Clearview Public Schools trustees see track in different light

Trustees disagree about importance of running track at Wm. E. Hay School

By Stu SalkeldThe Stettler Independent

Even after serving as trustees for Clearview Public Schools for years, trustees showed during their regular meeting Aug. 31 an issue such as the high school running track can elicit deeply differing views.

During the regular meeting of the board of trustees, the topic of “reserve planning” was discussed. Trustee Ken Checkel began the discussion by describing the financial situation about one year ago, around the end of October, 2016 when trustees were given a report on financial reserves.

“We had quite a significant amount of money,” said Checkel. Checkel noted trustees then decided what they were going to do with the money, and likened it to the classroom improvement fund money this past spring.

The trustee said he would like to see a session or meeting where the board could look at reserves and set out a list of priorities, in essence, for unspent or unbudgeted money. “I’ve got some ideas,” said Checkel.

He went on to state that last year a significant amount of money was set aside for the running track at the high school to be upgraded or repaired and he said, frankly, he could think of better ways to spend that money.

Assistant superintendent Peter Neale stated that not everything that’s listed on a budget represents money in the bank; he noted the division still has not received insurance money for the running track and that the issue is still before the courts and is being disputed. Apparently, a judge is still considering the issue.

Neale went on to say there may be some money in contingency, but not as much as last year. The amount was described as being somewhat less than $100,000. There may also be some unspent money in the staff support fund. The strategic initiatives fund may not offer as much because a lot of that has been put into literacy projects.

However, Neale said trustees should give their input as it fits into the strategic plan.

Trustee Yvette Cassidy noted that if Alberta Education really is $377 million short because of oil and gas revenue shortfalls, it’s said those shortfalls will be made up by grant cuts across the board. Cassidy noted if grants are cut mid-year, school boards are going to need something to pick up that financial slack.

Trustee John Schofer said he likes the idea of having some funds in reserve in case of an unforeseen problem.

Trustee Karen Holloway agreed and said a discussion should be held so the best use is made of any money and not necessarily the running track. “There are tons of places to put money, if we have money,” said Holloway.

Checkel said he wasn’t arguing the importance of reserves, just pointing out any money above that should be wisely spent as everything boils down to instructional dollars. He stated perhaps even public consultation is in order if the amount of money is significant.

Cassidy said she sees value in the running track. “I’m really torn about the running track,” said Cassidy.

Cassidy said Wm. E. Hay is a premier school in the region, and having good athletic fields and the track make Stettler attractive for holding large events.

Deputy chair Dave Goodwin agreed. “We have to keep a large picture,” said Goodwin. Goodwin said not all educational projects are in a classroom.

Checkel said he didn’t feel the running track is an important draw to Stettler. “I don’t believe it,” he said.

Checkel also noted that even if the running track is vital to the community, it’s situations like these that other partners in the community should help out with. Checkel said he feels Clearview Public Schools takes on a leadership role too often, and for things like community amenities. “That’s not really our focus,” said Checkel.

Cassidy noted there used to be a community recreation board that included important stakeholders that would handle issues like community-wide amenities. She suggested the idea of such a board be mentioned at joint or regional meetings.

Superintendent Peter Barron suggested this topic be placed on the agenda for the next meeting. Trustees could then discuss criteria for certain reserve money. Barron also noted the municipal election is so close, the middle of October, that the new board of trustees will likely be making decisions related to this issue.

Board chair Cheri Neitz felt that was the best approach. “I think that’s a good idea,” she added.

Just Posted

Donalda District Museum hosting first toy show

Donalda Coulee Friendship Club hosts whist night

UPDATED Stettler secondhand charity looks for new home

UPDATED Superfluity lease not being renewed; will move by Sept., 2018

2018 Stettler Farmer/Farmerette Bonspiel Winners

Tournament held from January 18th to the 21st at the Stettler Curling Rink

2018 Stettler Farmer/Farmerette Bonspiel Winners

Tournament held from January 18th to the 21st at the Stettler Curling Rink

Sentencing postponed in Castor triple homicide

Jason Klaus and Josh Frank will appear in court again Feb. 14th

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Babcock, Goyette and Smyth honoured at Order of Hockey in Canada

Mike Babcock, from Saskatoon, guided the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup in 2008

Bell Canada alert prompts RCMP, privacy watchdog to probe data breach

Company spokesman: ‘Fewer than 100,000 customers were affected’

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

Guillermo del Toro film about merman romance earns 13 nominations

Canada, TPP agrees to revised deal without the United States

Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement

Rogers Media cuts ties with Vice Canada

Rogers Media and Vice Canada are ending their three-year-old partnership, pulling Viceland TV channel off the air

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Most Read

Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.