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LETTER: Transparency is the goal for school trustees

To the Editor:

The elections have come and gone. As the dust settles the school trustee positions are now filled and the work begins. One issue that came through at the candidates forums was the need for improved transparency and inclusiveness.

We can never achieve 100% transparency as there is always a need for privacy however privacy should trump transparency only in a very few cases On Monday , Dec 5, 2011 there was an inaugural meeting of the board of education in Grand Forks, B.C.

After reviewing the agenda on the board web site I cross referenced the agenda with the other three Kootenay district school board inaugural meeting agendas. This isn’t a comparative look just looking at different ways to deal with transparency and how to improve it..

One thing that caught my attention on the school district #20 agenda was a list of salaries of the board chair, vice chair & trustees along with reimbursement rates for food and mileage plus professional development allocations.

Now back to Grand Forks School district inaugural meeting agenda. There were not any references to trustee remuneration (pay) which takes us back to the issue of transparency.

If the decision on remuneration was done in a closed meeting you will receive a simple reply that meets the intent of the law but not the spirit of the law in the School Act.

I point this out as an issue of lack of transparency. I would invite the board to make a public record of their remuneration .

V. Rich

Grand Forks