School board trustee process continues

  • Apr. 29, 2005 11:00 a.m.

The school board is continuing with the process known as ‘trustee variation’, and still plans to change the way the board is elected before the fall.
“We are looking at finalizing what we are going to take to the public meetings,” school board chair Andreas Uttendorfer told the board as it met in Sandspit on Tuesday, “we are still on schedule as far as having that happen before the elections in November”.
Mr. Uttendorfer said the board plans two public meetings, one in the north end, one in the south, and hopes to submit a report to Victoria in June, paving the way for a change before the November 19 election.
Earlier, the board said it was considering two options, both which would reduce the number of trustees from seven to five. One option would elect one trustee from each of Old Massett, Skidegate, North Graham Island, South Graham Island and Central Graham Island (which would include Moresby Island), while the other would elect one from each of Old Massett and Skidegate, with three others elected from the rest of the islands at large.
In both cases, Sandspit would lose its own trustee, something resident Dan MacNeil doesn’t like.
“I just cannot live with the fact that we would be represented by someone not from Sandspit,” he said, “I was one of the ones heading up our petition. We did not want to lose our representative.”
Haida education Director Vonnie Hutchingson said “whatever happens, you will be represented in some shape or form. No one will be without representation”. She also said “at some time the board is going to have to make a decision and people are just going to live with it. We are going to do the best we can do for these islands.”
The board began considering changing its representation after requests from the two band councils, which want more Haidas on the board. The process is costing the board just under $30,000, most of the money coming from grants.