DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: Scugog council is asking the Durham District School Board (DDSB) to reconsider their decision to cut the number of trustees in North Durham to one.
At a meeting on Monday, March 26th, Regional Councillor Bobbie Drew made a motion: to have the municipality request the DDSB reconsider this decision, “and guarantee the northern three municipalities, of Scugog, Uxbridge and Brock, their two trustees”; and to send a copy of this resolution to the Minister of Education, MPPs Granville Anderson, Lorne Coe and Jennifer French, Laurie Scott, Tracy MacCharles, the mayors of all Durham region municipalities affected by this decision, and to the chair, trustees and the director of education at the DDSB.
Trustees voted to change the number of trustees in North Durham from two to one, on Monday, March 19th.
“I think the process has been flawed,” Councillor Drew said, adding she was “disturbed there was not more notice of the whole process.”
In her motion, Councillor Drew cited things, such as: the municipal clerks in the region not being informed of the process; that if the one trustee for the north was absent there would be no representation “for 69 per cent of the geographic area of the Durham District School Board”; that the northern trustee would have 16 schools, which is more than any other trustee on the DDSB; and that, in the 11 trustee system currently in place, two municipalities out of seven would “hold the balance of power”, as reasons for her motion.
Ward 5 Councillor Jennifer Back said she was “disappointed” by the board’s decision, because she felt it means the municipality is “losing [its] voice” on the board.
“For three municipalities to have one [trustee] is unacceptable,” Councillor Back said.
Council later unanimously approved Councillor Drew’s motion.
After the meeting, Mayor Tom Rowett told The Standard he was surprised when he learned of the school board’s decision.
“It’s illogical to me that you would put such an onus on one trustee for three northern municipalities. It truly, in my opinion, is not acceptable that we have one school trustee to represent all of those schools,” he said. adding the “lack of consultation” was also a concern.
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