In last week's paper, Thomas Goldsmith wrote about a joint meeting in which the Wake County Board of Education and Board of Commissioners tried to smooth over their differences stemming from the budget fight earlier this year.
In response, Commissioner John Burns writes: "I found the meeting to be helpful and appreciated the many points made by members of both boards, as we work to meet Wake County's expectations for its schools within its budget and the restraints imposed by the state legislature. Politics ain't beanbag, and there are always going to be tensions between these two constitutionally intertwined but distinct bodies. But we are working hard to work together.
"Mr. Goldsmith's recollection of the discussion regarding telling the legislature that Wake County simply cannot comply with class-size mandates within the timeframe required by the legislature is not accurate. [County attorneys] did not speak to the wisdom of the idea; they said they could not advise on attorney-client issues in an open forum—which is what the county attorney was referring to as 'not a good idea.'
"The question of whether the General Assembly has imposed an impossible-to-achieve mandate on the schools, which is contrary to good educational practice, is one we should continue to discuss. It may be that the right answer is 'we understand the requirement and the goal, but we simply cannot achieve the timeline.'"
"I expect the elected leadership of Wake County to move through the 'bumps and cuts' of personality quickly and to get to the business of providing a quality education to Wake public-school children—my own grandchildren among them," writes Randall Kent Stagner. "Should the NCGA be 'flouted' in that process, so be it."
Last week, we also reported that Durham City Council member Cora Cole-McFadden had plagiarized portions of her response to the Durham People's Alliance questionnaire. (The INDY goes to press on Tuesday afternoon, so we don't know whether Cole-McFadden won her reelection bid.) Robin Cubbon doesn't see what the big deal is: "I just can't get worked up over this. To me it is running a red light. It ain't great, but I think it was something that didn't get followed up on. When brought to her attention, she didn't deny it, and that counts to me."
Dolly Butler disagrees: "Cora could have taken more time out of respect for good government and people of Durham. These are the things that we must not just let slide, but [we should] hold people accountable for."
Robb Fluet adds: "This is another case of Cora being Cora. While Cora has done some fantastic things in the city, her time may have been passed by."
Moving on. Christina Stableford objects to the Raleigh cover of last week's Style issue. "I'm glad [cover model] Natalie Drennon thinks her patent leather mini-satchel is the 'cutest thing alive,' because her choice of footwear is disastrous," Stableford writes. "While highlighting the constraining and constricting historical female fashions in N.C. History Museum's exhibit, the INDY chooses to prominently feature the current version of same on its cover: constraining and constricting footwear for women. It is beyond ironic to pair the photo of a woman displaying this type of nonsensical and potentially dangerous footwear with the subheadline, 'How to dress like a human in the Triangle.' What 'human' activities might a woman wearing pointy-toed high-heeled booties engage in without risking severe mishap? Doing a little gardening? Not. Joining a protest march (or even toppling a Confederate statue)? Not. Taking a hike through the woods on a sunny day? Not. Serving the hungry in a food kitchen? Not. Running through an airport with a laptop bag and suitcase in hand? Not. Posing as a nonfunctional display ornament or toddling toward that reserved seat in a pricey restaurant? Perfect!
"Shame on you, INDY, for using visual imagery to reinforce the idea that the fashion-conscious woman happily accepts foot pain, spinal misalignment, and constraints on her ability to function ably in the world as the price for visual validity."