- Our Town
Input on trustee reductions sought
School District #83 is considering options for whether to reduce the number of board trustees from nine to seven, but based on comments at Tuesday night’s board meeting, the decision may not be made in time for the November 2014 elections.
The board will be proceeding with a public meeting on Monday, June 23 to obtain public input on the issue. In the wake of budget cutting, trustees committed to review their own numbers as the board is one of the largest in the province. Cutting two trustees would save approximately $25,000 per year.
The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the District Education Centre. They will review potential options for trustee reductions and hear submissions on the topic.
Some possibilities include amalgamating North Shuswap with Carlin/Sorrento, combining Enderby and Sicamous or removing one trustee from Armstong’s current two members. Other thoughts included having three trustees for Salmon Arm and two for an expanded Armstrong/Spallumcheen/Deep Creek and Ranchero area.
Discussion at Tuesday night’s regular meeting had many trustees concerned about the tight timeline for consultation before the end of June in order to get the required approvals from the Ministry of Education in time for the fall election.
“We aren’t having meetings all over the district but just one centralized meeting,” said Chris Coers, Enderby trustee.
“I’m not worried about getting feedback from our partner groups and the system because we all have our connections, but I am concerned that without having those community meetings and discussions, it will be really hard to get the thoughts of Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer, the people who we represent.”
Trustee Michel Saab also suggested adding a question about possible trustee reductions to the November election ballot, as a non-binding gauge of public opinion. He and other trustees felt the current timeline was too short.
“We should not sacrifice quality for expedience.”
The board will make a decision on how to proceed after the June 23 meeting.