The following is a letter to the editor regarding the transparency of the Limestone District School Board (LDSB) and its Board of Trustees. The views and opinons expressed in this letter do not necessarily reflect those of Kingstonist.
As a taxpayer who supports the Limestone District School Board, I am of the opinion that the Board does not heed the concerns of the public and has over-reached its powers in the treatment of Trustees. This Board spends hundreds of millions of our tax dollars and needs to be publicly accountable for its actions.
Several recent decisions of the LDSB, made in closed sessions, have raised concerns about their rationale. The appointment of a Trustee to replace Trustee David Jackson without public input or discussion is an example of the secret decision-making that raises these concerns. Secondly, the repeated censures and suspension of Trustee Tom Mahoney effectively removed him from office for the remainder of his term. In so doing, the Board disenfranchised the electors of his constituency. These people voted for him and were deprived of his representation by fiat of the LDSB. This decision is beyond the powers of the Board. Not only is there no right within the Education Act to remove a sitting Trustee from office, the people who elected him were overruled by the sitting Trustees. The public cannot make their own judgement as to the merits of his removal, because it was debated in secret.
Now it appears that Trustee Hutcheon is being sent down the same road, based on secret discussions of the Board. These secret discussions have resulted in her censure. As one of the people who elected her I have heard nothing from the LDSB as to their reasons for this. It is no wonder that former Board Chair Paula Murray spoke about a “culture of fear” in a recent interview.
Surely it is time for an independent inquiry into Board actions.