On Oct. 3 Sheila Taylor resigned from her position as a trustee at the Calgary Board of Education (CBE). The Board of Trustees must now decide whether or not to hold a byelection to address the vacant seat for wards 11 and 13.
Trustees would like input from the public prior to making this decision. A brief survey has been developed to gather these thoughts and ideas.
Below is information that may be helpful to you in completing the survey. Once you have reviewed this information, please complete this survey to share your thoughts and ideas.
The survey closes Monday, Nov. 24, 2014.
Where is the vacancy?
Wards 11 and 13 are in Southwest Calgary. Only voters in these wards would participate in a byelection.
Ward 11 and 13 communities include: Altadore, Bayview, Bel-Aire, Braeside, Bridlewood, Britannia, Canyon Meadows, Cedarbrae, CFB Currie, CFB Lincoln Park PMQ, Chinook Park, Eagle Ridge, Elbow Park, Elboya, Evergreen, Haysboro, Kelvin Grove, Kingsland, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Mayfair, Meadowlark Park, Millrise, North Glenmore Park, Oakridge, Palliser, Pumphill, Rutland Park, Shawnee Slopes, Shawnessy, Somerset, Southwood, Woodbine, and Woodlands.
Can the Board appoint a person to the vacant seat?
No. Under the School Act and the principles of democratic process, the Board cannot appoint new Board members. A vacancy can only be filled by holding a byelection.
Who makes the decision to hold a byelection?
The Board of Trustees has the sole authority to decide whether or not to hold a byelection.
Who would run the byelection?
The byelection would be entirely administered by the Municipal Returning Officer at The City of Calgary, who will follow the requirements of the Local Authorities Elections Act. The Act defines all procedures for elections and voting.
What will the election cost the CBE?
The Municipal Returning Officer estimates that a byelection would cost $140,000 - $170,000. The final total would depend on costs for items such as staffing, facility rental and promotion. This cost would be billed to the CBE by the Municipal Returning Officer and paid out of the CBE’s operating budget.
When could a byelection be held?
The Board of Trustees can request a byelection at any time. However, the Municipal Returning Officer has advised that 12-14 weeks advance notice is required for a byelection. As of mid-November 2014, the earliest possible election date is mid-April 2015.
Has the CBE had byelections before and what was the result?
The most recent byelection was held on December 1, 2003 for wards 12 and 14. Eight candidates ran. Voter turnout was 3.4%.
Does the Board have to hold a byelection?
The School Act does not require the Board to hold a byelection, as long as there is only one vacancy on the Board. The Board can continue to operate with six members, rather than hold a byelection.
Who looks after the ward while the seat is vacant?
Trustees are elected by wards; once elected, each trustee must serve the best interests of all CBE students. During a vacancy, trustees will work together to ensure that community and school interests are addressed.
For the present vacancy, the Board has communicated with ward 11 and 13 school councils and principals to encourage them to contact the trustees’ office if they require support or have questions.
Trustees have no individual decision-making authority within their ward or the system. The Board of Trustees is a governance board that provides oversight to the entire system. Board decisions are those that are approved by a majority of board trustees.
The Board of Trustees is committed to achieving the best results for each CBE student, and ensuring that the guiding principles for all CBE behavior and action continues to be:
- Students come first;
- Learning is our central purpose; and
- Public education serves the common good.
Complete the survey now.