NESD cutting two trustees from board

EAST CENTRAL — There will be fewer people at the table for the North East School Division’s board of education.

The NESD is permanently lowering their amount of elected school board trustees from 10 to eight, and changing the electoral boundaries with it.

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“Todd [Goudy] was [elected as] an MLA and then moved, so we operated at nine,” said Luke Perkins, the division's chair. “Then there was the passing of Randy Ariss just before Christmas, so we were operating at eight.”

Perkins said they’ve been having declining enrollment through the division and it’s up to the board to look at the reality.

“We’ve had some consultation already with SCCs [school community councils] about the new boundaries and going to eight. We’ve had no concerns coming up, everybody feels like they’re being represented now.”

Don Rempel, director of education for the NESD said that by permanently changing the number now, it allows voters to be aware before the next election in November.

“With Randy and Todd we just adjusted temporary, but with the board election coming up and we’ve had reductions in our budget over time the board just thought it would be a good time to have a permanent reduction,” Rempel said.

When the electoral boundaries were originally decided when the school board amalgamated, it was based on the number of electors in each of the areas. Rempel said this will no longer be the case.

“We find the school attendance areas are a more representative way for people to think about who they vote for.”

Rempel said the first big change is Arborfield will now be in Carrot River’s electoral boundary. The second is that Melfort will only have one representative for all their schools, including the rural areas that feed into Reynolds Central School and Melfort & Unit Comprehensive Collegiate.

The rural area of Star City and Naicam will be combined with Gronlid.

“So it’s kind of like the donut around Melfort will be Melfort and another donut around that will be Gronlid, Star City and Naicam.”

Choiceland will no longer be with Star City, but will combine with White Fox and Nipawin rural. White Fox was previously with Carrot River.

Tisdale will become both the Town of Tisdale and the RM of Tisdale.

“Previously it was Tisdale rural and Naicam, and then Tisdale town.”

The school board election will take place on Nov. 9.

Perkins said they’re confident that these changes won’t impact the functionality of the board.

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