Letter: Turner has the tools to better his hometown

Graphic by Lori Deaton

As a mother of three children, a marriage and family therapist, and active member in my community, I will be supporting Brian Turner for the N.C. House of Representatives.

I had the pleasure of meeting Brian in a neighbor’s home last month. Before jumping into his agenda, he took the time to ask me what issues are of importance to my family and community. He listened respectfully and thoughtfully, even though my list, like many Americans today, is too long to process in a two-hour visit.

I come from a long line of public educators, and my oldest son is enrolled in Buncombe County Schools. I believe in supporting public education, our teachers, the administrators and the support staff from the bottom up. North Carolina has become one of the worst states in the country in regard to the money allocated for each child and teacher pay. This is unacceptable.

I was thrilled to learn that Brian has experience working in higher education and understands the pros and cons to our public schools on a systemic level. Brian worked at UNC Asheville as the director of corporate and foundation relations and then as the assistant vice chancellor. This hands-on experience in the field gives me hope that he has the knack to tackle this issue.

As a family therapist, we discussed addiction’s devastating effects. I was so proud to tell Brian that my husband, who is a clinical social worker and addictions specialist, was the one to help give him a tour of their local addiction treatment facility. It really left an impression on me that Brian took the time to delve into Asheville’s resources to see what’s being done and how it can be improved. Brian genuinely wants to better his hometown and has the motivation and intellect to do so.

— Marissa Kent-White

Editor’s note: Kent-White says she is volunteering with Turner’s campaign by meeting with voters at an event and answering questions about the candidate.



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16 thoughts on “Letter: Turner has the tools to better his hometown

  1. Enlightened Enigma

    Does Brian Turner support consolidating the TWO antiquated super expensive county AND CITY school systems into ONE modern system for full EQUALITY and DIVERSITY for the children ? How many MILLION$$$ would it SAVE the taxpayers year to year? WHY must the taxpayers suffer this current unnecessary burden of dual systems? Any word from Brian? Susan Fisher? Terry VanDuyn? John Ager, etc? Really, MUST we continue this BLOAT?

    • Enlightened Enigma

      forgot to mention that Brian Turner sends his children , maybe one daughter? to PRIVATE school! so that’s how he is on NC education, and I don’t blame him!

  2. Stan Hawkins

    Perhaps we should, as our founding fathers did, bring the freedom of faith back in to the public square. Perhaps, we should stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in the arena of public education. Perhaps we should teach the proper biology of gender in public education. Perhaps we should consider that these changes may bring about a reduction in substance abuse problems in our youth and young adults through adulthood.

    Or, we could just keep doing the same things over and over again while we expect different results. That’s a lot like hammering a nail with your thumb in the way; it hurts and is not too smart.

    Please consider voting for competition in public education as in private schools partially funded with public dollars. Perhaps a vote of no would be in order for anyone against these ideals.

    • jason

      I’m not sure how standing for the Pledge of Allegiance and teaching Biology will reduce substance abuse, but OK. Keep sending all those happy thoughts and prayers!

        • jason

          But how do these things reduce substance abuse? They aren’t even remotely similar. This just makes no sense.

          • Stan Hawkins

            There are many, including me, who believe that the arena of public education and liberal ideals have drifted very far from what is the main stream ideals of what a good portion of America think is the heart and soul of our country. This is not racist, this is not hate, this is not anger, this is not a white thing; it is simply the heart and core beliefs of God fearing Bible believing Americans.

            The original author of the thread advocates for more spending on public schools and supports a candidate cut from that same cloth to see it through. The candidate may very well be a top notch individual. The author goes on to say that a member of the family is involved with substance abuse counseling or something similar that is a concern of the author and the candidate. My point is, shouldn’t we ask ourselves the question whether or not the liberal ideals. values, and spending targeted at public education is in fact contributing significantly to the environment of our youth that opens the door to substance abuse.to begin with. In other words, could it be that a patriotic, prayerful, God fearing, clear headed about their biological gender identity, and loving young person allowed to express all of these traits in the public school arena – be less likely to exposure to substance abuse?

            When we look at the history of spending on public schools where God has been booted to the curb, prayer and the pledge of allegiance thrown out the door, and the opening of the doors in front of our children to saying it is okay to abort 61 million unborn children since 1973, and say that we will stand by while our children are encouraged to choose their gender, is it any wonder that our young people are mixed up? And now we find we have an addiction crisis after nearly fifty years of this trend.

