With files from Simon Little
After some budgeting funny business and the resignation of three of its trustees the rest have been relieved of their duties at the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District board.
Education minister Mike Bernier says former Surrey Superintendent Mike McKay will take over as a government appointed trustee.
Despite the district using undeclared surplus funds on capital projects all the while making cuts to balance the books district staff have not been fired.
“He also has full authority to work with and to monitor and to hire and deal with staff as if he was the board. I again, don’t want to pre-judge any of the decisions that mike will make because that will be his complete authority as any board goes. They need to work well with their staff, have trust in their staff.”
The dismissal came on the recommendation of Special advisor Elizabeth Watson, whose report found the board was quote a “gong show” that had lost the faith of the community.
Watson’s report also found trustees were moving millions in a surplus each year to capital projects, all the while making cuts.
“My veiw is that these were not allegations that weren’t an RCMP investigation at all. I think it’s quite clear what happened. I don’t think a further detailed investigation is required. I think that the recommendations are all around good governance practices and good financial budgeting and management practices.”
All told the report makes 42 recommendations.
Watson was appointed in April to review concerns around the board’s governance and fiscal management.
This will not be McKay’s first time in the role as official trustee; he held the same position when former Education Minister George Abbott fired the Cowichan school board in 2012.
This is the ninth time the province has fired a board in B.C. since 1965.