School Board Trustee Censured/Removed From Board Appointments

Robert Thomas

At their regular board meeting on March 13th, Prairie South School Division trustees, in an 8 -1 vote, censured a trustee and removed a trustee from all board appointments. A letter marked private and confidential will be sent to the unnamed trustee.

Although never mentioned, due to it's sensitivity and confidential nature, the interaction in the open session points to Jan Radwanski being the trustee most likely penalized. Some of the discussion had taken place in a closed session before the vote was done in an open session

In the open session discussion, Trustee Radwanski said he would be voting against the motion to censure and remove the offending trustee from the board committee appointments, due to a lack of clarity in what is considered closed and open session in committee meetings. Plus, trustees are allowed to advocate on local issues and concerns.

Trustee Radwanski referred to board policy 3.7 which allows local advocacy. “It's not clear on what is a closed session,” he stated, claiming the committee meetings are not run according to strict Parliamentarian rules.

He also stated policy 3.7 allowed individual trustees to “bring forward and advocate for local issues and concerns.”

Board Chair Tim McLeod stated that all trustees are governed by a code of conduct which supersedes any personal interests.

“One trustee has put ahead of this board their own personal interest,” Chair McLeod claimed.

“Trustees are allowed to advocate for local issues and concerns. They are also entitled to their own opinions but, however, our Trustee Code of Conduct calls for their loyalty to this board to supersede their advocacy efforts,” he stated.

Trustee Shawn Davidson referred to a “breach of trust” and how confidentiality was “very important in our policies and Education Act.”

Trustee Robert Bachman said there was no lack of “clarity of understanding of closed and open sessions and nine of ten trustees have declared there is no uncertainty.”

A recorded vote was requested by Trustee Radwanski, with the other eight trustees taking part in the meeting voting in favour of censuring the unnamed trustee. The only trustee to vote against the motion was Trustee Radwanski. Trustee Brian Swanson did not vote as he was not present.

A recorded vote is where all members of the board are individually asked how they will be voting and it is recorded in the minutes. Most votes are usually a show of hands, with the minutes only indicating which way the majority voted.

It should be noted that Trustee Radwanski was listed a member of the Business, Infrastructure and Governance Committee and the Innovation Committee.

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