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Municipal and School Board Elections Get New Challengers

By Michael Papich Posted July 17, 2013 at 2:00 pm

ORANGE COUNTY – More locals are jumping into the race to represent you each day with less than two days until the filing period ends.

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Andrew Davidson filed Wednesday to run for Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools board and Meighan Lela Carmichael filed Tuesday for the Hillsborough board of commissioners.

Davidson is running for one of the three available seats on the school board. Current board member Gregory McElveen, whose term expires this year, says he will not run for re-election.

Davidson has been chair of the Frank Porter Graham School Improvement Team for the past year and was a member of the team while the school was transitioning to a dual language program.

“Serving during the year where that decision was made and then being the chair during the transition year, I think, is about as relevant as experience as you can get,” Davidson says.

Davidson says his main goal, if elected to the school board, is closing the achievement gap in the area. He says it is a problem that some schools provide “world-class” primary school education while others leave students ill-prepared.

“If you are part of an at-risk population – for no fault of the board, I think it’s a factor of circumstance – those students aren’t receiving the same level of education,” Davidson says.

On FPG’s bilingual program, Davidson says he will not jeopardize its implementation as a member of the school board, but he feels it only tackles some of the issues with the achievement gap.

“Where I see the main focus is on addressing the achievement gap in other at-risk populations, which are the African-American population and the Karen population,” Davidson says.

In the Hillsborough election, two board of commissioner seats are available and neither of the current members are running again.

Carmichael, a certified public accountant, says she has never run for public office before but is excited for the chance to work for Hillsborough.

“I spend a lot of time in Hillsborough and have been connected with a lot of my neighbors and community members and I want to make sure that the voices of all Hillsborough residents are represented,” Carmichael says.

Carmichael says her main concern is making sure that the coming developments to the town are sustainable.

“We want it to grow and we want it to thrive and we want it to be a prosperous community,” Carmichael says. “But we also want to make sure that it grows in a way that’s sustainable so it can continue to prosper going forward.”

One way Carmichael proposes doing this is carefully watching the permits that businesses and other contractors have when coming to Hillsborough.

“Making sure that they are working in their development plans to work with the town in moving projects forward, as opposed to just thinking about their own development,” Carmichael says.

Election Day is November 5. The deadline to file for municipal or school board office is July 19 at noon.

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