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Trustees look to public for input


The Swan Valley School Division (SVSD) Board of Trustees is looking to make some changes in the number of representatives at the table, and is seeking the input of the public.

As part of their Trustee Representation Review, the SVSD is proposing to reduce the number of trustees from nine down to seven, effective at the School Board Election 2018.

“The board felt during the recent budget process that reducing the number of trustees by two was a good idea because it not only reduces costs, but it also reflects the decline in enrolment that we have experienced for the last several years,” said SVSD Board Chair Kelli Riehl.

The estimated savings that would result from the elimination of two trustee positions would amount to $16,000 per year, as a result of decreased trustee indemnities, out of town meetings, and professional development costs.

If the current proposal goes through, it would reduce the representation in two of the three wards of the division. Ward 1 (Municipality of Swan Valley West) would be represented by two trustees, Ward 2 (Municipality of Minitonas-Bowsman, and portions of RM of Mountain including Mafeking, Birch River, and Cowan) would be represented by two trustees, and Ward 3 (Town of Swan River) would remain with its current representation of three trustees.

“We felt that seven trustees could still govern effectively and efficiently,” said Riehl. “Going to an even fewer number of trustees would have resulted in a very costly ward review to make sure trustee representation accurately fulfilled the requirements set in the Public Schools Act. Seven is a good fit for this division.”

Feedback from the public is also being welcomed regarding the current proposal, either in writing, or in person at their next board meeting.

“The input the Board is seeking can be anything from a ‘yay or nay’ to any comments the public wishes to make,” said Riehl.

The opportunity for in person feedback at the next regularly scheduled board meeting is on May 8 at 8 p.m. in the Division Office Board Room at 1481 3rd Street North in Swan River.

Written feedback can be sent to Riehl via the division office at the address presented in the advertisement on page A12.

Jeremy Bergen