School District 69 trustee’s protest vote goes nowhere

Ross Milligan's displeasure with SD 69 (Qualicum)'s budget process fizzles in the end.

School District 69 (Qualicum) trustee Ross Milligan.

School District 69 (Qualicum) trustee Ross Milligan.

A small hiccup occurred during Tuesday’s board of education meeting, when trustee Ross Milligan initially voted against approving all three readings of a capital project bylaw for $698,855.

“This was a little bit of a protest to highlight the fact that I’m not pleased by the process,” Milligan said.

The board got as far as first reading, with Milligan voting against, before Chair Lynette Kershaw realized there was a problem. After a short discussion, she revealed that there was a “housekeeping issue.”

“Because the motion to accept this is not unanimous we cannot do all three readings in one evening. So what we’d like to do is go back to Ross to see if this housekeeping item … if he would like to reconsider?”

Milligan said it was just his way of protesting the whole budget process, particularly with capital items. He hopes to be able to address this by being better informed about what all the projects are, he said, and determining the importance of each one.

He later said he would like to — and would like to convince the other trustees as well — to go out and visit all the facilities to get a better feel for the urgency of each project. For example rather than spending $100,000 on paving the bus garage facility, he thinks that money could be better spent on a new track for Ballenas.

“It’s a matter of really setting your priorities and I think we need to do it in a really knowledgeable way,” he said.

Kershaw said his point was well taken and after re-reading the motions, the bylaw passed unanimously.