• Trustees attempt to muzzle parent at WRDSB Meeting

    Some Trustees’ Attempt to Muzzle Me Failed

    Why was there an attempt to muzzle me at this month’s Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) Meeting?

    On Monday evening of this week the WRDSB was set to meet and ratify their approval of their budget for 2014/15. As a parent and taxpayer I had concerns about this budget and wished to express these concerns publicly to the trustees before they ratified their decisions. For this reason I preregistered to appear as a delegation.

    Board meeting agendas are set where the consent agenda (i.e., where they approve minutes and ratify any decisions they have made during the month) comes BEFORE the delegations. Trustee Cindy Watson put forward a motion to move my delegation to before the consent agenda so that I could speak BEFORE they ratified their approval of the budget. This is a ‘normal’ practice when someone comes to speak about something that is about to be ratified. And in the last 3 years of attending WRDSB meetings I have never, ever seen a single vote cast against this sort of motion. It allows members of the public to express their concerns prior to a decision being ratified.

    However, at Monday’s meeting Trustees Mike Rasmay,  Andrea Mitchell and John Hendry all voted against this motion. Apparently they didn’t want to hear what I had to say – so much so that they publicly voted against granting the opportunity for me to speak before the ratification. Trustee Kathi Smith abstained. I have to wonder what they are afraid of. Or why they don’t feel granting 5 minutes of time to a concerned parent is worth the effort.

    Too bad for them though: democracy reigned and the majority of trustees allowed for the change in the agenda, which allowed me to speak ahead of their final approval of the budget.

    But it is this sort of sad demonstration by some trustees which leads me to firmly believe stakeholders need a change at the WRDSB. Please consider your options carefully when election time comes around this Fall.

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