Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Once the Dust Settled...

Here are the filings for office in local and district races, as they stood at the close of the filing period at noon today:

U.S.House, Dist. 5
Elisabeth Motsinger, Forsyth Co. School Board member, D
Bruce G. Peller, Forsyth Co. dentist, D

Virginia A. Foxx, incumbent R

[There will be a Democratic primary May 8th]

State Senate, Dist. 45
Roy J. Carter (Ashe County), D

Dan Soucek, incumbent R
George S. Robinson (Caldwell County), R

[Soucek has a primary May 8th]

State House, Dist. 93
Cullie Tarleton, D

Jonathan Jordan, incumbent R

Watauga County Commission, Dist. 1
Virginia Roseman, D

Tim Wilson, R

Watauga County Commission, Dist. 2
John Welch, school board member, D

Vince Gable, incumbent R

Watauga County Commission, Dist. 3
Billy Kennedy, D

Tommy Adams, Tea Party R

Watauga County Board of Education
Jay Fenwick, D
Barbara Kinsey, D
Brenda Reese, D
Deborah Greene, Tea Party U
Ron Henries, R
Fred Oliver, R
Brandon Petrea, R

[There will be a primary for Sch. Bd. May 8th]


Anonymous said...

man Roy Carter just doesn't give up... Tommy Adams, Ha.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Kinsey and Reese. That's two really strong candidates for school board.

Anonymous said...

can deborah greene win without having either party behind her?

Anonymous said...

Tim Wilson, really? That is the best they can produce? Lol really!

Anonymous said...

Go Roy! With enough support, we can make things happen. Were we really going to let this seat go uncontested?

bettywhite said...

Who is Tommy Adams?

Deborah Greene said...


The Boone Tea-Party/Watauga County Republican Party has not sent me any emails for the past 2 years. I understand from an ASU article on the Tea-Party that Tommy Adams is a member of the Boone Tea Party, for what it is worth. I understand that they have decided that I have moved to the dark side because I talk to you and Pam.

How unfortunate is that? What happened to putting politics aside and talking on a personal level of mutual respect?

I haven't moved to the dark side, I have stepped out into the light.

I think we have a refreshing slate of candidates. And, for the question as to whether I can win without the support of either Party, is a question that can only be answered when all is said and done.

There is one thing we can look forward to, regardless; we will 3 out of 5 which to me means a new board.

Deborah Greene

Anonymous said...

Welcome Deborah Greene. I could easily support you for school board!Please continue to post and keep us advised about your race.

Anonymous said...

can deborah greene win without having either party behind her?


Anonymous said...

I am just wondering if it would be possible for someone to change their registration after they already filed to run for an office and could they stay on the ballot with their new party?

Dem for Deb said...

I am thinking of starting a "Dems for Deborah" Facebook page.

If I did, would anyone be interested in joining?

Lee said...

"The Boone Tea-Party/Watauga County Republican Party has not sent me any emails for the past 2 years."-Deborah Greene

Really, Deborah?

Then how do you explain this:

In which you write to and receive emails from the County Commissioners and Tea Party less than a year ago making clear as a bell that you might be registered Unaffiliated but don't want, under any circumstances, for progressives to regain control of the Commissioners and in which you insist on hard-core John Locke, Tea Party philosophy.

If you've somehow conveniently forgotten about these emails, please be sure to click on the PDF file that will take you to all them. The emails show quite clearly that you're anything but biased.

Henery said...

Lee, I believe you meant "anything but unbiased."

And thanks for reminding us of that history.

Henery said...

Anonymous 10:12,
you've GOT to be kidding! What actual Democrat, as opposed to someone just masquerading, would support D. Greene? Oh I'm sure there registered Demodrats who'll vote for her, but they been voting for Republicans for years and don't share any of the Democratic platform, if they ever did.

I have not forgotten the nastiness of her "NO Sue, No Pat" campaign way back in 2002. What true Democrat would support someone who came up with all that?

Dem for Deb said...

