Name: Jeff Solomon
Occupation/Background: Retired in 2013. Child protection social worker. Degree in Social Work and Child and Youth Care. Have resided in Nanaimo for past 31 years. Parent of three adult children, one of who is mentally handicapped. All three attended school in Nanaimo at Georgia Avenue, John Barsby, NDSS, and Woodlands.
History of involvement in community. Founder and lead for 12 years of the Nanaimo Youth Ball Hockey League. Lead spokesperson for the Colliery Dam Park Preservation Society. Presently volunteer with Special Olympics.
Why are you running for school trustee?
I have had concerns about the lack of engagement between the board and the community. Some decisions seem to be made in an arbitrary fashion that is not inclusive. The current facilities plan is a strong indicator of the disconnect between the board and the community. It may be time for new ideas and collaboration with the families who may be impacted
What three priorities are important to you and how do you intend to tackle these if elected?
Decisions should be made with a full understanding of the impact that they may have on the individual school and community. Trustees should liaise with their community and invite feedback from parents and school personnel and bring this information to the board. The local school is one of the main pillars of the community.
I would like to make the board meetings accessible and welcoming to parents and include them in the process for making decisions that will impact their family. Collaboration should be the norm.
Promote and enhance opportunities for extra-curricular activities. These activities are also important in children’s education and can be the highlight of a child’s day.
How do you plan to work towards a balanced school budget?
Make the most of the resources that are available and re-allocate as is necessary. Work with parents to get their ideas and make sure that short- and long-term planning for the district make sense for the community and is fiscally responsible.