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Posted Monday, October 22, 2012
Pittsboro, NC - The first email is from Randy Voller, Chatham County Democratic party chairman, to David Hamm, Chatham school board chairman. The second email is Mr. Hamm's response.
"Dear Board of Education:
Concerns have been raised regarding the nomination of the current Chatham County Board of Commissioners to receive the same award the Board of Commissioners received in 2009.
Now I realize that a nomination does not actually mean they will receive an award, but since all five of you are listed as Democrats and there has been some cause for concern over the past two budget cycles in Chatham County with education, would you kindly share with the leadership of the party your reasoning for nominating the current Board of Commissioners for an award by a vote of 5-0?
Randy Voller, chair"
Response from Board of Education Chair:
"Dear Democratic Party Chair,
It saddens me to hear that “concerns have been raised” regarding the nomination of the BOC for the annual NCSBA Commissioner’s Award. The BOE has done nothing but extend its hand in working productively with the BOC over the past year, and the BOC have been very gracious in supporting the school system in some very unique and desperate economic times.
As a member of the BOE, I for one do not see politics as part of the equation when dealing with our children, budgets, and what is best for the school system. Democrats and Republicans alike have a sworn duty to provide for the schools.
I for one do not see politics as part of the equation when dealing with our children - David Hamm
Your statement that “concerns have been raised” leads me to believe that the Democrats of Chatham County want to be at odds with the Republicans of Chatham and . We have way too much of that going on in Washington and Raleigh for that to continue here at the local level in Chatham.
As you are probably not aware, the overall demeanor and lines of communication between the BOC and BOE have improved dramatically over the past year. If you were present at the past two budget presentation meetings between the BOE and the BOC, you would understand first hand how all five BOE members agreed upon the nomination for the award. In fact, during the budget cycle this past year, the BOC gave an additional $715,000 above the BOE budget request. The commissioners also proposed and added a 2% raise to the local supplement for the employees of the school system.
I am here to serve the children of Chatham County, not a political party and its agendas. - David Hamm
In short, from Murphy to Manteo, I dare you to find many BOC that have been able to support their BOE the way our commissioners have worked with us here in Chatham. May I remind you that due to excellent work by both the BOC and BOE administrations, Chatham County Schools has weathered this economic meltdown far better than most of the other 114 school systems across the state. We have not laid off teachers; we have not cut salaries; and we have actually been able to add back potential cuts that would have dramatically impacted our classrooms. We are still the 6th best locally funded school system in the state!
Once again, I see the responsibility of the BOE and BOC, regardless of political affiliation, to work hand in hand for providing the necessary resources for our children in Chatham to be successful. Yes, I am a registered Democrat, but if also look on the ballot, as a BOE candidate, I am “non-partisan.” I am here to serve the children of Chatham County, not a political party and its agendas.
Our agenda is to work with everyone to make Chatham County Schools the best it can be.
David M. Hamm
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