Thank you Lee for that information. I was not aware of any of that. I know Deborah Greene because I have seen her at school board meetings and I think she is what we need on the board.

and Henry, too bad if you don't like it. You don't get to decide who can be a Democrat and who can't. Who said you could be the voice of the party? A TRUE Democrat is willing to listen to the viewoints of others. I see that you aren't a true democrat.

JR said...

I have a question for Dem for Deb (whatever that is). You say a true Democrat listens to the viewpoints of others? I am afraid that does not happen anymore and it is ashamed.

I saw a picture on Facebook this week of who I think was a local democrat with this angry look on her face wanting people to vote against the Consitutional Amendment. Now that looks like some who would listen to the viewpoints of others.

I guess she is angry because of the poor performance of the President and Governor she elected.

Deborah Greene said...


I didn't go to your link. Some links can be detrimental to ones' computer. However, I remember volumes of public emails sent to commissioners (on a very very rare occasion would one respond though). I still send emails. One of the commissioners has already told me that, point blank, he doesn't have time. I wish that everyone could go to the county website; and, at a click of the button view all of the emails sent by myself and others to the county manager, county finance director, county commissioners, tax department, board of education, Local Government Commission, Attorney General's Office, NC State Auditor, New River Service Authority, etc. Unfortunately, you have to make a records' request and sometimes that can take so long that you forget what you asked for and why you asked for it. I am also aware that the Boone Tea Party has a massive mailing list. On a very rare ocassion, I copy the Tea Party on issues just as I do other media outlets. The Boone Tea Party I understand views itself as "educational". Don't get me wrong; I am not opposed to the Tea Party concept. However, that concept can't really be defined. I thought that the Tea Party, at least in the beginning, was a term applied to a gathering of "freedom from oppression" advocates with various/individual activist passions. It is the word "Party" that destroys the concept. We have Parties and they are having a very difficult time figuring out what they stand for. Again, don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with the Party concept. But, it is not for everyone. You can only imagine what is happening to the Tea Party while the Parties are trying to figure out how to contain/identify the movement. That's it; its a movement. I need to go back and listen to that old song by Arlo Guthry, anyone remember the name of that song? I used to pull that out every Thanksgiving. Anyway, I do get emails from the Ashe Tea Party; but, again, I am not a member. And, I recently gave a presentation on County budgeting, accounting and financial reporting for the Ashe County Tea Party. They are very organized, dedicated and active. They seem to have found their groove. And, I attended the Wilkes County Tea Party event last October. Gasp! I also visited the Democrat Party headquarters last year where I posed for a photo-op with the "darkside". Lighten-up! My point is this. The Boone Tea Party either lost my email address or decided I wasn't worthy of their movement. But, I am not a member. The Republican Party leaders either lost my email or decided, as I was told, that I had moved to the darkside (whatever that is)and wasn't worthy of being informed or invited to any of their events. Or, maybe they only communicate with registered Republicans. Bottomline, I am who I am. I have an impeccable record of being outspoken so there is no way that you can even begin to insinuate that I hide where I stand on any issue. I may be a hard "concept" to pigeon-hole; but, that my friend, is the beauty of being "unaffiliated", a man without a Party. That, my friend, is freedom to the nth degree.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it would be good if Mrs Greene could tell us what she would do as a member of the school board. How does she feel about teachers pay? Charter schools? Home schooling?
These are important issues. Not only her, but other candidates- especially our democratic ones, should post their positions here!
At this point, I have no idea who I will vote for in the school board elections. I might vote a "straight ticket", but it is supposed to be a non partisan election and I want to hear from the candidates before I decide.ssublsou ssiandoss

Lemony Snickett said...

I have to say that I have lived long enough in this county to see Deborah Greene throw her arms around the Williamsons! Am I dreaming? A mere decade ago, the Williamsons were the devil incarnate to Mrs. Greene. Now she's buddying up!! My Good Lord! Maybe that damn anti-marriage amendment will be defeated after all.

Deborah Greene said...


