Local News

Real Estate Group Calls For Reform In Durham School Board Elections

Posted May 20, 2005

— A major realty group says out-of-control school board meetings is making it tough to sell Durham as a family-friendly place to live.

The school board has come under intense scrutiny for continued chaotic meetings and inappropriate behavior at the meetings.

"When someone comes in and sees the chaos, bad leadership and misdirection, they tend to walk away," said realtor Tony Craver.

The Durham Regional Association of Realtors believes the key to controlling the chaos is by changing the way board members are elected. It wants to make all the positions on the school board at-large so everyone in the county has a voice in who is elected.

"We think each school board member should be accountable to every citizen in the county," Craver said.

Amy Packer, a mother of three, moved to Durham a few years ago. She said education was a top priority during the house hunt. If she were given the opportunity again, Packer said she and her family would probably look elsewhere.

"Looking at them in the news, the image is not positive and that sways the way I feel about the system itself," Packer said.

Despite concerns about the school board's image, and how it is affecting the real estate market, home sales are up in Durham.

"We're setting records, but it could be better," Craver said.

In early May, Concerned Citizens for Accountable Government launched a petition also calling for a change in the school board elections.

Any change would have to be placed by the County Commissioners on a referendum to then be voted on by the public.


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