LBPSB Budget and Joe Public

LBPSB Budget and Joe Public

On Saturday, August 23, 2014, the Lester B. Pearson School Board held a special workshop devoted to the 2014-2015 Budget, in preparation, for its adoption at the upcoming Council Meeting in two days.

Yesterday, there were two well-planned events, which were viewed by many people : the Emmys from Los Angeles, and the adoption of the 2014-2015 Budget by the Lester B. Pearson School Board, in Dorval.

At the former show, there were winners and losers; at the Pearson happening, everyone lost.

Let’s reel back. In my previous post on school board secrecy and democracy, I asked:

“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?”

“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 ? ”

Even though, I have been asking questions for the past 16 years at Pearson Council meetings, last Monday was the third consecutive year, I have not been allowed to ask questions on the annual budget at the webcast Council meetings.

In 2012, I took the matter to the board’s Ethics Commissioner ; Google: “The LBPSB Ethics Commissioner and Budget 2012-2013.”

In 2013, Chairperson Suanne Stein Day told me to get my answers from Access to Information, the Quebec English School Boards Association or the Montreal Island School Tax Committee . SSD is a member of the latter two organizations. Moreover , the Chairperson promised to send me some answers to my questions by email, but I received nothing.

Google : “Comments and Questions for LBPSB Council of Commissioners – May 26, 2014.”

That said, a former Pearson school board commissioner, and presently, a community representative on a Governing Board, asked a most pertinent question, at the second Public Question Period.

Basically, he said people in the community want clarity on how the board does its budget. He asked the board to pass out written information to explain to the folks.

Chairperson Suanne Stein Day clearly understood. She promised the board will do something so “the average Joe Public could understand.”

Yes, ‘Joe Public,’ the taxpayer – always the loser.

It is evident there is a dire need for change of governance at the Lester B. Pearson School Board. Time for winning conditions.