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October 28, 2017 2:39 am

Hooker to Step Down as School Board Vice-Chair

Saturday, September 5, 2015 @ 8:00 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Prince George School Board Trustee Brenda Hooker will “likely” relinquish her role as vice-chairperson later this month.

Elected to the position last December, Hooker plans to do so after recently deciding to take advantage of “a really good career opportunity” up north.

Prince George School Board Trustee Brenda Hooker

Prince George School Board Trustee Brenda Hooker

“So over the next year I’ve taken a leave of absence from my job in Prince George and I’m working for the school district up in Fort St. John, School District 60, as a controller in their finance department.”

And although she plans to continue on as trustee, even as she lives in Fort St. John (though she has no plans to sell her house in Prince George), she says it’s just not practical to carry on as vice-chair.

“There is going to be a certain impact, particularly in the vice-chair role,” says Hooker. “It’s to support the chair (Tony Cable) and to be available when the chair is not available so obviously it’s going to be difficult for me as vice-chair to be available when I’m in Fort St. John.”

She says the board will meet later this month to discuss a way forward, which she notes will likely require a “shuffle of our committee assignments (Hooker chairs the finance committee) and liaison assignments.”

Chairperson Tony Cable says Hooker’s decision has the full support of the board.

“She definitely has the blessing of the board as far as finding a new job and we’re very thrilled for her and it’s a very good career opportunity,” he says.

“And yes, we definitely encouraged her to apply and to take the job and now we just have to meet as a board and figure out what we’re going to do and what’ll work best for Brenda and the board.”

How does Hooker plan to fulfill her trustee duties over the next year?

“Before I even considered accepting the position I discussed it with my board and with the finance staff here (FSJ) to make sure that was an option, that I could continue in the trustee role to which I was elected,” she says.

“So I will plan on attending as many meetings as I can in person (the monthly board meetings) and then calling in to a lot of the other meetings that happen during the month.”

Once Hooker’s year in Fort St John is up she says¬†“it’s definitely my intention to be back in Prince George” adding she expects it will make her a better trustee.

“All of us see the benefit learning from the inside of a school district in the finance department and how operationally the district is run. I think that’s going to have a benefit in translating into the trustee role.”

Comments

I expected a different story after reading the headline.

If you don’t live here you should resign the position completely. Right Dick Harris?

It says she still has a house here. It says she will attend meetings in person and some committee meetings by phone. She has the blessings of the Board. She will have a position with the School Board.

In fact, I consider it to be an asset to have experience from elsewhere. Cross pollination can be a positive thing; bringing in ideas from elsewhere.

It is not as if she is going to Santa Barbara.

Is this not a conflict of interest situation. Working for one SB while being a Trustee on another. SBs compete to some extent over grants and funding. I ask Branda to consider if she were living in the Fort and working for another district if she feels she would have been elected. If not the right thing to do is step down as a trustee and alow someone more devoted to this district to take her place. There are plenty of good people who can do the job. We should never feal we are the only person who cares about our students.

It seems to me that in this case the conflict of interest is minimal. A controller in the finance department does not make policy decisions or initiate new programs, nor is it the kind of soft position that depends on grants.

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