School board decides on new trustee representation system

  • May. 25, 2005 2:00 p.m.

The school board has decided which of the two trustee representation systems it prefers, and will soon hold public meetings to talk about its decision.
The board had been looking at two possibilities, both with five instead of the current seven trustees.
The first involved one trustee from Old Massett, one from Skidegate and three others elected at large from the rest of the islands.
But the board has decided for the one trustee from each of Old Massett, Skidegate, North Graham Island, South Graham Island and Central Graham Island (which will include Moresby Island).
Chair Andreas Uttendorfer told those attending the school board meeting in Masset Tuesday evening that the board has made a decision, and will go to the public shortly.
We are going to Â…”inform the public again at how we arrived at this decision and what the final decision is. We are no longer going to look at options,” Mr. Uttendorfer said.
He said he hopes the board can submit its report to Victoria by the end of June, and that the representation system can be changed in time for the election in November.
There will be two meetings in June, one in the north, one in the south, to inform islanders of the decision, according to Mr. Uttendorfer. “Time Is pressing,” he said.
Changing the representation of the board was first suggested by the two band councils years ago. They felt that since half the students in the schools are Haida, the board should be legally obliged to better reflect that.
The planned change is not likely to sit well with some residents of Sandspit. That community now has its own trustee, but under the new plan, is lumped in with central Graham Island. At a board meeting in April, Sandpit resident Dan MacNeil, who spearheaded a petition against the change, said the community does not want to lose its representation. He also linked the continuation of the Sandspit school to the community having a trustee.

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