Fewer trustees panned by RDNO

Opposition to reducing public representation on a local school board is growing.

The Regional District of North Okanagan board does not support the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District possibly reducing the number of trustees from nine to seven to reduce spending.

“Community representation is important and the cost saving in the proposal is not sufficient enough to reduce representation,” said Jackie Pearase, rural Enderby director.

RDNO’s move comes after the City of Enderby also came out against possibly eliminating trustees.

The school district is considering changes to its political representation in light of a $1.8 million shortfall for 2014/15 and ongoing financial challenges.

“We want to make sure our dollars are wisely spent. Nothing escapes review,” said Chris Coers, Enderby trustee.

It’s anticipated that eliminating two trustees could save the district about $27,000 a year.

Presently, there is one trustee each for Enderby, Falkland, Carlin/Sorrento, North Shuswap and Sicamous/Malakwa, two for Armstrong/Spallumcheen and two from Salmon Arm.

One concept is to have two trustees for Armstrong, Spallumcheen and Falkland, one for Enderby, Sicamous and Malakwa, one for North Shuswap, Carlin and Sorrento and three for Salmon Arm.

“It could be a variety of other options we could talk about depending on the discussion,” said Coers.

RDNO directors were unanimous in voting against a change in school trustees.

“I am concerned by the undermining of democracy and people not having a say,” said Juliette Cunningham, a Vernon director.

“It seems like such a small savings with that size of a budget ($60 million).”

A decision on the number of trustees could occur June 23 and come into affect by November’s civic election.


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