Airdrie to get addition school board trustee
Thursday, Feb 02, 2017 12:13 pm
Airdrie could have three school board trustees representing residents if a recommendation by Rocky View Schools (RVS) Board of Trustees is accepted by Alberta Education.
At the Jan. 26 board meeting, trustees voted to endorse revised ward boundaries, which would see the number of trustees for Airdrie increase from two to three and Chestermere get its own trustee. The board will now create a bylaw, outlining the new ward boundaries. If passed, the bylaw will go the Minister of Education in late February for ratification.
“The Board of Trustees, after all of the public feedback was gathered and collated,…has taken considerable time to think about all of the options,” RVS Board Chair Colleen Munro said. “Our urban areas have grown; our rural areas not as fast. The easy decision is to (leave things) status quo but the braver decision on behalf of this board is to recognize that inequity in distribution and do something about it.”
Ward boundaries are required under municipal, provincial and federal government standards to have fair representation by population with a variance of plus or minus 25 per cent. The existing ward boundaries in RVS no longer met these standards, leading to the review.
The decision regarding the new ward boundaries followed months of discussion, public consultation and research by RVS. Brian Callaghan, a consultant with the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) was contracted in February 2016 to review the existing ward boundaries and develop a number of options for the board.
The revised boundaries maintain the number of wards at six but increase the number of trustees to eight. Chestermere, which is currently part of Ward 2, will get its own trustee and Ward 5 in west Rocky View County will be increased to include Springbank and Bragg Creek, which are currently part of Ward 4.
Not all trustees were in favour of the proposed ward boundaries. Ward 4 Trustee Helen Clease voted against the recommendation.
Airdrie trustee Sylvia Eggerer said she believed the change was long overdue.
“When I came on this board 10 years ago, this problem was on the table,” she said. “(This change) is not perfect, but it is a step in the right direction.”