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Tight timeline for trustees over board size
The North Okanagan-Shuswap School District is considering whether to reduce the number of trustees, but based on comments at Tuesday board meeting, the decision may not be made in time for the November election.
In the wake of budget cutting, trustees committed to review their own numbers as the board is one of the largest in the province. Going from nine to seven would save about $25,000 per year.
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/Falkland area.
Discussion at Tuesday’s 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.”
Michel Saab, a Salmon Arm trustee, also suggested adding a question about possible trustee reductions to the November election ballot, as a non-binding gauge of public opinion.
Saab and other board trustees believe the current timeline was too short.
“We should not sacrifice quality for expedience,” he said.”
The board will proceed with a public meeting June 23 to obtain public input on the issue. It will be at 7 p.m. in the district education centre.