Last month, the Limestone District School Board felt a tremendous loss after Trustee David Jackson’s sudden passing left an empty seat on the board. After the unfortunate news, the board decided not to fill his role until November.
According to the Education Act, after a trustee passes, a board has two options. Either they can hold a byelection or appoint a qualified person for the role. Due to time constraints, a byelection isn’t possible so the board decided to appoint a qualified person. Some parents and chairs of schools showed interest in the role. But they say they were not considered.
Some community members attended the last board meeting in mid-May where recommendations for the role were being reviewed. They told CKWS News that the trustees decided to go into a private session and asked them to step out for that portion of the meeting.
They were told that a report would be released to summarize the discussion which continued at their next meeting this past Tuesday.
“There was no risen report, which was certainly expected so again, something happened in the private session before the public session tonight that precluded that. We are not aware of what that is and now we have discovered that they’ve replaced the vacancy with a former trustee,” says Innocente.
The board of trustees appointed former trustee Helen Chadwick to fill the vacancy.
While Innocente says, “The fact that they chose not to engage the public at all, and not even to report back to the public, except to just name someone, it doesn’t smack of openness and transparency.”
“There were a number of legal documents shared with the trustees, legal opinions on how best to pursue the filling of this vacancy, and when there are legal matters to discuss as I mentioned as well, names of individuals, so it is not appropriate for names to be discussed in public,” says Rantz.
Chadwick will be sworn in at their next board meeting in June and will serve until November, after which a new board will be elected at the next municipal election at the end of October this year.