First, I support the right for parents to choose the school where their children will be educated: traditional public school, charter school, private school, or home school. When parents decide to send a child to public school, they have exercised their right to school choice. This is the same for parents when they choose a charter school, private school, or home school. Some parents use a blended choice of schools for a child and/or vary their school choice from child to child. We exercised our choice 13 years ago when we decided to home school our son. And, we have never regretted our choice. However, I recognize the sacrifice, time and responsibility of such a choice. Not every parent has the opportunity and/or desire to make the home school choice. The great thing about our Republic is: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Any school board member who would interfere with the right of school choice in performance of their duties would be in violation of the oath they take, the US Constitution, the NC State Constitution and specifically NC General Statute § 115C 547:
“In conformity with the Constitutions of the United States and of North Carolina, it is the public policy of the State in matters of education that ‘No human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience,’ or with religious liberty and that ‘religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind . . . the means of education shall forever be encouraged.’”
As you may be aware, local school board members are charged with specific duties and limited powers for local schools falling under the jurisdiction of the NC Division of Public School Instruction (NCDPI) (see NC General Statutes §115C-Article 3). Charter schools also come under the NCDPI. Charter schools are “independent” public schools funded primarily by public funds. And, local, state and federal funding of education follows the child to the traditional public school or the charter school. Not every charter school comes under the control of the local board of education; some come under the control of the NC State Board of Education (see NC General Statutes §115C-238). Watauga County has 9 traditional public schools: Bethel, Blowing Rock, Cove Creek, Green Valley, Hardin Park, Mabel, Parkway, Valle Crucis and Watauga High and one public charter school, Two Rivers Community, which opened in 2005 providing education for grades K-8. Please note Two Rivers Community and Blowing Rock, both earned the “Honor School of Excellence” award (at least 90% of the students performing at grade level with the school showing adequate progress) for the 2010-2011 school year. Private schools and home schools fall under the jurisdiction of the NC Division of Non-Public Education (NCDNPE) and do not come under the control of local school board. In the 2010-2011 school year, Watauga County had 273 home-schools with 493 students; and, had 2 private schools with 90 students. In the 2010-2011 school year, Watauga County public schools had 4,297 students.

[See remaining answer in next comment.]

Deborah Greene said...

Anonymous (remaining answer to your questions)

According to the State Board of Education: “Teachers, school administrators, and non-teaching positions in NC schools are employed by local boards of education but are paid on a state salary schedule based on a number of factors. In addition to the state salary, a local supplement may be provided by the school system. Public school employees also receive compensation, or longevity pay, for continuing service.”
There is an enormous document online with tables of factor related salary components if you are interested in going through that maze.
As a school board member I would only have jurisdiction in setting the “local supplement”. We have a “local supplement”; however, I doubt we know why we established it, much less how we established the amount. Therefore, I am in favor of adopting a “local supplement” policy/program. Because “local supplements” are established to mitigate problems incurred in attracting and retaining employees, we need to identify the factors, unique to Watauga County, which would bring about the need for a supplement. It is not enough to compare our supplement to those of other counties of our size or to the State average. We have to consider economic factors such as, affordable housing. And, we can’t consider affordable housing in a vacuum; we have to consider the circumstances under which affordable housing would be a factor (i.e. the teacher whose salary is lower due to State factors such as fewer years of service). We then have to compare the circumstances to the demographics of our teachers. Currently, the majority of our teachers have higher-service/ higher State pay. Again, we cannot view these demographics in a vacuum because our demographics suggest we are going to have to address the replacement of retiring teachers. This is just one example and should demonstrate the need for a comprehensive study that is not isolated to a simple comparison or limited to today’s circumstances. And, there are other options such as incentives to be considered.
If you are asking me for my personal opinion of the State school pay system, I personally would prefer a system of pay that rewards teacher/employee performance. And, I am in no way advocating a system that bases teacher performance on test scores. With this said, some teachers/employees may be overpaid and some teachers/employees may be underpaid. Also, I believe that salary and benefits should be viewed in the context of a compensation package. When trying to attract and retain employees, whether teachers or others, it is critical to take into account the salaries and benefits, the entire package offered by those competing for the same employees.
I hope this answers your questions and thanks for asking.

Deborah Greene

Deborah Greene said...

Lemony Snickett

Could it be that you fail to accept that people can transcend political differences?

And, by the way,I think it is the pro-marriage act.

Anonymous said...

