The District 7 race is getting more crowded with Jerry Ballan the lone candidate to file today for the school board.
Ballan, a securities principal/certified financial planner, became the third candidate in District 7. It looks like Ballan is positioning himself between Deborah Prickett, a board critic. and Karen Simon, a supporter of school policies.
"I'm not pro-SES (socioeconomic status) but we have to find a way to work around it to find something better," Ballan said. "You can't throw the baby out with the bath water on the first day."
Ballan said he's a "realist" who would be the ninth vote to bring people together.
For instance, Ballan said he is a big supporter of community schools who would like to have more of them in his community of Brier Creek. But he said he's realistic about the fact that there's no money right now to build more schools there.
Ballan said he's not happy that Brier Creek was reassigned from Panther Creek High to Broughton High. But he said he's glad they kept all the Brier Creek students at one school instead of splitting them apart.
The reassignment of the Brier Creek students to Panther Creek High is one of the things that triggered Prickett's decision to run. Prickett was endorsed by the Wake Schools Community Alliance.
Ballan said he spoke with WSCA but the problem with the group was that it was "not willing to have positive confrontation" with the school system.
Ballan, 62, is raising twin grandsons who are assigned to East Cary Middle School.
Ballan said it's important to have a person like him with business experience on the board. Prickett is the character education consultant for the state Department of Public Instruction and Simon is a grants manager with the N.C. Governor's Crime Commission.
Whether Ballan has more of an impact on Prickett or Simon remains to be seen. But having three candidates could make it harder for someone to get a majority of the vote on Oct. 6 to avoid a runoff.
If you're curious to see and hear Ballan, he spoke at the 33:50 mark of the first hour at the reassignment hearing at Millbrook High's gym. Click here for the link.
For a contrast, you can hear Prickett speak at 14-minute mark for the second hour in Millbrook's gym. Click here for the link.