Sharing services may be cheaper

The Cariboo Chilcotin School Board may get a bit more attention than usual in coming days with three veteran trustees calling it quits.

The Cariboo Chilcotin School Board  may get a bit more attention than usual in coming days with three veteran trustees calling it quits.

For some reason our local education system doesn’t get as much notice as it might. Maybe it’s because the SB has no PR person, but then Williams Lakers have always focused more on city issues. It was ever thus.

A long  time ago, when he was premier of this province, Bill Vander Zalm promoted the idea of a district municipal style of governance that would have the cities and neighbouring  regional district and school district areas under one “roof.”

The idea didn’t fly with B.C.’s municipal and school district politicians who preferred the present silo system, but there must be a way to make local governance more efficient and less expensive.

The CRD and City co-operate now; why not have the school district part of the equation?

The current city council has devoted much time and energy to planning. Enhancing the downtown area is likely to be an election issue, but it isn’t clear how the school district’s plans fit with the City’s plans.

One example is the location of Marie Sharpe Elementary School. If funding had been available, there would be a new school on the  site.

That didn’t happen, and things have changed since (e.g. the Poplar Glade site is now available).

I don’t know what the district’s current plans are, but some city dwellers feel this school not only occupies a good chunk of valuable downtown property, it creates traffic issues.

Having an “inner city” school might make sense in bigger cities, but how does it fit with jazzing up our downtown area?

Maybe the current crop of SB and council candidates will have some ideas on how to share services to make local governance more efficient and less expensive.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

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