would do so today if possible. We had Her cremated and spread her ashes out at Sea at Holden Beach where she loved to bite at the foam in the waves with Sara our other little one.

And yes we have rescued more pets and little ones than we thought we would but it has been worth every moment. Not one of them has ever let us down and those we find homes for are always bringing joy and love into those people's lives.

Oh and please folks, do not buy pets because they go with your decor. Pets from the Pound will be some of the most loving and faithful members of your family you could ever hope for.

Larry said...

Jim: Have you not heard of my plan to put an Asian child in every classroom?

As a volunteer I can see them sitting bored reading ahead during tests and can see they are blowing the bell curve off the top end from their other grades.

Their Parents or Guardian are always in touch with the Teachers and extra homework are work is almost something they delight in doing.

And we wonder why we have a problem in this country when we are asked to change and are so resistant to it.

Can you imagine if the devastation that happened in Japan had happened here where we would be? Has anyone see the success they have done in just a short time. That is because it is phenomenal.

I embrace those gifted and I also know that the gifted can be challenged in two ways, one that makes them just vacuous money grubbing and the other that helps them find true energy to get up and not go to work but to go find the next challenge.

That means every day they wake up they are never going to work, they are going to have fun doing what they want and that is using their talents.

Ann Doss Helms said...

On the real Keith Hurley: We played phone tag until after 8 last night, but I couldn't reach him live to figure out which, if any, posts were really his. Got this via email (which I know to be his):

"I was a little shocked to see all those items listed and folks using my name. I never posted to the blog and it looks like 3 others did.I have no idea why someone would do other than to hide behind a keyboard.I would rather it in print then I assume they can respond with comments via web site.In my communication professionally I concentrate on in person,telephone,email/text and fax. That seems like enough options for all."

So I'm taking down the fake KH posts -- and as Wiley notes, let it be a reminder that names signed here might not be the real deal.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Larry, hate to mess with your "rich mother-in-law" drama, but when you left me a voice mail saying you were running, I called back and left you a message saying I was eager to talk. You never called back.

On the photos: When I searched our archives, the only thing that came up was a photo of you in your Panthers Super Bowl get-up, complete with a pointy blue hat. No way could I post that with a campaign announcement. I asked an editor to find and send me a better photo. No, I didn't crop it, because a.) I'm not sure how to do that on, and b.) I love dogs. As far as I'm concerned, the only way I could have given you a better photo advantage would be to Photoshop in a cute baby.

You're free to use the Observer's forums to run a campaign based on how persecuted you are by the Observer; that's the beauty of the internet. But you know how this works: People are also free to poke fun at you over something like a photo of a dog.

Anonymous said...

Same can be said for comments--exactly how do we know that statements made here are the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

Moral--don't take this or any blog too seriously.

Larry said...

Sorry Ann when you called me back later that day, we were out of town and the next day the article showed up.

Are you saying you want to do a proper story? Especially if you feel someone is being as you say persecuted by the Observer.

We had to go out of town a few hours after I called you that day, and were not aware of your limited need to have it in the paper the next day and with another person running.

Oh and people want to make fun I understand, a lot of people get their politics from late nite shows and comedy channel speakers and if you take politics seriously today you too are just a little off. I mean honestly does any thing you have seen from the Media, Government or these Elected Officials come close to being anything serious about our problems and solving them?

Thanks Ann and good luck with the new gig.

Anonymous said...

I love how Larry posted all that information about languages and then said this:

"Remember is we get them at all schools then perhaps we can get some attention to having them verified in the future."

Proofread, people!!!

Anonymous said...

On better photo advantages of Larry:

Jeeze Ann, you could have searched your archives for a feature photo of my labrador who wrote a letter to President Barack Obama's dog. Nothing like having 25 Letters to the Editor published just to be usurped by my mutt. Although my dog is probably better looking and (obviously) more intellectually gifted than Abby, I feel Larry's pain.

Larry said...

Thanks for mentioning the many times the Observef Editors have favored us with another Banker and the many items they have published this Bankers wisdoms in the editorial section for us.

As a former banker from years ago and commercial lender I too admire what he had to say.

Sadly as a native I have written and even begged the Observer for help with challenged communities and to highlight the problems in our schools and community.

The only time they have done a real story was the one from a few years ago. I spoke to the leaders in Raleigh and told them our graduation rate for a certain group was only 30 percent. The Observer story said what I had done up there was beyond human dignity. Actually they were just using a quote from a person on the committee who just did not care.

So now we have our gangs, our problems, and the worst part no more big piles of money to throw at the next program that never works.

Well we know what works www.achievement

Just a simple focus on education.

Anonymous said...

You're barking up the wrong tree.

Larry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Larry said...

Thanks for noticing I am only barking and not what the media, elected officials and some running do on the tree and voters.

Anonymous said...

For someone who has a habit of bad mouthing people constantly and talking about people behind their backs, I think he should not represent our children.

Rachel said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.