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


Full agenda with attachments here. No In Camera meeting before the public meeting.

2014 Nov 10 OPPs 12014 Nov 10 OPPs 22014 Nov 10 OPPs question period 12014 Nov 10 OPPS question period 2Territory Acknowledgement900Operations Policy and Planning Committee Nov 10 /14:
Chair Leonard       Regrets: Orcherton, Horsman, McEvoy
Student Representative: Jonah Van Driesum, Oak Bay Secondary

1. Approval of Agenda: Adopted.
2. Approval of the Minutes: A. OPPS Oct 14/14: Approved
3. Business Arising From Minutes: None
4. Presentations: None.
5. Superintendent’s Report (none) / Facilities Update
. Capital Projects Update : Director of Facilities

  • Oak Bay: Proceeding well, ahead of schedule, on budget. The smaller of the two gyms in use now. Students possibly will move into building over Spring Break, when West Building will be demolished.Parking lot in use. Development of operating agreement for Neighbourhood Learning Centre with Oak Bay Parks and Rec ongoing.
  • Quadra Elementary:  Seismic upgrade finished.
  • Seismic upgrade underway at  George  Jay. Students are at the Richmond campus for the year. Demolition inside has been done; project will be finished by next summer. Improvements to parking. District in year 3 of Carbon Neutral Capital Program.  Submitted a proposal for projects and received about $300,000 for projects, allowing  a new heating system at George Jay.
  • Next project Cloverdale Elementary. Finalizing PDR for submission to Ministry.
  • Tillicum Elementary  will be completed over two summers. Concrete shear wall completed this summer under a contracting out  arrangement as facilities staff were busy.Project will be finished summer 2015 July / August.
  • Annual Facilities Grant:Phase 1 allocated for minor capital upgrades ie roofs, heating at Tillikum, Hillcrest, Esquimalt (new windows – moved from single glazed to coloured (aesthetic decision) double glazed  = energy reduction  = increased efficiency = less carbon tax). Phase 2 funding to come in March.
  • Basketball courts: Agreement with Esquimalt council years ago; courts fell into disrepair. This year Esquimalt council allocated $160,000 municipal grant to upgrade courts. SD61 does maintenance and students get the use of the courts. Pickle ball lines will be panted also.
  • Required to submit CNCP (Carbon Neutral Capital program) projects. Consultants are working on this. SD61 is within $200,000 of all SD61 contributions returning to the District. Submissions are due January 9; Board will be updated then. Typically by this time SD61 would have submitted a 5 year capital plan but Ministry is changing WEBCAPS and in process of replacing, so no requirement to submit a capital plan.


  • Leonard: Any highly rated seismic projects left?
  • Director of Facilities: Six with H1 rating. Not necessarily the entire school. Vic High is the entire school.15 have been done.
  • Rob Paynter, public: Esquimalt deal is great. Any others?
  • Director of Facilities: Varying degrees in other municipalities, through Parks and Rec programs.
  • Paynter: Are there copies of community Parks and Rec and SD61 Board meetings?
  • DOF: Parks and Recs report back to councils so minutes would be there.
  • Loring-Kuhanga: More information in interior demolition of George Jay please.
  • DOF: Interior was masonry block not well reinforced, so walls removed and replaced.
  • Loring-Kuhanga: Cloverdale and PDR- government has said Districts will be responsible for seismic upgrades. How much and where will it come from?
  • DOF: Cloverdale is a $2.5 million project. Quadra was $9 million. We have undertaken projects ahead of this announcement so have not been required to do that so far. May be asked. Restricted Capital in budget has some reserve funds and can be used on seismic work.
  • Loring-Kuhanga: Have savings from Green Initiatives gone back into more of those?
  • DOF: Example recycling savings helped to establish recycling in other schools.Last Hydro increase was 3% and were able to absorb that due to savings.
  • McNally: What are the 3 projects referred to?
  • DOF: 3 projects underway: Esquimalt High School boiler, Rockheights and Shoreline.
  • Ann Whiteaker, public: More information on Vic High seismic upgrade please.
  • DOF: Vic HIgh has 850+ students. No easy solution to housing them. It will be an intrusive project. Possible phasing or relocation of students perhaps in portables on Fairey Tech site? Need to proceed with consultation with school PAC. New field being fundraised by PAC. “Supported project” by Ministry but don’t have the money yet.

6. Finance and Legal Affairs:
Bylaw 9360.01 Question Period During General Meetings of the Board (see p 6-8 of full packup )

#s 1 and 2:

  • Leonard: (continuing shepherding this Bylaw as in OPPS): Wordsmithing done in OPPS. Will now finish last two sections so Bylaw can go forward to Board.
  • Nohr: Question will be on record. Want answer on record too.
  • Paynter: If encouraged to use  website, use it how? Not clear.
  • Superintendent: Developing a question submission page now.
  • McNally: When will website upgrade be operational? Current one is not user friendly.
  • Superintendent: School sites are done; District site being worked on. Studenet reps group giving feedback.
  • Loring-Kuhanga: If we don’t pass this we won’t have a question period for this Board, but changes to original motion have defeated the purpose. I brought it up in the first place to increase openness and transparency [Trustee Loring-Kuhanga brought a motion to the May 14, 2012  Operations Policy and Planning meeting asking for two public question periods at every Board meeting. This motion was defeated: For: Alpha, Loring-Kuhanga, McNally, Nohr. (Absent: McEvoy) Against: Ferris, Horsman, Leonard and Orcherton. ] Need to make item 1 more clear.
  • Alpha: “Submit question on question link”.
  • Ferris: Is #1 an alternative to asking the question at a Board meeting? Need to clarify – could add ‘as an alternative to attending the meeting”.
  • Ann Whiteaker, public: What is the point of substituting online or at the Board? Which gets priority?
  • Leonard: Questions will be answered by phone or email.
  • McNally: Remove “prior to Board meeting”, and add “two ways to ask a question”.
  • Whiteaker: Change “must” to “shall”.
  • McNally: Change to  “Individuals may ask questions at the mic or in written form”. “Shall” in dictionary expresses a command. So if we are indicating written is optional we need to say that.
  • Loring-Kuhanga: Use “may”.
  • Whiteaker: A written question means you can get it into the record.

