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OP/ED: Is SD 20 forgetting to whom it's accountable?

It seems that, on Feb. 8, School District 20 (SD20) has opted to remove the controversial Planning for the Future Part 2, much to the relief of the parents who were concerned of the school closures.


What truly amazes me is the fact that the board narrowly voted to remove Part 2 by a 5-4 vote. Are these people not listening to the community that has elected them to hold this office? With the public outpouring against Part 2, one would think that it would have not been so close of a vote. In my opinion, this would suggest that they either weren’t listening to the people of the communities they serve or the trustees didn’t care what they thought.


Mickey Kinakin accused residents of Trail and Rossland of being more interested in buildings than programs and was angry the board voted the way it did, but I would like to point out to Kinakin that, unlike himself, the slim majority of his fellow trustees were actually listening to the people who entrusted them with their current position.


If the board was really concerned about a real resolution to their current budget problem, then I believe they would have acted quickly and decisively to have a volunteer committee of experts, in various fields relating to its operations, assisting it ... as was proposed by Trustee Mark Wilson.

Instead the board chose to create the parameters of any such committee's make up and operation, when the board has time to deal with the matter ... and when that will be is still uncertain.


Apparently, some trustees thought it was too time-consuming a process during the district's budget deliberations period to create and interact with the proposed task force.


Pardon me?


The board is too busy deliberating on the budget to set up and assist a special, volunteer task force that would help them deal with current budget problems.

Mickey Kinakin said, in the SD 20's most recent open meeting, that he thought the group "would confuse things" and said, "the problem does not lie in how you look at our situation, the problem lies with our communities.”

That reasoning is faulty and the explanation is circular.


As members of our community, locally-elected school trustees are supposed to know the strengths, needs, possibilities and challenges of the school district.

They should make decisions that are beneficial to the schools and students affected, adjusting and customizing their plans as needed to the advantage of the community.


While it becomes clear that trustees like Mark Wilson are trying very hard to resolve this issue quickly and intelligently, there are others who would look for the quickest easiest solution available without worrying about the end result.


Watch them carefully…after all, we elected them.