Letters to the editor - Wednesday (4-10-2013)

  • Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 12:06 a.m.

Phil Kirk would make great superintendent

In my humble effort to try to save the taxpayers dollars in the search for a new superintendent: May I suggest that the School Board make a call to Phil Kirk?

Phil is a former teacher in the Salisbury-Rowan System; Rowan native; former state senator; former chief of staff for a governor, congressman and U.S. senator; former nursing home administrator; former executive vice president for the state Chamber of Commerce; former chair of the state Board of Education — and I am sure I have left something out. Nevertheless, this job is not an educator’s job so much as an administrative job, and Phil is the best administrator Rowan County has ever produced.

Phil is liked and respected by all parties, Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives, white, black etc. We need someone here to bring all folks together, and Phil Kirk can and will do that. He has worked with leaders of both business and government at all levels, local, state and federal. He has a motivational speaking business, and God knows, the local education situation could use a new sunrise and some motivation.

The naysayers will say that he does not have a formal doctorate. Well, true, but he does have a doctorate in life and successful experiences. I will take the latter one every time. We have a Supreme Court justice who had never spent one day as a judge before she was named a Supreme Court justice. We also once had a District Court judge, named “Mule,” who was one of the best we have ever had and never spent a day in law school. There are many other examples.

So, board members, save yourselves a lot of time and Tums by giving Phil Kirk a call. He is the best we can do for superintendent and the children, teachers and parents of Rowan County. Trust me.

— Mac Butner


Restricting the student vote

The bills that have been filed by the N.C. General Assembly thus far are anything but “equalizing voter rights.” College students are once again discouraged from participating in local politics. This past year, the majority of Salem College students voted early. Shuttles were provided from our campus to the voting polls on various days throughout the time period. In Senate Bill 666, legislators have proposed to decrease the early voting period from 17 days to 10, among other measures. Even further, Senate Bill 667 proposes to remove the tax exemption for dependents who register to vote at any address other than their parents’ home. This bill also requires college students who change their voter registration to register their vehicle at the new address within 60 days and begin paying local property tax.

Students spend four years living on their college campus and often decide to stay because they become immersed in the local community. These bills restrict our involvement and our potential to be involved in democracy at the local level. This is a call for students to talk to their legislators, to make calls and collaborate with groups and students across the state working on these issues. N.C. legislators make decisions about our education; restricting our vote and participation devalues our input on such issues. Do not wake up one morning wishing you had done more for yourself, and more importantly, for future college students.

— Keren Salim


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