Tony Cable Reflects on First Months as School Board Chair
“It’s a lot busier than I thought it would be. We have had a lot of different issues to deal with.”
He said most of his time has been consumed by three main issues: the budget, the district’s strategic planning process, and the recent facilities report.
Cable says the strategic planning process has required partner group meetings throughout the district while the budgeting process has been complicated with some financial challenges.
“You’re trying to keep the cuts away from the classrooms and you don’t want to affect the students and teachers,” he said. “You also don’t want to get to the stage where you have to close buildings.”
He expects budgeting will be just as time consuming come September.
“We’ll have to start looking at the budget process as soon as possible because we have to make administrative savings again (roughly $626,000) for next year and we’re going to have a budget crunch again for sure.
That leads to the facilities report put together by Cascades Facilities Management, which he admits has led to some distress in the community.
“There’s all sorts of suggestions, and obviously when you publicize a report like that it causes a lot of stress amongst different communities although nothing has been decided.”
He does admit though that everything is on the table when it comes to considering the report’s recommendations.
(Which includes relocating the secondary French Immersion program and the secondary Francophone Education Authority from Duchess Park to PGSS and laments the condition and declining enrolment at Blackburn, Pineview and Buckhorn elementary schools),
“Everything is always on the table but our goal as a Board is to keep the cuts as far away from the classroom as possible. But as you whittle away budgets and as budgets get smaller it becomes more difficult to achieve that goal.”