Nanaimo school district’s business committee defeated a recommendation that would have removed information related to voting from meeting minutes. (News Bulletin file)

School district committee rejects motion to remove vote records

Recommendation asked that meeting minutes eliminate tracking how individual trustees vote

A recommendation to remove voting results from meeting minutes was defeated by the Nanaimo school district’s business committee Wednesday night.

Under the proposal from Stephanie Higginson, board vice-chairwoman, how trustees voted on a motion (for, against or abstaining) would not be recorded, only whether it was moved, seconded and carried.

Higginson said it is the way other districts record minutes and they don’t always include names of voters. Trustees could request a recorded vote if so desired, she said.

“I think it helps put us in line more with our role as a corporate board and it helps educate the public,” said Higginson. “Sometimes, even myself, before when I was an observer who was confused about the role of the corporate board versus parliamentarian role and this helps with the notion that once a decision is made, the corporate board gets behind the decision and speaks, because it is now a decision of the board.

“It helps avoid the confusion and it’s just about the motion is becoming owned by the board rather than certain people on the board.”

Tania Brzovic, trustee, was among those speaking against, saying it took too much information away from the public.

“I agree with your point to a certain extent in that I obviously understand that once a vote is taken, it is the will of the board, however, I believe there is a different spin,” said Brzovic. “We have to remember that we are still … elected public servants and we have to be accountable and that means it needs to be easy for the public to know where each of us stood prior to that decision being made and how that process went.”

Trustees Brzovic, Noah Routley, Jamie Brennan, Natasha Bob and Bill Robinson voted against the motion.