Is it too late to switch party affiliations to vote against Soucek in the primary?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I'm not sure if you can switch now or not. Call the local Board of Elections at 265-8061.

Anonymous said...

Pro- marriage act? I was actually listening to you until you said that. You can kiss my potential vote goodbye.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I believe Deb Greene was merely clarifying just how a proposed amendment is titled.

Anonymous said...

I call the Amendment "The Bigot Amendment" And anyone supporting such discrimination written into our state's Constitution is also a bigot. I'd hate to see a bigot get a seat on our Board of Education.

Anonymous said...

Wondering what her position on amendment 1 has to do with how she would function on the school board.

Not sayin' she would do a good job there because I dont know. But I wouldnt hold her position on non related matters against her for the school board job.

I would be more concerned whether or not she will support our teachers!

Anonymous said...

Will Deborah Greene support our schools and teachers? There are some clues. She supports school vouchers, homeschooled her child, and opposed the building of a new school. She supported the state legislature's cutbacks in education. When those cut backs hit home, even our Republican Board of Commissioners warned about up to 60 teaching positions being lost in the County if we couldn't find more funds. Even though she knew about the lost positions, Greene opposed a 1/4 of 1 cent sales tax hike to help fund those lost teaching positions. She sent a letter to the commissioners warning them about the number of teachers and other school supporters coming out to support the increase and encouraged them not to let people ask questions related to education and lamented that education speakers might be allowed to speak about the need for more school funding.

So it's pretty clear to anyone with even half a brain. She's a TeaBagger who doesn't support public education. I'll bet she even supports the elimination of the National Department of Education.

Anyone thinking Greene will stand up for public education or teachers is smoking something pretty strong.

Anonymous said...

I've read the comments on this subject, and it is apparent that most here have a different perception re: what constitutes quality education from others.

Some say that ample and continually increasing funding is an absolute necessity--the more funding the better. Also, the more teaching postitions and more teachers the better. Then, it was decided that administrators and teachers should receive higher and higher salaries. Then it was decided that the school system needed a new, bigger, and better high school. And, oh yes, one high school in the Boone area was the only answer, and this new high school was promised that it would be built right and not burden the county with continual repairs, etc. Then the spending and borrowing spree commenced to buy much more property than was needed for the high school, which also included the appraisal fraud and the revelation of considerable overpayment for such property, including the Smitherman/Winkler property with its problems, which is still in county hands. Mrs. Greene fought to get the old high school appraisal made public, and if this effort would have been successful, the citizenry would have demanded that the BOC and BOE sell the old high school for the $33M, the highest, offer.

Mrs. Greene and others warned that the lack of accountability and increasing costs would result without a voter referendum. And the new school costs kept increasing, much more than was initially budgeted, and the final costs has yet to be determined, because the school project has yet to be formally declared finished. Since the new school has opened, there has been problems that never end. And of course, the county was placed, and still is, in unprecedented debt. Mrs. Greene and a few others warned about this spending and borrowing overindulgence. They warned of an impending economic collapse and advised a more prudent course. Mrs. Greene and others warned about speculating on the Ginn Company. And the last three years of the previous BOC chair, the education budget was not increased.

To be continued

Anonymous said...

Continuing from my previous comment:

The sales tax increase referendum was held in the summer of 2010, a proposed tax increase that the previous BOC chair wanted to spend on a recreation center, but Mrs. Greene indicated that the sales tax could only be earmarked by the legislature.

But even with the continuing recession, the new BOC majority wanted to have another sales tax referendum, this time to fund the debt; however, the former BOC chair claimed he wanted the proposed sales tax increase, first, for education funding, and then when that failed, for any purpose. Yet, just before the hearing, Mrs. Greene taught the new commissioners how to read the county financial statement and indicated that the commissioners had more than enough money in the unassigned fund balance to fund the state shortfall without a sales tax increase. The new commissioners realized they had more than ample funds to set aside another $6M for debt service, again, without a sales tax increase. The new commissioners actually increased school funding and no teaching jobs were lost. The new commissioners were apparently misled by staff, which has not been unusual. In addition, the State Dept. of Instruction revealed that Local Government Educational Funding provided for 15 additional teaching jobs for the fiscal year ending 6-30-2012 as compared with the fiscal year ending 6-30-2011.

