Nanaimo school district board votes to keep nine trustees

NANAIMO – Trustees considered reducing school board to seven representatives.

The Nanaimo school district board has voted against reducing the number of trustees to seven from nine.

Trustee Donna Allen proposed the motion at the June regular meeting and the board voted eight to one, with board chairwoman Dot Neary the lone trustee dissenting.

The reduction would have netted the school district an annual savings of $45,000.

Trustee Jamie Brennan pointed to the area of the district as the reasoning behind his vote.

“I thought that nine trustees are the appropriate amount for a district of our size geographically and also the complexity of the regions. We have the community of Lantzville, the town of Ladysmith, the regional district,  Cedar plus the City of Nanaimo.

“To address the needs and interests of those very parts of the district requires the number of trustees that we currently have,” Brennan said.

He also proposed a motion recommending incoming trustees review board composition, with regards to representation based on a system that would see the district subdivided, after they take office following the November municipal elections.

“There is no foregone conclusion. They would have to do some research and analysis but it would ensure, if they adopted such a model, that there [would be] sort of a guarantee of representation from the smaller regions of the district,” Brennan said.

The school district had scheduled a meeting on June 18 to hear public input regarding the board reduction but it was cancelled due to lack of presentations.

According to Donna Reimer, school district spokeswoman, there were 15 written responses submitted regarding the proposal. The Regional District of Nanaimo, Ladysmith and Lantzville were amongst those providing input.