School district considers reduction in trustees

The swinging axe of school district cuts could be turned on itself through a process to consider reducing its number of trustees.

The swinging axe of school district cuts could be turned on itself through a process to consider reducing its number of trustees.

The board of trustees for School District 20 (Kootenay Columbia) voted in favour of setting up an ad hoc committee to explore the possible reduction in trustee numbers, electoral areas, and the Ministry of Education requirements surrounding each.

Trail trustee Mark Wilson said the motion that passed Monday night is yet another attempt at reducing the nine-member board, something the district has been trying to do for 15 years.

“We are in a district that is losing enrolment … and we have to keep cutting as a result,” he said. “I think we can advocate for lower numbers and still run a very efficient board,”

Wilson called the committee a proactive approach to reduce the number of trustees, since it needed ministry approval to do so.

Castlegar rural trustee Mickey Kinakin spoke against the motion.

“Although it seems innocuous, I have stated it several times, this is a highly charged political action in its intent,” he said.

He pointed to the potential closure of two district schools—in Castlegar and Rossland—as matters that could divide the region and alienate the board in those communities.

“Put this aside. This is not the time to be dealing with this. Let’s deal with what is going to happen within our communities (with closures),” he said. “We need to deal with this at a more appropriate time.”

Wilson called for a reduction in the number of trustees—from nine to seven or less—as well as a limit on the number of terms a trustee can serve, up to a maximum of three.

The ward system could also be replaced by an “at large” format.

Trail trustee Lorraine Manning said the issue has been revisited over the years and does require a fair bit of time and public consultation.

In January 2010, a request that the board strike a committee to review trustee numbers and areas of representation did not pass.

Castlegar trustee Jen Carter said the move to reduce trustees was a bad one.

“We need representation form every part of this district,” she said. “We have such a large, far flung area … that we need representation on this board from every area.”

“But we can’t go and ask people to take cuts and cuts to services when we aren’t prepared to do that ourselves,” Wilson said.

Carter said the move to cut two trustees would only save the board around $20,000 out of a $42.6 million budget.

The committee should have an answer coming back to the board for final approval and voting by October.

Wilson wanted the board to be reduced to five trustees, elected at large, and suggested that system of education governance be ready to go in time for the next election.

The current system includes representation from nine wards within the district, although candidates need not be residents of the wards they opt to run in.

Just Posted

Photo: Trail Times
Trail RCMP start June by nabbing impaired drivers

Latest brief from the Trail and Greater District police

“This is very costly to replace and it seems that Rossland is getting more and more theft and vandalism happening, which is really unfortunate,” says the commission’s Michelle Fairbanks. Photo: Submitted
Two plaques stolen from Rossland heritage square

The plaques were located at Washington and Columbia by the Olaus statue

No matter your age, the city’s two skate park hosts Jaryd Justice-Moote (left) and Brenden Wright can help you roll into a new pastime this “Summer at the Skatepark.” Photo: City of Trail
Free coaching at the Trail Sk8Park begins next month

The city is rolling into a summer of inclusive recreation by, for… Continue reading

Pastor Tom Kline
‘Why I became a Christian’ with Pastor Tom Kline

That night, a peace came over my heart that has remained from that day to this, 36 years later.

Protestors blocking Columbia Avenue Saturday evening. Photo: Betsy Kline
Old growth protesters block Castlegar’s main street for 24 hours

Members of Extinction Rebellion stayed overnight in downtown Castlegar

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Most Read