SD70: Public demands more timely budget info

SD70 trustees are under fire for not providing timely financial information to the public in advance of budget meetings in May

School District 70 trustees are under fire for not providing enough financial information to the public in advance of the public budget discussion in May.

Parents raised the concern with trustees at their meeting on April 22.

Parent Tricia McKee Marriot said that the meeting was confusing because she was under the impression the budget would be discussed but it wasn’t.

Earlier, she’s expressed concerns about how dollars are divided up to community schools, Bamfield’s in particular, and about potential cuts to education assistants.

As well, if the draft budget isn’t presented to the public until May 13 and a final budget is adopted on May 27, then that doesn’t leave enough time for people to study it thoroughly and ask informed questions.

People should be supplied with a draft budget with “ball park” figures, audience member Olga Kanigan said. Looking at it for the first time on May 13 “Isn’t enough time for us people who aren’t accountants,” she said.

SDS70 chair Larry Ransom replied that budget input is to be provided through the petitions/delegations portion of the agenda.

The public can also continue to provide budget input via email, which continues to amass and be considered, he said.

Ransom also committed to have a draft budget drawn up and available to the public on May 9.

Secretary treasurer Lindsay Cheetham he’d planned to use his weekends including that one to finalize the budget and couldn’t promise that it would be done by then.

Input is input, trustee John Bennie said. “You said you don’t want the money to be split equally between the community schools and that you want know cuts to education assistants,” Bennie said. “Whether you realize it or not you just provided input.”

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