Opponents and supporters of SOGI 123 filled the school district office for a meeting in May. File photo/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River school board to consider new way to take public input

Other priorities include strategic plan, funding and Cedar school, says new chair

The board of education for School District 72 is considering a new way to take public input at meetings.

New chair Richard Franklin touched on the idea in his opening remarks at the first regular meeting of the new board since local government elections in October. The board had held an inaugural meeting on Nov. 6 for members to be sworn in as trustees.

RELATED STORY: Richard Franklin chosen as new chair for Campbell River’s board of education

On Tuesday night, Franklin set out some directions for the new board, including amending how the public can give input.

“One of my most important roles as chair is to maintain decorum at these meetings,” he said.

Current practice allows for questions from people in the gallery based on that meeting’s agenda. In recent months, the question portion of the meeting has regularly served as a forum for members of the public to comment on the Ministry of Education’s controversial SOGI 123 reference package, which critics have said impedes on parental rights.

RELATED STORY: Anti-SOGI activists target Campbell River schools

Franklin said he has looked at how other school districts and municipal governments handle public input and suggested the board needs to refine its approach.

“These meetings are held in public, but they are not town hall meetings,” he said.

Later in the meeting, he brought up a proposal to amend the way public presentations are given.

“The board of education welcomes new ideas and opinions,” he said.

If approved, the plan will be for people wishing to address the board to fill out paperwork and provide any supporting documents in advance of the meeting. Franklin said the objective is to give trustees background information and allow presenters to provide a level of detail not possible at the meeting alone.

The trustees will have the chance to consider the idea in more detail in order to discuss it at the next regular board meeting when the actual motion is on the table.

Along with the issue of public input, Franklin outlined a number of upcoming priorities for the board, including the development of a strategic plan, the challenge of maintaining services for students through a prolonged period of under-funding and the rebuilding of Cedar Elementary.

“These are three important files that this board will need to address,” he said.

The new chair is also awaiting to see to the new funding model from the Ministry of Education and what this will mean to students in the future.

He also wants to look for new ways to hear from students themselves about their education.

“The board has a very busy four years ahead of it,” he said.

Franklin thanked a number of staff members, along with others who helped in the selection of new superintendent Jeremy Morrow.

“We have a great team supporting us,” he said.

Morrow, himself, spoke about some of the work happening of late, including an employee engagement survey, which had 84 per cent participation, he said, due to the efforts of stakeholders to encourage participation. The survey data is not available yet from BC Stats but should be in the near future.

“I know that will be important data for the board … as you look at data for the strategic plan,” he said.

RELATED STORY: Campbell River School District hires new superintendent

The board of education currently oversees a budget of approximately $64 million for a district that includes some 5,400 students and just over 800 employees.

“We have an important role in this community, and I intend to bring that level of gravitas to these proceedings,” Franklin said.

At the meeting Tuesday night, the board also picked new trustee Kat Eddy as its representative to the BC Public School Employers’ Association and former chair Susan Wilson as its representative to the BC School Trustees Association Provincial Council.

Just Posted

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: North Island-Powell River candidates address other issues of importance

“Other than the topics already discussed, what is the most important issue in your constituency?”

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

‘Uninsured minor’ allegedly destroys Tyee Club property with truck

Youth flees scene, found nearby and now faces ‘numerous charges’

New lights at Maryland/Highway 19A intersection are now operational

A new set of traffic lights at at the Highway 19A and… Continue reading

Jesse Roper and Vince Vaccaro take Campbell River fans on a wild ride

Metchosin bluesman shows once again why he’s become one of our favourite performers

VIDEO: Langley woman’s security camera records its own theft

Langley family discovers early morning grab was recorded

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Most Read