The normally ceremonial inaugural school board meeting Tuesday night turned out to be filled with business.
Following the oaths of office, rookie trustee Edie Lissimore was elected chair of the board, while fellow political newcomer Jim Taylor was voted into the vice-chair position, both with a 3-2 vote.
Lissimore defeated incumbent Carol Hamilton for the position, while Taylor won his contest against Hamilton also, after fellow incumbent Randy Cairns nominated her for both roles.
Once the board was officially sworn, Taylor raised his second point of order of the night, noting the adoption of the agenda item was missing from the agenda. Further, he put forward three notices of motion and five motions to be added to the meeting.
The notices are regarding policy changes, Taylor explained, and will come back to the public board in the new year after going through business committee. They include suggested amendments to a number of Mission Public School policies, and the rescission of policy 11, which grants the superintendent, through the board of trustees, certain powers and responsibilities.
The five motions included written reports on all employee layoffs and disciplinary actions from 2009 to present, as well as a one-year restriction on all out-of-province, non-mandated professional development trips that would be funded by the school district. Employees who wish to undertake these types of trips must pay for them from their allotment of pro-D dollars, or out of pocket.
All the motions eventually passed, with only the layoff and discipline reports being approved unanimously.
During question period, former trustee Karen Petty, who did not run in the recent election, asked what would happen if a “great opportunity” for a professional development course that would be beneficial to the school district happened in a distant location.
Lissimore stated that the district “can’t afford it and … is $1 million in arrears.”
• For photos from the meeting, visit our Facebook gallery.