            Most people want a better return on their investment in public schools. To say there is no connection between the trends in public education, the liberal advocacy or acceptance of changing a child’s gender, and the removal of patriotism and God from the public school arena has no connection to the trends in substance abuse seems quite a stretch. I would not rule it out if I were you. What have you got to lose?

          • luther blissett

            “is it any wonder that our young people are mixed up?”

            Young people are doing just fine considering that old people took all the money, wrecked the planet, and can’t stop themselves from tinkering with schools instead of funding them. I can’t wait for young people to be in charge.

  3. Fremont V Brown III

    You should seriously consider voting Republican as the Democrats in the State House and Senate from Buncombe County will not be able to past any bill they wish to pass unless it is a bill the Republicans wish to pass also. The Republicans control both chambers. In other words the Democrats that are now elected from Buncombe have NO POWER to help you. They are useless to the people of Buncombe. So, is it not best to vote for someone that can get something done for the people in Buncombe while in the Legislature? Do you not want some say in how your state functions? Isn’t that what you elect them for?

    • luther blissett

      If your best message is “vote for someone who can solicit favors from the power-hungry mob out east who run the show”, then maybe that’s a problem?

      • Stan Hawkins

        Additional funding for public schools along with substance abuse with addiction concerns were the points contributed by the post author in support of a political candidate. Since public schools contribute to the development of our young people, is it too much to ask the question; How can young people be doing just fine when we have a substance abuse problem leading to ageing in to lifelong addiction at such alarming levels?

        Old people, the planet, and baseless accusations of who took the money are simply an obfuscation from the key questions about additional funding for public schools. Should we expect a different outcome in the development of our young people? Should we expect a significant reduction in the propensity of our young people to be enslaved with lifelong addictions? If so, just how will that work?

        To simply say we are doing just fine, keep the curriculum the same, keep the sacred values out of the public arena, and then point the finger at old people as we ask for more money while addiction trends continue to deteriorate is a fantasy.

        If old people have money, they may begin to feel more generous when we bring back values and common sense to public education. It’s really not that hard of a question.

        • jason

          People are tired of throwing money at a problem when the real problem is how the money is used. Public education needs to be razed and rebuilt from the ground up. The amount of waste, bureaucracy, and general glut is the problem. Why is Asheville and Buncombe County schools not combined. Why do we have support two systems? So many problems, but the solution isn’t throwing more money down the drain. Stop the bleeding first.

        • luther blissett

          “If old people have money, they may begin to feel more generous when we bring back values and common sense to public education.”

          It’s notable that you fixate on “sacred values” in schools Back In The Day, and not, for instance, on how teachers 40 years ago had a relatively stable middle-class career and didn’t have to buy crates of supplies with their own money every year. Maybe the sacred values that have been lost over time are ones that treat teachers as valued members of the community?

          But that’s dodging Mr Brown’s argument, which is that the NCGA has been sufficiently rigged by state-level Republicans to make voting for Democrats futile. What a tribute to democracy!

          • Stan Hawkins

            To be clear, the original post promotes a political candidate with concerns for more funding for public school education, with opioids and other addictions as a secondary concern.

            As you say, teachers are critical to any educational setting. Teachers teach the curriculum handed to them and in the environment designed for them. It is the values and common sense that were pushed out the door, not the teachers.

            You failed to address the alarming addiction statistics that even Asheville and Buncombe County concede exists. If we throw prayer, patriotism, biological gender identity, God, common sense, and parent participation out the door of the public school; and then expect the state federal and local government to solve the problems with more money – that is a tall order. Many people are reluctant to double down on their prior investment in public run education because they object to the environment forced on the children, the curriculum, and the liberal agenda that has been shoved down our throats by the judiciary.

            You can blather about politics all you want, but you miss the point. Traditional folks want the foolishness out of education of our youth. With so much at stake, one wonders why anyone focused on the education of our children, would object to competition between public and private schools funded with public dollars with equity in demographics to find out which way works best? Why must we have a sacred cow? Who are we serving – the bureaucracy or the children? If a political candidate will not commit to being open to innovation in public / private education partnerships and funding, a vote against the candidate would be appropriate.

          • luther blissett

            “Why must we have a sacred cow? Who are we serving – the bureaucracy or the children?”

            Ah, it’s one of those irregular verbs:

            * I want to see traditional values taught in schools;
            * You are performing a social experiment;
            * They are shoving a liberal agenda down children’s throats.

            “We conservatives ought to set the curriculum in exchange for paying property taxes” is at least an honest argument. Saying that it’s for the benefit of the children is more of a stretch. There are, of course, problems with how public schools are run and funded, but I tend to defer to those within the profession on how to fix them.

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