SD27 Trustee Board Chair Tanya Guenther

SD27 Trustee Board Chair Tanya Guenther

School board trustee deemed vacant, by-election to be called

The Board of Trustees for School District 27 started a formal process this week to replace Zone 7 trustee Joyce Cooper.

The Board of Trustees for School District 27 started a formal process this week to replace Zone 7 trustee Joyce Cooper.

Cooper, who was absent for the regular district meeting Tuesday night, Oct. 18, was deemed to have vacated her position representing the Chilcotin zone after not attending a school board meeting since May 31.

Minutes from regular school board meetings over the last 12 months, however, indicate that Cooper has missed no fewer than eight monthly meetings.

According to legislation, a trustee who misses three consecutive meetings is disqualified from holding office until the next general school election.

Without any discussion on the topic, trustees Sheila Boehm, Linda Nielsen, Brice O’Neill, Christine Dyment and board chair Tanya Guenther voted unanimously on a motion to call a special open meeting on Nov. 18 at 6:30 p.m. for the purpose of appointing a chief election officer for the by-election for a trustee in Zone 7.

Secretary treasurer Kevin Futcher said calling the meeting at that time will likely see an election date of Jan. 20.

After that motion was carried, trustees later discussed lowering remuneration for absentee trustees.

Trustee Brice O’Neill said he asked that the policy be reviewed in the interest of “fiscal responsibility” and adjusted to reflect a loss of remuneration for trustees who are absent from meetings, other than for illness.

In an interview with the Tribune Thursday, Guenther confirmed that under the current policy trustees do receive a base stipend for regular meetings and committee appointments whether they attend or not.

Currently, a yearly base stipend for a trustee is $12,500. For the vice chair the stipend is $13,500 and for the board chair it is $16,000 per year.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, board members who were present unanimously agreed to have district staff review ways to change the policy in order to reduce remuneration based on attendance.

When asked about trustee Cooper, Guenther said she couldn’t fulfill her duties to her constituents due to personal reasons.

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