# 3:

  • McNally: Questions should be able to be addressed to individual Trustees for accountability. Chair can rule out of order if needed.
  • Alpha: Addressing questions to the Chair controls the behaviour of those who might want to attack an individual. this keeps the meeting civil.
  • Nohr: Confident that the public would ask questions in  civil way. So the Chair responds to every question?
  • Leonard: Yes.
  • Nohr: Would be more meaningful if questions could be asked of individuals.
  • Leoanrd: A majority vote is a vote of the Board.
  • Ferris: Fine with it the way it is.
  • Paynter: Recognize that Chair has the responsibility for the meeting. Sensible to have questions go through Chair; provides Chair ability to moderate meeting.
  • Loring-Kuhanga: Questions shoudl go to the Chair.


  • Whiteaker: An alternative to the box? How will the Chair know the order the questions came in?Someone has to be responsible to type them and number them.
  • McNally: Just allow the questions at the mic. The Chair has a gavel to bring order and a cell if there is a significant problem.


  • Leonard: Community presentations are 30 minutes, plus this 15 minutes = 45 minutes of interaction with the public.
  • Paynter: Public presenters don’t get feedback.Take “priority” out. Committee level questions don’t get recorded.
  • Alpha: Main reason for question  period was to have two District types of opportunities for the public to engage; has got a lot deeper.
  • Nohr: A person i the audience could submit a question  on behalf of the 5 minute community presenter.
  • Loring-Kuhanga: Would have preferred 20 minutes rather than 15.
  • Whiteaker: Most question and answer periods are 20 minutes.


  • Jordan Watters, public: Does “staff” in this pint include Trustees?
  • Leonard: No.
  • Watters: Add “or Trustee”.
  • Leonard:  How about “Chair may direct question to appropriate person”.


  • McNally: With the limit of one question per person,  if an individual is the only person, they should have the whole 15 minutes.
  • Alpha: The original question period was for simple pint of clarification. Show up at OPPS or Ed Policy if you want a longer discussion of a question.
  • Ferris: this isn’t the only place you can ask a Trustee a question.

#8: OK as is

  • Loring-Kuhanga: Answers should be included in the record.
  • Leonard: Question may not be able to be answered at the meeting.
  • Loring-Kuhanga: Record “further research required”. Put some kind of summary in.
  • Leonard: All answers given at the Board table will be in the minutes.


  • McNally: The asker will have the question all over social media if the Chair doe not read it out.Trustees need to be able to challenge the Chair’s ruling on the question, and there needs to be debate on that.
  • Alpha: Some questions might be inappropriate and the Chair would have to rule out of order.But the no challenge or debate works against transparency.
  • Loring-Kuhanga: Chair will read out the question.
  • Alpha: What if it is racist, sexist, abusive?
  • McNally: State that the question will be referred to an in camera meeting where it will be read out.
  • Waters: Need some reason for why a question is ruled out of order. No education is taking place.
  • Leonard: Asker of the question ruled out of order will be contacted.
  • Watters: That needs to be stated.
  • Carolina Tudela, public: Would like to know why a question was ruled out of order.
  • Alpha: Part of some flexibility with this is being able to deal with racists, homophobes, sexists. Reading that out would be an abusive act. Having policy so tight that that we would have to read it out would impose damage.Have to give the Chair some flexibility to be a gatekeeper.This is a way to protect ourselves  and the public.
  • Leonard: Possibility of slander, too.
  • McNally: Even if repugnant I want to know what the question was. We need a “referral to in camera” statement.


  • McNally: Define “inordinate” in referring to amount of work / time required.Too vague.

This Bylaw change will go forward to the Board with additional changes resulting from this meeting’s debate.

B. Digital Recording of Board Meetings

#1: Ok with all.


  • Alpha: what is the point of restricting recording to only District personnel?
  • McNally: Define “media outlet”. I can form McNally Media for $350 at the registrar of companies and have volunteer staff. Would that qualify as  “media outlet”? This is a public meeting. Why try to keep it from the public in terms of recording it?
  • Nohr: Public has expectation that they can record a public meeting.
  • Alpha: Just take #2 out.

#3: OK


  • McNally: Want to ensure public access to the archived recordings.

#5: OK

#6: OK


  • Loring-Kuhanga: Record Standing Committee meetings as well.
  • Alpha: Like not having Standing Committee meetings recorded. Members of the public are sometimes trying to understand and clarify and it’s not in anyone’s interest to have that recorded.
  • McNally: Those propel will be asking those questions in  public anyway.
  • Ferris: Many people don’t want to be recorded.
  • Nohr: Comfort with this can come with support. Try the recording of Board meetings first.

C. Bylaw 9360 General Meeting of the Board

Three readings of the new Bylaws with voted on and agreed upon changes from this meeting’s debate will go forward to the Board meeting on November 17.

7. Public Disclosure of In Camera Items: No In Camera meeting.

8. New Business /Notice of Motion: None.

9. General Announcements: None.

10.  Adjournment: Ferris: Motion to adjourn. 10:10 pm.

Winter Tree





About Diane McNally