LBPSB candidate responds – Letter to the Editor

Gazette Vaudreuil-Soulanges

May 21, 2014

Re: LBPSB : Stein Day to run against Eustace, Nolet, (Gazette Vaudreuil-Soulanges, May 14)

Lester B. Pearson School Board chair Suanne Stein Day (SSD) is “not sure why the upcoming elections have become such a hot topic.” As one candidate running for chair, allow me to offer a few reasons why the Pearson board school elections are “hot.”

Simply put the governance style of SSD is characterized by arrogance, negligence and extravagance. Let’s take a closer look.

At the November 2013 Council meeting, for no apparent reason the LBPSB found it necessary to reduce the time allocated for the public speaking period. Furthermore, the time for any speaker to ask questions was now limited to three minutes. This was totally unnecessary because most of the time, I was the “public.”

At the same meeting, again for no reason I was banned from asking questions. The questions which I had submitted, in writing, prior to the meeting were never answered. The questions dealt with the air quality in schools, Code of Ethics for Commissioners , and school administrative expenses.

The president of the Independent Association of Support Staff of the LBPSB told Chairperson Stein Day, at the same meeting :

“I know how busy you are with the international school and its travel commitments as well as all the many TV, radio and newspaper interviews, and all your other commitments but surely you can fit us in somewhere.” The matter concerned labour issues involving people working with our children.

At the March 2014, a taxpayer was tossed out because he exceeded the new three-minute time frame allocated for speakers.

The April 2014 meeting resulted in two other taxpayers getting the boot (I’m one) with police involved; two other citizens complained about the treatment of the Chairperson of the Central Parents Committee, who is also a Parent Commissioner.

It has been my experience , since SSD took over as chairperson, her answers to my questions were either winged or she did not know the answers. Often, the truth was elusive.

There has been only one case involving the LBPSB Ethics Commissioner. The case was between SSD and me. It involved a matte , in which, I was not allowed to ask one question regarding Budget 2012-2013. The stories the ethics commissioner heard were so different that in the written ruling, my character was impugned and an apparent attempt was made to tarnish my reputation.

The meetings were taped and under oath. Chairperson Stein-Day refuses to make the tapes public. Why ?

It is apparent that SSD’s desire is to avoid responsibility of being accountable to the taxpaying public. She has a flawed understanding of the purpose of having an elected school board, and, as such, she is wrecking the Pearson board.

Your caption under Chairperson Stein-Day’s picture says it all:”Meetings at the Board have been fraught with tension lately…”

In a democratic society , it is perfectly normal to have tension between strong elected officials .

At Lester B, though, the tension is between the board and the public.

This November, parents and taxpayers must act, and show Madame Stein Day the door.

Chris Eustace