Rebuilding Eastern: The CoCos Squabble

From today’s News & Record’s “Inside Scoop”:

Paul Gibson wanted to schedule an extra discussion on funding for the new Eastern Guilford High School. Some other Guilford County commissioners didn’t. So, the 11-member county board spent about 20 minutes Thursday arguing whether to discuss Eastern at an afternoon work session May 3 . That’s a few hours before the board would formally discuss replacing the burned-down school at its regular meeting.

Gibson said some commissioners wanted more information on the $61 million project.

“I don’t think we can discuss this enough,” said Gibson, a Democrat.

But other commissioners balked. Vice Chairman Melvin “Skip” Alston , also a Democrat, said Gibson was trying to hold the discussion out of public view. Both meetings would be open to the public, but only regular meetings are televised.

After a few exchanges, Gibson had heard enough.

“It’s going to be on the agenda at 4:30 on May 3,” he said. “I can promise you that.”

“Is that a threat?” Democrat Carolyn Coleman said.

“Is this a democracy or a dictatorship, Mr. Chairman?” Alston added.

In the end, a motion to discuss Eastern only at the regular meeting failed, which means the afternoon chat is on.

“A project this big,” Republican Billy Yow said later, “deserves debate.”

Democrat Bruce Davis said the chairman was trying to run roughshod over other board members.

“He’s really making himself look foolish,” Davis said.

Again, I fail to see where the debate lies. They’re all starting to look foolish. Maybe I wasn’t clear, County Commissioners, so here it is again…slowly. These parents cannot afford to take any more pain and heartache with regards to Eastern. Squelch the debate, get the project funded, build it, so that these families can rebuild their lives. Just stop it!

E.C. 🙂


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