Reducing North Okanagan-Shuswap School District trustees from nine to seven makes sense to the Township of Spallumcheen.
Laurie Myers, one of Armstrong-Spallumcheen’s two trustees on the nine-member board, told Spallumcheen council Monday that the district is undergoing a review of possibly reducing the number of trustees to seven as a cost-saving measure.
Such a move would save the district $27,000 a year.
“We’re approaching the municipalities to see if there is support for seven, or keeping things the same as they are now,” said Myers.
Two seven-trustee options were presented to council. Each option shows the potential for Armstrong/Spallumcheen to lose a trustee on the board.
Option A features Salmon Arm having three trustees, Armstrong and Spallumcheen would merge with Falkland/Deep Creek/Ranchero and would have two trustees while Enderby joins Sicamous and Malakwa, and North Shuswap merges with Carlin/Sorrento. Each of those regions would have one trustee.
Option B has Salmon Arm and area with two trustees and there would be one each in Armstrong/Spallumcheen, Falkland/Deep Creek Ranchero, Enderby, Sicamous/Malakwa and North Shuswap/Carlin/Sorrento.
Coun. Todd York asked Myers what type of impact would Armstrong/Spallumcheen face if a trustee is lost.
“We just won’t have as much voting power,” said Myers.
“I like to go to the public and the PACs (parent advisory councils) and get the opinions of the people in our town and take that back to our board, and make decisions based on what our people want.
“If we lose one, we only have one vote.”
Coun. Christine Fraser favoured option B.
“I’m in favour of seven trustees, and option B seems to be the best for everybody,” said Fraser.
“We do lose one for Armstrong/Spallumcheen, but most of our kids go to school in Armstrong. Falkland/Ranchero stays the same and Salmon Arm doesn’t gain a vote. If you go with option A, Salmon Arm gains a vote.”
Council unanimously supported Fraser’s motion to support trustee reduction from nine to seven, with option B the preferred choice of implementing a move.
Myers said, however, that there might not be enough time to get a proposal to the voters in time for the Nov. 15 municipal election.
“We have to have things in by the end of August but we don’t meet over the summer,” said Myers.
“We’re trying to make it work. We’ll see how much public input we get. Right now, we’ve only been talking to the people who are in the system.”
A public meeting on the reduction proposal is set for Monday in Salmon Arm.