Trustees, indeed, need financial acumen

The Editor,

Re. “Lack of control of SD43 finances” (The Tri-City News, Jan. 15).

Thank you, KPMG, for validating what I said nine months ago. After the news of School District 43’s deficit situation broke last year, I wrote to board chair Melissa Hyndes and superintendent Tom Grant about this calamity in my capacity as a concerned taxpayer and parent of two children in SD43. Here are two extracts from my April 14, 2013 letter that are relevant to KPMG’s findings:

“I am not surprised that SD43 has incurred an $8-million deficit for 2012/’13, and is estimating a $12.2-million budget shortfall for 2013/’14. Based on the trustees’ biographies that appear on the district’s website, it would seem that none of these trustees is ‘financially literate.’ The laws that govern Canada’s private sector require boards of directors of public companies to have a defined degree of financial literacy. It would appear that this is not yet a requirement in the case of public sector boards, but it should be.”

And: “A special election should be called to elect new trustees, and the election rules should be amended to require that at least one-third of the trustees be financially literate.”

Neither Trustee Hyndes nor Mr. Grant had the courtesy to respond to my letter.

Bob Parsons, Coquitlam



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