In my opinion, some in the education bureaucracy emphasize continued increasing funding, no matter what the cost to the taxpayers and no matter the extent of the recession. I would like to ask some questions: Is your concern only for the educaton bureaucracy and the teaching profession? Is it always about the increasing ($$) bottom line? What about the true best interests of the youth? Are the students receiving the best quality education for all the money the taxpayers are paying into the system?

I can only hope that Mr. Willianson will post my comments.

Deborah Greene said...

To Whom It May Concern:

Current cost of new high school without interest: $87 million and counting. This is what happens when there is not any accountability. See what they told us below. They went $31 million over. I said back then and I will say it again: "We have 8 other schools to consider. We have to plan for recruiting teachers to replace retiring teachers. And, the cost of this high school will have a negative impact on future funding." Chairman Deal and Miller both think I cause a lot of trouble. I would rather think of exposing the waste and abuse as opportunities for growth and improvement in some areas too important to ignore; that might do well to attend to. Remember what I said: "What good are school buildings without teachers? Buildings don't teach!"

10/14/2005- Watauga Democrat “School board will back new high school”
Andy Reese said architectural estimates show that the option of building an entirely new high school would cost less than the option of renovating the existing facility and constructing a new building. The preliminary estimates for a completely new facility are about $56 million while the least expensive estimate for a renovation and construction option would be well above that.

“I think we’ve done about everything we can in order to reach a position where we feel that we’re not going to push the taxpayers beyond what they have the ability to pay,” he said.

10/21/2005 – Watauga Democrat “School board asks commissioners to OK new WHS campus”
Reese also disputed the $56 million that came from the architect’s presentation. He said the school board was working with architects “and we feel like we can come way below that figure,” he said.
Commissioner David Blust was concerned because the county still owes over $3 million for the last renovation at the high school in the early 1990s. He questioned whether some portions of the school were in usable shape, and said with the given price estimates, the county would end up spending $75 million with interest over 30 years.
Blust also suggested costs could eventually mount to $100 million. He said he favored spending between $12 million and $20 million for the high school. Deal responded that the numbers weren’t valid yet and said of Blust’s figures, “Those are just sensational numbers that will appear in the newspaper.”
The school board plans to continue discussions with the architects to lower costs of a new building. The county commissioners voted in May to raise the tax rate by four-and-a-half cents per $100 of property value to set aside $5 million over two years for the high school.

Deborah Greene

Deborah Greene said...

To Whom It May Concern:

On March 20, 2006, the Board of Education reimbursed board attorney, Paul Miller, Jr. for the cost of an appraisal on the old WHS property. This appraisal was hid from the public until this year. And, as we found out the appraisal was for $15 million. Knowing what we know now, see what happens when there is no accountability. I had heard that figure spoken in a joint meeting of the commissioners and board of education years prior to release. I tried to get a copy so that I could prove it to the public. However, the board of education refused to release it. It was the board of education who owned the property and turned down the offers. See below. Remember what I said then, "We can't afford to speculate with taxpayer funds" The letter to the editor was titled "Speculating on Speculators". The board of education and commissioners were banking on tax revenues from the Ginn Development to pay the bills. And, now for those of you that don't know; the county commissioners reduced the tax value of this property for the new owners, the largest tax payers in Watauga County, this past year. That's right. The latest offer is $7 million after demolition. And, now the County wants to demolish the property and sponsor a business park. The proceeds are supposed to be used to pay for the new high school. Are you going to allow your education dollars to be taken away? Commissioner Deal was warned of the impending economic collapse. His response: "You are not forward thinking." So, how is Deal's "forward thinking" working for you?

See the next post with articles from Watauga Democrat.

Deborah Greene said...

Continued from previous post.

