Monday, 26 May 2014

On Monday, May 26, 2014 by PWSParents
Community Complaints Park West Boundary Review - Overview

12. Impeded community input

Community complaints include impeded community input:
Designing the January 27th “public consultation” meeting as a 35 minute staff presentation to impede public input;(6)

Failing to provide information and documentation requested by community members;
Failing to submit community suggested scenarios to committee members;
Recommending Board members not communicate with their constituents;
Recommending Board members deny a parent’s request to speak at February 26th Board meeting;
Directing school staff not to obtain proof of address as part of March registration;
Recommending committee members format their “Workshop meeting to review proposals” in a cafĂ© format to impede public input;
Recommending Board members limit public input to 5 minutes at its monthly board meeting after committee releases recommendations.

13. Board inaction

The Board is responsible to ensure that its policies are followed in a fair and transparent manner at all times. The current boundary review is not being conducted in such a manner and is causing great upset in the community. The Board members have knowledge of these complaints and are obligated to inform themselves of the process flaws and take action.
Board members have refused to meet with community members and inform themselves of their constituents’ concerns about the review and its process.
On March 17th, the Board member representing the Park West community explained to a parent that that she could not discuss the review and directed the parent to the volunteer review committee:
I cannot interject at this point in the process.  Any concerns, must be sent to the committee, and if that is not sufficient, then when the meeting is scheduled for the public to have their say, this is when you address the whole board.
I am 1 voice and 1 vote.  If at anytime I interfere, I could be asked to excuse myself and then not have the chance to listen to your concerns as well as the others or vote.
To another parent, on April 5th, she similarly equated an opportunity to become informed by a constituent with wrongdoing:
[Y]ou will need to let the boundary review continue with its process.  Once the review's recommendation comes to the board for a decision, then you will be able to address the board as a whole.  I cannot meet with every parent 1 on 1.  I am not allowed to interfer with the process or I could as your board member, lose my right to speak to the matter as well as lose my right to vote.
On April 17th, on The Rick Howe Show, the Board Chair said that in response to correspondence:
[F]rom parents from from that community and I’ve written back to them and said that we have a  - - you know - - we have a boundary process currently right now ... the process demands or the process says that [the boundary review committee members] need to finish their work …
The Chair explained that meetings with constituents would not “be open and transparent”. He added that if Board members met with their constituents that “we would be disrespecting the work” of the boundary review committee.
Board members are content to simply wait for the results of the boundary review process – even with knowledge of the complaints about the process employed to generate the results and community upset.
The Board members are aware of the complaints about the review and its process but refuse to investigate or take any action. They refuse to meet with their constituents. In February, they refused to allow a Park West parent to speak at their monthly public Board meeting.
With an apparent mistaken understanding of their governing role and responsibilities and a disregard for policy noncompliance, review process complaints, community input and community upset, the tenure of Board members should be in jeopardy and their review stopped.
 (6) There was no opportunity for meaningful community input.