by Joe Schwartz
Gary Wallach has dropped out of the race for a seat on Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education.
His decision leaves six candidates aiming for three positions. Michelle Brownstein (who Wallach has thrown his weight behind), MaryAnne Gucciardi, J.M. Green, incumbent Gregory McElveen, Christine Lee and Susana Dancy remain in the race.
Wallach also ran in 2007. He finished last, 333 votes behind Michael Kelly, among a group of five candidates with four seats open.
He issued the following statement about his decision this time around:
In one way, running for office a second time is like having your second child.
You loved the first child and after a few years, you forget how hard it was to have him or her. You begin to think, wouldn’t it be great to have another one.
Well, running for school board the first time was wonderful fun, but like having a child, very labor intensive. In retrospect, after I got past the anxiety of all the forums, the position statements (there were three forums, one was televised, about 15 typewritten pages of answers to questions from various organizations and media outlets), radio interviews (2), a television interview and more meetings in a short period of time than any reasonable person would want, I felt it was one of the best things I’ve done. It was great meeting people and listening to their concerns and sharing my thoughts and hearing them tell me they would vote for me.
So having remembered the fun part, I decided to throw my hat in the ring once again. Now that I’m experiencing the reality of running again, I decided to re-think my decision.
My priorities continue to be: To make the district more accountable to its students, parents and teachers.
To make the educational opportunities equal whether a student attends a high economic status school or a low economic status school.
To have a top to bottom review of the budget with a special eye to whether the programs are working and worth the cost and whether or not the expenditures are in line with the district’s strategic plan.
And To increase the time for, and availability of, training for teachers and aides.
Having said all this, I am, with mixed emotions, taking my hat out of the proverbial ring and not pursuing the campaign.
I would like to thank all the wonderful people who supported me in the past and said they were glad to see I was going to give it another try.
Finally, I would like to ask people who believed I would have helped the district to support Michelle Brownstein, who I believe will make an excellent Board member.