I feel sorry for most of the trustees with Okanagan Skaha School District 67. They’re in the middle of a financial crisis, with no end in sight and nobody wants to be held accountable.
To be frank, they’re not being told the whole story.
My concern is that if someone soon doesn’t start providing honest answers, trustees will find themselves in the same situation as their colleagues in Salmon Arm a few years ago when the provincial government fired all seven trustees due to financial incompetence.
Won’t happen here? Don’t be so sure. The NDP believes they have a chance at winning the Penticton riding. If the John Horgan NDP government ignores the SD67 financial crisis, the BC Liberals will be re-elected by a landslide.
In the Education Act, the “role of a trustee” is clearly defined. One of their responsibilities is to “oversee finance and budget matters.”
Clearly, this is not being done. Start doing your job, elected trustees.
But, never fear, I can offer the solution and won’t charge $17,000 for consulting services.
Frank Regehr is a retired secretary-treasurer of the Okanagan Skaha School District. Frank is an extremely ethical and competent individual. He spent part of his retirement reviewing financial mistakes with the City of Penticton (which have since been corrected under the leadership of Mayor John Vassilaki) and was elected to Penticton city council in 2018.
My proposal is the first trade of elected officials in B.C.’s history. It could be a pilot project.
City council should lend Regehr out to be a trustee on the school board for three months to audit the books and help get them back on the right track. In exchange, the board will send Barb Sheppard to city hall to serve as an interim city councillor.
Ashton can coordinate the project.
- - -
As you can see, we’ve been making regular tweaks in our weekend edition, offering expanded columns in the ‘B’ section.
Susan Delacourt’s national affairs column will now appear most weeks in print (but not online).
She is an Ottawa-based columnist for the Toronto Star, where she has been covering politics on Parliament Hill since the late 1980s.
A political science graduate of the University of Western Ontario (Go Mustangs!), she’s written four political books; her latest, “Shopping for Votes,” was a finalist for the 2014 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust prize in non-fiction.
Susan is also a frequent commentator on CBC and CTV.
Unfortunately, Chantal Hébert’s column (love her!) is no longer available in syndication. She had been featured for several years on The Courier and Herald’s editorial page.
For those who are reading this online, if you're not a print subscriber, now is a great time to get a five-day-a-week subscription. (We also have a Friday/Saturday only package available.) Call 250-492-4002 during regular business hours. (We are closed for the holiday Monday.)
- - -
I always wish that I could write as well as Christie Blatchford.
- - -
I predicted eight of nine winners in my column last week when I previewed the Academy Awards. But, who’s counting? I chose “Parasite” to win (great film!), but missed on the best director. I predicted a split and incorrectly guessed Sam Mendes (“1917”).
- - -
“Parasite” director Bong Joon Ho seems like a really cool guy who would be fun to hang out with.
James Miller is valley editor of Okanagan Newspaper Group.