Nov 10/14: The Record Off The Record: OPPS: Question Period, Recording Board Meetings, New Board Agenda

P1 Next Meetings
P2 SD61 Applicable Bylaws / Committees
P3 OPPS November 10, 2014

Next Meetings:
Wednesday Dec 10/14 7:30 pm: Inaugural Board Meeting, Tolmie Building
Monday Jan 5/15 7 pm: Education Policy Development: School or Tolmie TBA
Monday Dec 12/15 7:30 pm: Operations Policy and Planning, Tolmie Bldg
Monday Dec 19/15 7:30 pm: Board Meeting, Tolmie Bldg


The Record Off The Record is my personal record of and commentary on Board and Standing Committee meetings in School District 61 Greater Victoria (Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Victoria, View Royal, a big part of Saanich and Highlands, and the Songhees and Esquimalt reserves). Official approved minutes of Board and Standing Committee meetings are posted on the SD61 website under the “Board of Education” menu (Education Policy Development Committee is posted as “Education Meetings”; Operations Policy and Planning Committee is posted as “Operations Meetings”) generally one month after the meeting. Agendas are posted for the public the Friday before the meeting.

Required reports from In Camera meetings are posted on the Board meeting page as “Section 72 Reports”. “Section 72” refers to Section 72 (3) of the BC School Act which states “ A board must prepare a record containing a general statement as to the nature of the matters discussed and the general nature of the decisions reached at a meeting from which persons other than trustees or officers of the board, or both, were excluded, and the record must be open for inspection at all reasonable times by any person, who may make copies and extracts on payment of a fee set by the board.” Key word: “general”.  Any report beyond the basic one required must be done by an in camera motion and majority vote. SD61 Bylaw 9360.1 states: “In-camera items that may be discussed confidentially include legal, property, personnel and privacy matters as defined by provincial legislation. [Note, not “are limited to”.] Full board meetings must be held in public unless the board decides that it is in the public’s interest to hold a private session (closed or in-camera meeting). However, it is important not to abuse this power. Potential controversy or embarrassment to the board is not usually sufficient reasons for an in-camera meeting.”

Civic governments are bound by the Community Charter and go into in camera meetings by public motion, and the public has to leave for the duration of the secret meeting and them come back. School Boards are governed by the BC School Act and set in camera meetings before public meetings.

The public meeting schedule is posted on the District Calendar. Trustees are referred to by last name only for brevity; “The Board of Education of SD No. 61 (Greater Victoria)” is referred to as “the Board”. No audio recordings are made of Standing Committee meetings, only of Board meetings. [No record of how the audio recording decision was made, or any debate on proposed uses of and storage of the record appears to exist.] Motions may be shortened but retain the essential wording. Seconders not noted.

School District 61 Greater Victoria is the 6th largest employer in the Capital Regional District with a 2014-15 budget of $195.330, 769.00 of your tax dollars.

About Diane McNally