MATTHEWS – It’s his reputation and leadership in the Matthews community and relationships with local and state leaders that Paul Bailey says gave him the edge above the rest in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education District 6 race.
Bailey, who currently serves as Matthews mayor pro tem, a board he’s served on for nearly 20 years, quickly became an outlier Tuesday, Nov. 5, as Bailey pulled away from opponents Bolyn McClung and Doug Wrona in the race. Bailey took the seat with 8,509 of the 14,244 votes in Matthews, Mint Hill, Pineville and south Charlotte. McClung had 3,801 votes and Wrona 1,853. District 6 has 114,264 registered voters.
“I feel really good. I’m really pleased with the outcome and I think the margin of victory shows the campaign I was running showed I could do the job effectively for the students in the schools,” Bailey said.
Bailey, a veteran engineer for Duke Energy Corporation, has lived in District 6 for 30 years, and saw all three of his now-grown children graduate from CMS – two from Independence High and one from East Mecklenburg High. His wife, Sherrie, currently serves as administrative secretary at Collinswood Language Academy.
Now, as Bailey’s term on the Matthews Board of Commissioners comes to a close, he’ll be working on balancing the old with the new, assisting the Matthews board anyway he can on his way out, while also beginning serious preparation for the board of education. He expects to soon meet with the current District 6 representative, Amelia Stinson-Wesley, who did not seek re-election, and other board members, as well as Superintendent Heath Morrison. In December, Bailey will join incumbents Rhonda Lennon, District 1, Joyce Waddell, District 3, Tom Tate, District 4, and Eric Davis, District 5, along with member-elect Thelma Byers-Bailey, District 2, who beat incumbent Richard McElrath Sr. in the race.
“I’m going to be listening to Amelia and other board members, and the superintendent to hear and listen to their perspective and where they hope to see the school system go. I’m sure there is quite a bit of learning to do in the budget area, etc.,” Bailey said.
Bailey, has helped build consensus in Matthews among leaders and residents with a vision of how the town should move forward – that’s what he hopes to bring to the table for the board of education, he said. As a person who realizes life experiences affect opinions on what should happen in the community, Bailey said it’s important to take into account all backgrounds when it comes to finding solutions.
“It’s very important to listen and to understand where people are coming from – that’s how you find a genuine solution to our issues,” he added.
Throughout his campaign, Bailey, who received endorsements from state senators Jeff Tarte and Bob Rucho and state representatives Bill Brawley and Tricia Cotham, and Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James and CMS Board of Education at-large member Tim Morgan to name a few, has said it’s his connections at various levels of government that would make him a great candidate for the position. Many of those relationships, he said, have been established over a long period of time while he’s served on the Matthews board. Now, he’s ready to partner with leaders to help bring to CMS what is needed to educate its
“The one thing I want to say to voters is that I appreciate their support in the election and I hope to serve them with the expectations they have for me. I’m excited about the opportunity to work with District 6 to move forward with CMS,” Bailey said.
Both education bonds pass
Mecklenburg County voters approved two education bonds totaling $500 million Tuesday, Nov. 5, bringing much needed upgrades, programs and new facilities to Charlotte’s two largest education outlets.
More than 74 percent of the 112,885 Mecklenburg County residents that voted on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools bond pushed the $290 million package forward. The package will fund 17 projects across the county, to start July 2014, to renovate and/or expand some of the district’s oldest facilities, add needed magnet and career and technical programs and three new schools.
More than 71.66 percent of the 112,142 voters for the Central Piedmont Community College bond approved the $210 million package. The bond money will fund 10 projects across the college’s five campuses that also would expand, renovate and add needed programs.
For more information on bonds, go to www.matthewsminthillweekly.com and search “2013 bonds.”