Editorial: Lobbyist, local GoP, and school board member attack building schools

The executive committee of the the local GOP Club who went into closed session to deny others the opportunity to hear the questions and answers with speaker Dr. Janet Mason

At a recent GOP meeting in Rutherfordton where the quarter-cent sales tax referendum was being discussed, former Rep. Mike Hager agressively cross-examined the school board members present on whether they had considered all the alternatives to a bus garage, a drop in population, whether there was really a need for new schools and insisted on being given details on the School Safety Plan. Board of Education member Brandon Gosey then began to backslide both on social media and in public renouncing his vote of approval stating he now had similar questions.

Contributed photo Brandon Gosey (right) has been named to the Board of Directos of the Capital Facilities & Finance Agency for North Carolina. Majority Leader Mike Hager (left)

It should be noted that former Rep. Mike Hager is no longer an elected official after serving nearly a decade in Raleigh. Hager resigned his position stating that he wanted to “spend more time with his family.” However, Hager and his daughter have set up shop as  lobbyists and have a client, T.A. Loving, whose “primary objective is to ensure that our clients’ construction projects are completed successfully, profitably and with minimum risk.” (EEOC Sued T.A. Loving Company For Religious Discrimination.)

Dr. Janet Mason

Local GOP chairman Elder Ron Chapman when faced with Hager’s adamant insistence that his questions be answered by school staff at their next meeting invited RCS’ Brad Teague to attend. At the next meeting, however it was Rutherford County Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Janet Mason who presented all the facts and figures to disprove Hager’s points. Her presentation (to be reported in a different article) revealed how Hager is out of touch not only with Rutherford County but also with ongoing Raleigh scene.

Hager’s interest, however, may be more than personal. Current House Representative David Rogers is one of the sponsors of House Bill 600 that promotes the leasing of school facilities. Rogers, spotted with Hager at the Twisted Pear, appears to be allowing Hager to do his job in representing Rutherford County. Indeed, it appears that Rogers is not representing the needs of the county, but the needs of a lobbyist. Hager’s lobbyist contracts are designed to be addressing the functions of the elected House Representative.

Re-ref to Education/Higher Education. If fav, re-ref to Appropriations/Base Budget. If fav, re-ref to Rules and Operations of the Senate on 05/26/2017    HOUSE BILL 600
Sponsors: J. Bell;  Lewis;  Brenden Jones;  Goodman;  (Primary)
Boswell;  Floyd;  C. Graham;  Hanes;  Hunter;  Malone;  Riddell;  Rogers;  Steinburg;  Torbett;  Wray;
Attributes: Public; Roll Call;
Counties: No counties specifically cited
Statutes:
115C (Chapter); 115C-105.25, 115C-426, 115C-489.6, 115C-530 (Sections)
Keywords:
BOARDS, BUILDINGS, CONSTRUCTION, DEBT/LOCAL GOVERNMENT, EDUCATION, EDUCATION BOARDS, EDUCATION, STATE BOARD OF, LEASING, LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC, SCHOOL BUILDINGS

David Wheeler for NC Senate District 47