Monday, April 18, 2016

SD52 to hold talks with City of Prince Rupert on by-election concerns and other issues

With only two months remaining in the 2015-16 School Year and some major votes now behind them, the School District 52 Council continues to carry on its work with one position vacant on the elected Board.

That situation comes about as the SD52 Board has yet to hold a required by-election to replace Judy Carlick-Pearson who resigned her position back in November.

In their notes from April 12th School District 52 meeting Board Chair Tina Last and Board of Education Superintendent Sandra Jones addressed the by-election issue, noting that they have scheduled a meeting with Prince Rupert City Council to discuss the required trustee by-election.

That discussion will mark the latest attempt to find some accommodation on the issue, with the School District having previously expressed a number of concerns over the process put in place by the City to hold the by-election.

The School District has expressed concerns over the decision by the City to contract out the by-election process, noting its preference for the city to use the previous method of making use of city staff to host the required by-election.

The last time that the School District issued public comments related to the by-election process they had called attention to the cost that the process was going to provide for.

According to the SD52 figures of February, the city's plan would result in a bill of almost 33,000 dollars, 9,000 dollars more than the city's own by-election 0f 2013 to replace Jennifer Rice.

February 17 -- SD52 not impressed with City's by-election plans and cost
February 9 -- City council set to approve Electoral Officers, set in motion SD52 by-election process
January 29 -- Plans in motion to move forward with School District 52 by-election
January 18 -- School District 52 to seek counsel of Ministry of Education over City's by-election delay
December 11 -- SD52 and City of Prince Rupert to work towards Board of Education By-election
November 19 -- Judy Carlick-Pearson steps down from School District 52 Board

The School District also highlights that other topics of interest will be discussed between the two organizations when they get together.

While not mentioned in the media release, one most likely to be discussed could be the status of the Kanata School land zoning issue, which has been in a state of what appears to be ongoing suspension of late.

City Council most recently discussed that topic in early March, but no resolution on outstanding concerns related to the zoning proposal for that parcel of land was reached, with the issue not brought back to an open council session for discussion or comment since that March 9h gathering.

March 9 -- Kanata School land zoning issue is deferred once again, set to return for March 21st session
March 7 -- Kanata School land question back in front of Council tonight
January 18 -- Zoning delay on Kanata lands has School District seeking answers from City of Prince Rupert
December 9 -- Kanata School land zoning review to be delayed until January
September 2 -- East side residents to get first look at Kanata school property housing proposals next week
July 23 -- Kanata school lands rezoning sparks more discussion at Council
July 20 -- Council to move on Kanata School rezoning tonight

Land zoning has proven to be a fairly controversial issue for City Council over the last few years, some of the past discussions on that topic can be found in our housing archive.

The by-election and zoning issue are just two items that have proven to be irritants between the two elected bodies in recent months, with little progress to be found for either.  As the headlines have delivered over recent months, both groups have shown that coming to consensus on a number of issues has proven to be a bit of a challenge at times.

When they get together at this next meeting, finding some success around the discussion table on those mutual concerns is most likely something that might be welcomed by those who elected both groups of participants to their positions.

The School District advises that an update will be provided to the public following the May 10th School District meeting. For more items related to SD52 issues see our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

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