West Coast school trustee steps down, forcing by-election in SD70

Barbie Mayor has stepped down as school district trustee in Ucluelet and Tofino, citing frustration at backdoor politics within the board.

Barbie Mayor has stepped down as Alberni school district trustee for the West Coast, triggering a by-election the school district cannot afford. But now she’s having second thoughts.

Mayor said she submitted her resignation partly because of changes to her work schedule as a legal nurse, but mostly due to frustration with the board.

“It has mostly to do with the transparency and accountability of the board,” Mayor said Wednesday morning, adding she felt she was constantly hitting a brick wall when it came to advancing the concerns and needs of the West Coast.

“We sit 125 geographically challenged kilometres away from the rest of the school district and our needs and wants are in some ways very different”

Mayor felt a lot of board discussions are conducted in-camera and away from public scrutiny when they shouldn’t. One example is the fact that she stepped down more than two weeks ago and there was no public release about it.

She also mentioned that financial statements and monthly lists of expenditures are not given to the public nor published online, but should be.

Mayor said there is a huge desire for French Immersion to be offered at West Coast schools, but it falls on deaf ears when brought to the board. She feels the West Coast needs more recognition as it is the only area in the school district where student enrolment is increasing.

“Tofino has become recognized worldwide and more people are coming to this area and our schools are becoming overcrowded,” Mayor said. “I look at my taxes and 35 per cent of my property taxes goes to the school board.

“We have a huge tax base but we don’t have an equivalent amount of voices behind it.”

Mayor explained she initially submitted an e-mail resignation to school district board chair Larry Ransom, who then told her she must send it to the entire board to make her resignation official, which she did.

However, in between that time, she spoke to Teresa Rezansoff, president of the B.C. School Trustees Association who convinced her to reconsider due to the cost of holding a by-election. However, because Mayor had resubmitted her resignation, she could no longer back out.

“I might consider it,” Mayor said about running in the by-election. “I have learned a lot after resigning and things have been handled so poorly that it has triggered a fire in me again.”

The B.C. School Trustees Association is looking at whether Mayor can run again, but were unable to provide an answer by press deadline.

The by-election is scheduled for Sept. 14 and is the second by-election this year for the school district. The last by-election was held in February due to former trustee Glenn Wong’s sudden death.

Gaelle Frey was elected to take the vacant seat.

School district superintendent Cam Pinkerton said the cost for the by-election would be minimal if only one person runs, as that person would be acclaimed, but he estimates the cost will be about $15,000 if more than one person runs. He added that this was unexpected so the amount had not been budgeted.

Numerous calls to school board chair Larry Ransom were not returned by press deadline.

Just Posted

Alberni Valley Community Foundation seeks grant recipients

The Alberni Valley Community Foundation is accepting applications for grants to be… Continue reading

BCHL: Bulldogs beat Cowichan in double OT

Teams are 1–1 in three-game home-and-home stand; play in Cowichan Jan. 20

Port Alberni city council to ‘stay on course’ for five-year budget plan

Next budget meeting is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 29 at 6 p.m

Alberni businesses nominated for Island excellence

Coulson Ice Blast, Port Posh Wash, the Blue Marlin Inn and Totem… Continue reading

BCHL: Speedy left winger commits to Bulldogs

Forward Ethan Jang will be suiting up for the 2018-19 season

Parksville MakerSpace members ride the rails

New room added for model train enthusiasts; workshop set for Jan. 21

Wind warning back in effect around Vancouver Island

80 km/h winds expected Saturday, Jan. 20, on east coast of Island, 100 km/h on west coast

Man receives four-year sentence for stabbing Good Samaritan near Qualicum Beach

Jeffrey Brian MacDonald sentenced to additional 242 days in jail

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

UPDATE: BC Transit’s handyDart service strike delayed

LRB application by contractor means new strike notice must be issued by union

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Most Read