Mark Lane of Smithfield filed this morning (Thursday) at the Johnston County Board of Elections Office for a seat on the Johnston County School Board. A total of 4 seats are up for election in 2020.
“With much thought and discussion with my family and friends, I have decided to file for a seat on the Johnston County Board of Education. I do not have the credentials some of the candidates have, but I believe I could help make a difference. I feel a common sense approach will solve the numerous problems facing us today,” Lane said.
“My primary focus for running is the students of the Johnston County School System. I currently have three grandchildren in the public schools with a fourth starting Kindergarten soon. It is our responsibility to see that these students receive the best education available. Restart Schools should show growth instead of staying steady or declining. When progress is not being made, the cause should be found and corrected. I would ask for Career Technical Programs like the Firefighter Program, to be continued so students can learn a trade. We must remember college is not for all students and they also need to be prepared for the real world. All programs need to be re-evaluated to assure they are working the way they were intended,” Lane said.
“Second, I am concerned about school finances. When the School Superintendent cuts finances in many areas and there is still an $8 million shortfall, we have a problem somewhere. I understand there is a huge increase in growth in our county, but to have a shortfall of this size just six months into the budget year is unheard of. It is the School Board’s duty to find out when, why, and in what areas the shortfall occurs. The School Board simply cannot continue to ask the Johnston County Commissioners to bail them out when there is a shortfall. I would ask for an independent investigation into why the shortfall happened. In addition, I would ask for another outside agency to perform a thorough review of the last audit of all finances,” Mr. Lane stated.
“Finally, the School Board needs to have the trust of the people of Johnston County. Recent events, whether justified or not, have cast a shadow over the Board and have caused doubt among the public. I would work to make the Board more transparent and accountable. I would ask that all decisions the Board makes, excluding personnel matters, be made public immediately. Any information requests should be granted in a timely fashion. Without the trust of the citizens, the School Board cannot function without controversy,” Lane told JoCoReport.
Mark and his wife, Cindy, have four children and 5 grandchildren. Mark has operated Lane Lawn Care for the past 7 years. Previously, he operated a greenhouse business for 32 years.
In 2006, Mark retired after 23 years of service as a volunteer firefighter on the Smithfield Fire Department.
Currently, he serves as Chairman of the Smithfield Fire Tax Committee, Vice Chairman of the Smithfield Planning Board, and Vice Chairman of the Smithfield Board of Adjustment. In his spare time, Mark enjoys spending time with his grandchildren and pulling for the NC State Wolfpack.
The filing period for the school board and other local races remains open through Noon on Friday, Dec. 20th.