May 22, 2006, Watauga Democrat:

"School board attorney Paul Miller presented the two contract proposals Wednesday, saying he had been negotiating with both parties for several months. The offers include both the current high school property and about seven acres of property the county had purchased with the goal of building a second entrance to the school. Since both boards are involved, both would have to approve any purchase. The county would also have to turn down their right of first refusal on the school board's portion of the property. The apparent best offer came from Granite Development Corporation of Mount Airy, which offered $32 million for the combined 75-acre property. Rick Miller of Miller Properties of Boone offered $30 million, but other terms of the contract could make even more of a financial difference in the coming years. During the time the school board is building a new school at a different site, the contract allows the board to rent the current building for up to three years. Granite Development offered to lease the facility to the school board for $100,000/month while Miller Properties is seeking $300,000 a month. The purchase would be contingent upon the selected developer having the project approved by the town of Boone, which has planning jurisdiction over the property. The town council voted last week to rezone the property to B-3, General Business, which allows for a wide range of uses."

Later Gulfside Development out of Florida came in with a $33 million offer.

6/23/2006 Watauga Democrat

"Three development groups have made formal written offers on the property (old WHS site), the highest bid currently $33 million…While the boards may be ready to accept an offer, school board chairman Andy Reese said more parties had inquired about the site, though he knew of no new formal offers. The highest offer so far came from a Florida development group that has undertaken some renovation projects in Asheville. The group's bid topped a $32 million offer from Granite Development and $30 million Boone-based Miller Properties, though there are some differences in the clauses of each other, especially in the amount the school board would pay to lease the building."

7/22/2006 Watauga Democrat

"Deal said the county would borrow the money to build the facility. Estimate for total project is $65 million, which includes facilities, athletic fields, roads,site preparation and planning. He estimated a balance of $33 million after the sale of the property (old WHS site)." "He also said the purchase offer on the current property (old WHS site) exceeded informal appraisal amounts." [How about the formal appraisal amount?] Deal said at least five serious written offers had been received, the highest being a baseline figure of $33 million. He said the property would continue to increase in value and regular annual growth would generate enough funds to pay for the school without additional tax increases."

Deborah Greene

Deborah Greene said...

To Whom It May Concern

What took so long from the first resolution? Why did it take 3 resolutions? Is there any accountability? See what happens when there is no accountability. From 2006 through 2008, the school board attorney was paid tens of thousands to negotiate the sale of the old WHS property. (See the invoices for the volume of telephone conferences for more waste and abuse.)

7/27/2006 Watauga Democrat

"The school board unanimously approved the plan and deeded the current property to Watauga County. The commissioners accepted the property deed and agreed to acquire the Perkinsville property and commit funding for a new high school funding. The vote was 4-0, with commissioner David Blust not present."

11/3/2006 Board of Education Meeting Minutes
"The October 30th joint meeting with Watauga County Commissioners was reconvened. County Commissioners discussed two County issues while waiting for everyone to arrive. Board of Education Attorney, Paul Miller presented requested information to the group regarding responsibilities of a construction manager, project developer and contractor at risk. Watauga County School Board members instructed Paul Miller to transfer the title to Watauga High School [old WHS site] to Watauga County"

8/3/2007 Minutes of Board of Education
A motion was made by Ron Henries and seconded by Dr. Warren to transfer ownership of the current WHS to Watauga County Commissioners for use as collateral for bonds for construction of the new WHS. A lease from the Commissioners for the current WHS was requested until the new facility is completed. The motion passed unanimously

2/19/2008 General Warranty Deed

General Warranty Deed 2/19/2008 transfers old WHS to County. What took so long from the first resolution? From 2006 through 2008, the school board attorney was paid tens of thousands to negotiate the sale of the old WHS property. (See the invoices for the volume of telephone conferences for more waste and abuse.)

I have an entire timeline entitled, Timeline of Corruption. And, it continues.

Deborah Greene

Anonymous said...

Could someone with a lot of time on their hands read Deborah Greens posts and then explain them in 4 or 5 sentences?

Anonymous said...

" Anonymous said...
Wondering what her position on amendment 1 has to do with how she would function on the school board.


12:41 PM"

When situations involving gay kids or those perceived to be gay getting bullied, I feel her position does matter. Additionally, there are a few kids in the school system here with same sex parents. And while the schools have been good to treat the non-legal parent properly, that could change with a proponent of amendment one making policy.