School sale a poor deal for district

"In the year of a deficit we needed every penny that keeps our system operating"

I am Mark Wilson- School Trustee for the Trail area and after reading the article by Darrel Ganzert on the sale of Blueberry School (Selling Blueberry school: The right deal for school district,” Trail Times Oct. 30) in your paper, I would like to clarify a few items.

These are my opinions backed by facts.

1. The vote to sell this school for $1 was passed by the slimmest of majority on October 27/15.

2. Statement that assessed values by D. Ganzert that they don’t reflect market value has some merit but each one of us as property owners know that they are a good indicator of value.

3. Assessed value of Blueberry School for 2015 is $1,378,000.00 –

4. Beaver Valley School was used as an example -too bad D. Ganzert forgot to mention that the School District sold this building 2007 for the amount of $700,000 – and today the assessed value is $489,000 – because of the terrible condition it is in.- using one example is a big mistake to base value judgements as mentioned by D. Ganzert.

5. We are in a deficit position with declining enrolment-we have asked the parents, staff, and unions to help us find ways to cut costs. April 2015 D. Ganzert is quoted as saying in the Trail Times -”It is very distressing for us to be cutting year after year”  —-1 guess if we give away our valuable assets.

6. In the Rossland and Castlegar newspaper D. Ganzert stated “while this sale may sound like a poor deal for SD20, its actually good news” —– it is a poor deal!

7. As a Trustee that stands for Equity within the whole district this sale of a valuable asset ($1,378,000) for $1 dollar in the year of a deficit and declining enrolment is wrong- we have deceived our stakeholders .

This whole deal of selling a B.C. accessed property of $1,378,000 for $1 is a tainted political vote that reflects badly on our whole district. We could have taken any proceeds from this sale and we could have put them into our education system that is supposed to treat all areas of the district equally.

In the year of a deficit we needed every penny that keeps our system operating – yet with this deficit we gave a way a prime asset for $1 — In my opinion this is: A very bad deal for SD20. And will follow us for many years.

Mark Wilson

School District 20 trustee


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