The enemy of school board democracy is school board secrecy.
Last Monday, the Lester B. Pearson School Board held its second to last Executive Committee meeting of its mandate before the Nov. 2 school board elections. It was not webcast; I was the ‘public.’
Moreover, going on eight months, I’m officially still not allowed to ask questions at the Public Question Periods, unless I agree to a list of conditions and restrictions, which is anathema to democracy.
Nevertheless, the meeting primarily dealt with financial matters involving millions of dollars. Immediately, following the Executive meeting, there was mention of an Audit Committee meeting, where the public is not allowed to attend.
All this is to prepare for the Council of Commissioners meeting on August 25, when Budget 2014-2015 is passed. Incidentally, just prior to the regular Council meeting, commissioners, as usual, will meet one more time, to dot the i’s and cross the t’s.
In any case, for several years, I have requested at Council, and via letters to the Editors, that the Executive Committee meetings be webcast to ensure total transparency because it is here that the major decisions are made.
Not to do so makes one wonder: What is the LBPSB hiding?
Recently, Pearson’s vice-chair correctly stated: “the mandate of the Council of Commissioners is to oversee the budget.” It is also equally true the Education Act grants the right for the taxpaying public to scrutinize, to ask questions about the budget – without any restrictions.
Will the Lester B. Pearson School Board display some courage and integrity by permitting all interested members of the public to pose questions about the upcoming budget?
If not, will any candidate for commissioner or chairman, take the initiative, be bold and show direction, by pressuring the Pearson board to allow all concerned members of the public to ask questions on the approximately $265M, 2014-2015 Budget?
( This site is authorized by Candidate Chris Eustace)