12 • Thursday, April 25, 2013
DDSB motion won’t “curtail” public input, says trustee BLAKE WOLFE The Standard
DURHAM: Trustees with the Durham District School Board are considering changes to a bylaw dictating how the public can present information to the board, a move which some local residents have criticized in the wake of the looming closure of Cartwright High School, which followed a lengthy series of often emotional and heated public meetings over the last year. A motion to change the procedure was passed at the board’s April 15 meeting by a vote of 7-3, According to the agenda, the amended bylaw would ‘determine if the opportunity for presentation is available through any other public consultation process, which shall be utilized prior to approval being given for presentation in the Boardroom.’ In addition, the proposed revision states that ‘questions shall not be entertained if they relate to a matter which is under consideration by the Board and for which another public input and questioning process is available (e.g. school boundaries, accommodation reviews, school naming).’ The last point has raised concerns amongst members of the Cartwright High School community, some of whom see the timing of the proposed bylaw change as directly related to the recently-concluded Accommodation Review Committee (ARC) process for the small rural high school, currently scheduled to close in June. Trustees had earlier requested staff to clarify
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the process for members of the public to present information. Currently, members of the public making presentations must submit a written submission at least eight days prior to the board’s next scheduled standing committee meeting, with the decision to permit the presentation at the discretion of the committee. DDSB Chair and Uxbridge/Brock trustee Joe Allin, who made the original motion requesting the staff report, said that while the recent ARC process for CHS was at least partially responsible for inspiring the proposed bylaw alteration, there have been other processes, such as boundary changes, elsewhere in the DDSB’s jurisdiction that have raised similar issues. The changes, said Mr. Allin, were requested to ensure trustees have the required information beforehand to comment properly on presentations, and not to dissuade the public from speaking to the board. “This stems from delegations coming before the board over the last few years,” said Mr. Allin, adding that he is uncomfortable with the public “bypassing” the DDSB’s information presentation process. “Theoretically, when you come before the board, you’re speaking to trustees and if you present information to trustees before they have had a chance to review it, that’s an issue.... It’s just good process. There’s nothing designed to curtail input from the public - I just wanted to ensure that input is done in a timely
THE SCOOP, PERFECTED: (From left) Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor, Bob Moore and Councillors Jake Mantle and Gord Highett check out Moore’s new gelato machine inside The Perfect Scoop Gelato and Juice Bar. The business, located at 11 Brock St. West in Uxbridge, held its grand opening on Saturday, April 20 during the Uxbridge BIA’s Earth Day Celebration. Moore makes his gelato, smoothies and juice drinks by hand in small batches. BENJAMIN PRIEBE The Standard manner that respects the process.” Scugog trustee Carolyn Morton was among the three that voted against
the proposal, stating that such a change could cause the board to appear as a “closed” organization in the public’s eye.
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for a process to regulate presentations. “But there are guidelines already in place governing the process.”
May brings animal shelter fundraisers The New Animal Shelter for Uxbridge-Scugog is pleased to be presenting two fundraising events this spring. Gimme Shelter Gala, May 4 The second annual Gimme Shelter Gala happens on Saturday, May 4, at Mill Run Golf Club in Uxbridge. The event, hosted by well-known Canadian actor and comedian Neil Crone, kicks off with a reception at 6 p.m. followed by dinner. A silent and live auction will be held along draws for door prizes, including six months’ of pizza from Boston Pizza, a Gordon Ross original photo, a patio heater from Firebridge Fireplaces, a round of golf from Mill Run, and the grand prize, a trip dream trip for two from MyWeddingAway.com. Tickets are priced at $125 each or $900 for a reserved table of eight. A tax receipt will be issued for $50 per ticket. They are available in person at Pet Valu in Port Perry and Uxbridge, or online at www.animal-shelter.ca. Let The Games Begin, May 2-4 Let the Games Begin, a fun-filled show all about sports, is being presented by uxperience at the Uxbridge Music Hall May 2–4. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m Thursday through Saturday with a 3 p.m. matinee on Saturday. Reserved tickets, available at Sugar FX, are $18 for adults and $10 for children. Proceeds from the show are generously being donated to the New Animal Shelter for Uxbridge-Scugog. The volunteers with New Animal Shelter for Uxbridge-Scugog extend their sincere thanks to uxperience for choosing the shelter to be this year’s beneficiary.
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“I don’t want to restrict access to the board because we are a public forum,” said the trustee, while acknowledging the need
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Uxperience is a group of people from Uxbridge who come together to put on an annual variety show. Every year, over 100 people volunteer their time by singing, dancing, performing skits, playing music, or helping backstage. What makes them different from other amateur theatre groups is the non-audition format: Anybody and everybody over the age of 19 is invited to join. Flag of Love Day concert On Saturday May 4, the Flag of Love Day concert is being staged at Zephyr Community Centre. Running from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the event features performances by The Quaker EarthQuakes, Poor Tom, Casey Spencer, Zac Therrien, Brian Larter and Mary Dube. “Think globally and act locally” is the theme and our local animals in need are the focus again this year. While admission is free, attendees are asked to make a cash donation that will be presented to the New Animal Shelter for Uxbridge-Scugog. The volunteers with New Animal Shelter for Uxbridge-Scugog extend their sincere thanks for the organizers’ generosity. The Flag of Love is a universal symbol of hope that lovingly shows the connection of all things in our world. It is a non-political, non-religious, all-inclusive visual reminder of our human and spiritual oneness. The idea of “love unfurled” throughout the world was born in the heart of a 12-year-old girl who wrote a poem in the early 1960s. The poem was written in response to a world riddled with war, race riots and the destruction of the environment — issues that still haunt us 40 years later.
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