Boost in Coquitlam board of education expenses

School District 43 trustees made more last year and spent more on conferences and travel. - FILE
School District 43 trustees made more last year and spent more on conferences and travel.
— image credit: FILE

Tri-City school trustees' wages and expenses tripled in 2011/’12, according to School District 43's latest financial figures, and a conference in Boston may be behind in the spike in expenses for some of them.

SD43 trustees spent a total of $18,226 in expenses last year, according to the latest financial statement. The expenditure, most of which is typically spent on conferences and travel, was nearly triple the $6,156 spent the previous fiscal year, which ran from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011.

Gail Alty, who ran for on of four trustee positions in Coquitlam in 2011 and was reelected even though she now lives on Vancouver Island, was the top spender at $3,463. But she said none of her expenses could be attributed to travel from her home in Sooke. Instead, the money was spent to attend the National School Board Annual conference in Boston in April, which is considered professional development for many trustees.

Gerri Wallis, another Coquitlam trustee, was second, with expenses totalling $3,413. The other trustees spent as follows: Holly Butterfield (Anmore and Belcarra), $3,047, John Keryluk (Port Coquitlam), $2,159, Judy Shirra (PoCo), $1,836, Brian Robinson (Coquitlam), $1,500, Keith Watkins (Port Moody), $1,344, Melissa Hyndes (PoMo), $913, and Diane Sowden (Coquitlam) $549.

Trustee indemnities were also higher this past year, compared to the year previous. For 2011/’12 school year, trustees received $32,102, with board chair Hyndes getting $35,187 and vice-chair Shirra receiving $33,645. In 2010, trustees voted them selves a 9% raise, their first in six years.


Hyndes will chair the board of education for the 2012/’13 year after she was elected Tuesday to the post by trustees. Anmore/Belcarra trustee Butterfield will be vice-chair.


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